One of San Diego’s leading seafood companies has been sold to new operators who intend to grow the retail side of its business. Catalina Offshore Products Inc. was founded more than 40 years ago by Dave Rudie, a sea urchin diver who helped launch and sustain the demand for these prized local treasures, supplying sea urchins to sushi bars and restaurants in San Diego and beyond. Though the company started as a sea urchin wholesaler, it has evolved into one of the largest distributors of seafood from San Diego and Baja and now spans an online store and walk-in fish market on top of its wholesale division.
Rudie, who will continue to lend his expertise to marine research and seafood policy and still dive for sea urchins, has found a “like-minded, industry-experienced successor” in Beish, a new company whose stakeholders include longtime fishmongers Kathy and Dave Strangman of San Diego Seafood and cattle rancher Jose Chacon. The next iteration of Catalina Offshore Products will be managed by Chacon and the Strangmans’ children Brittany and Tanner, both second-generation fishmongers.
Beyond maintaining Catalina’s legacy, the new operators are planning to start offering beef from Chacon’s ranch in Sonora, Mexico in the online store and on-site market. A remodel of the current fish market is slated for next spring or early summer. In addition to obtaining an off-premise beer, wine, and liquor license as well as a tasting license that will enable the company to host in-store tasting events, the partners will also be launching a food truck that will cook up a rotating seasonal menu that features their seafood and beef products.