Jorstad Flats

The Company History of Marinelli Shellfish

Marinelli Shellfish was founded in San Francisco in July of 1982.  Bill Marinelli’s original concept was to develop markets for aquacultured pacific oysters, although the company’s product line quickly grew to include other under utilized species.  Initially, marketing and sales efforts were focused on restaurants in the Bay area that demanded the highest quality and that had an interest in new and unusual products, but over time wholesale distributors became an integral and important part of the distribution network.

In 1987 Bill took the concept one step further and, in partnership with college friend Jeff Daniels, opened a second distribution center in Los Angeles.  As both offices continued to flourish the company developed relationships with new customers across the country to complement their local sales.  It soon became apparent that a presence at the source of their product line somewhere in the Pacific Northwest would have important ramifications for the future. 

In 1991 the Seattle distribution center was opened and there were immediate implications for the company as a whole.  As a consolidation point for the company’s products, shipping costs to California were reduced.  The job of servicing the company’s national customer base shifted to Seattle, as products could be shipped fresher and without the freight charges associated with transit to California.  Gradually, new supply opportunities presented themselves.  Oyster farms began to seek us out, and some of those relationships remain our closest and most important.  Sources were developed for a full line of seafood from the region and we now carry virtually everything available from the Pacific Northwest.  Oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, halibut, wild salmon, black cod, Dungeness crab…  the list goes on.  Over time, and with such an extensive product offering, the Seattle distribution center realized significant gains in sales to Asia.  Today the company’s business relationships in Asia are almost as extensive as they are in the United States, and every bit as important. 

Much has changed since 1982, but one thing remains constant.  We continuously strive to improve the quality and service our customers have come to expect from us, and to play an active role in helping them plan for the future.