Local Ocean Seafoods
What they do
Local Ocean Seafoods is a dockside grill and fish market on the Oregon Coast. Founded in 2002 by Laura Anderson and fisherman Al Pazar, Local Ocean is committed to sourcing and selling sustainably caught seafood and supporting the local fishing industry.
With its home in Newport, Oregon, Local Ocean has direct relationships with over 100 boats and fishermen to ensure a consistent supply of local seafood.
Why we invested
Since founding Local Ocean, Laura has been intrigued by the idea of transitioning to shared ownership—preserving the mission and values of the company while ensuring that workers have the opportunity to engage in governance and share in the profits.
One of the goals of the Employee Ownership Catalyst Fund is to create quality jobs and a path to business ownership for low-income workers and workers of color. In 2020, Local Ocean replaced the tipping system with a 20% service charge on all in-house dining, improving compensation for all workers. Laura hopes that a transition to trust ownership will give workers an even greater stake in the company.
The team completed an employee ownership feasibility study with Project Equity in late 2020, during which employees were consulted and indicated their interest in continuing the process.
In 2021, the company engaged with Portland-based Alternative Ownership Advisors to create an Oregon Stewardship Trust to take ownership of the company, similar to what Patagonia did. All employees are stakeholders of the trust.
The Employee Ownership Catalyst Fund provided Local Ocean with a forgivable loan to defray extra costs associated with transitioning to an employee-owned company.