SAN DIEGO, Calif., Sept. 30, 2019—After 15 years, fishmonger Tommy Gomes, who has been the public face and a key driver behind many successful products, promotions and initiatives at Catalina Offshore Products, is departing his day-to-day role with the company for new ventures.
Although the sea change may come as a surprise to many people, Gomes recently trademarked Tommy the Fishmonger®. Under his new brand, he will maintain a relationship with Catalina Offshore, providing support as a chef liaison and brand ambassador. Additionally, he is planning a new YouTube channel; collaborations with several culinary and outdoor lifestyle partners; and to re-invest in Uni Goop® and Uni Butter®, two fish attractants he created years ago using natural oils from sea urchin. An outspoken champion for local and sustainable seafood, he will also continue to offer services to restaurants, markets, educational institutions and other businesses in the form of fish butchery, cooking demos, “Fish 101” and speaking engagements.
“Catalina Offshore and Tommy have been one of San Diego’s great food and fishing collaborations,” said Dave Rudie, founder, and president. “I’m grateful for his valuable contributions over the years, and we look forward to supporting each other in the future.”
Catalina Offshore has long been an industry leader. Rudie started the company in the late ‘70s by diving for sea urchins and selling them whole to San Diego sushi chefs who coveted their internal delicacy known as uni. He then learned how to process the urchins and began exporting uni to Japan and other countries. Catalina Offshore was among the first domestic suppliers to import seafood from Baja for distribution in the US. Today, with a heavy emphasis on tuna and opah, it is one of the largest buyers of local seafood in San Diego.
After retiring from commercial fishing, Gomes took a job as a fish cutter at Catalina Offshore in 2003. He evolved into the role of fishmonger, becoming the company’s public face and helping to expand the brand beyond its wholesale origins. In 2011, his seafood expertise and charisma landed him on San Diego Magazine’s list of “50 People to Watch.” By 2012, he had built Catalina Offshore’s retail fish market. He had also founded Collaboration Kitchen, a nonprofit dinner series that ran for seven years and featured some of San Diego’s top chefs as guests. Most recently, his fish butchery and promotion of underutilized fish parts played a role in Catalina Offshore receiving a grant in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries.
“I thank Catalina Offshore for giving me the space and opportunity to help grow the company and realize my passion and purpose,” said Gomes. “It’s been a great ride and I’m ready for what’s next.”
Gomes was one of nearly 100 Catalina Offshore employees who will continue providing high-quality seafood for discerning consumers. “We’ve built a reputation over four decades as one of our region’s premiere seafood suppliers,” said Rudie. “I look forward to continuing to meet the needs of our customers in San Diego and beyond.”
For more information on Catalina Offshore Products, call 619-297-9797 or visit catalinaop.com.
About Catalina Offshore Products
Founded in 1977, Catalina Offshore Products was once exclusively a sea urchin wholesaler in both domestic sales and exports. Today the company is one of the largest buyers of local seafood in San Diego, specializing in species found off the West Coast, from Baja and Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. Its business has expanded to include an online store and walk-in fish market and proudly remains family-owned and operated. Recognized as an industry leader, Catalina Offshore Products is committed to providing high-quality seafood choices from responsible fisheries or farms. For more information, visit catalinaop.com.
Catalina Offshore Products
Ph: (619) 704-3603