Follow-Up File: Central Coast Seafood is still growing

Name: Nancy Osorio

Job: Vice president of sales and marketing

Business: Central Coast Seafood Inc.

What they said then:

In November 2009, The Tribune’s Biz Buzz reported that the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce honored six businesses with Green Awards.

Central Coast Seafood Inc. of Atascadero was one of the companies recognized for saving energy and reducing waste.

“We think these awards show it makes good business sense to be green — and brands this community as an environmentally sensitive place,” chamber President Dave Garth said.

The Atascadero-based seafood processor and wholesale distributor was specifically lauded for its focus on “sustainable fishing,” its use of biodiesel and its energy-efficient refrigerators.

What she says now:

With more than 300 restaurant and retail accounts, Central Coast Seafood’s sales have increased slightly over the past year, Vice President Nancy Osorio said.

“In an economy with either declines or stagnation, we’ve maintained steady growth,” she said. “We have continual communication with our customers about ways to enhance our services. They ask for sustainable products.”

The fish company works closely with The Nature Conservancy. All Central Coast Seafood’s product and price lists include a green, yellow or red rating that reflects the product’s impact based on the latest standards of sustainability and habitat conservation.

Sustainability refers to the use of existing resources without hampering future generations’ ability to do the same.

“It’s in constant flux,” Osorio said. “They’re continually reviewing the science.”

With a fleet of seven trucks to deliver from San Francisco to Woodland Hills, the business continues to use a biodiesel mix.

“You can’t operate on 100 percent biodiesel because it’ll corrode the engine,” Osorio said. “We work with mechanics all the time to make sure what our mix is.”

Organic fishermen and olive growers approached the company asking for fish carcasses that Central Coast Seafood formerly tossed.

“They get our carcasses for bait or mulch for farming,” she said. “Instead of throwing it away because it’s easier, we save them to pick up.”

The wholesaler uses electronic statements to reduce paper waste, but Osorio said that doesn’t work for all clients.

“A lot of our customers are ‘mom and pop,’ ” she said. “They don’t have the capabilities to do that.”

Owned by Giovanni Comin, Central Coast Seafood employs an average of 45 employees, according to Osorio.

The distributor reduces both waste and expense with plastic reusable containers that drivers pick up when delivering the next order.

“Eliminating the waste helps us and it helps our customer,” Osorio said. “We’re continually re-evaluating what’s happening today, what’s going to affect tomorrow.”

- Raven J. Railey