When the pandemic hit, I shifted just about all of my grocery shopping online, including my proteins like chicken and fish. I still buy my fish online, getting frozen fillets delivered to my door each month.
But E-Fish, a startup that launched around the time the pandemic hit last year, says it can do one better. The company delivers fresh — not frozen — fish to your door 48 hours after it is out of water.
E-Fish started out as a fish marketplace for restaurants such as Jean-Georges, Esca, The Fulton, and Bellemore. But when the pandemic hit, many restaurants across the country shut down, cutting off E-Fish’s target market. Not only that, restaurant closures were also devastating the fish industry, who lost all those restaurant customers. So E-Fish pivoted, and like so many other restaurant food suppliers, launched its own direct-to-consumer sales channel.
Jeffrey Tedmori, Co-Founder and CEO of E-Fish, told me by phone this week that this D2C marketplace pivot was also helpful for fish harvesters because they can focus on catching fish while E-Fish takes care of all the digital marketing and sales.
E-Fish never touches the product. Instead, it has relationships with different fish harvesters on both coasts of the U.S. When you visit E-Fish and place your order, that order along with a shipping label is forwarded directly to the harvester.
That doesn’t mean your order ships right away, however. As Tedmori explained, when an order is placed, “A lot of the time the product isn’t even caught.” So the harvester goes out, catches the fish, preps it and ships it out to the customer. The result, said Temori, is an “Unparalleled level of quality.”
You’ll pay for that freshness. Two pounds of Black Cod will set you back $70 plus shipping and taxes (E-Fish ships across the U.S., except for Hawaii and Alaska). While that is probably more than your corner store, it is not that far out of line with other online fish markets like CrowdCow.
E-Fish has received Angel funding and is now part of the Techstars Anywhere accelerator cohort. The company currently has relationships with fishers in Massachusetts, Maine, Florida and California, and is looking to scale up from there.