Creating Social Value Blog / Food

(Sea)food Entrepreneur Wanted to Come to Babson – Now He Will

When I sat down for an interview with Boston (sea)food entrepreneur Jared Auerbach of Red’s Best and reminded him that Food Sol is part of Babson, he said:

“I love Babson!”  Jared exclaimed. “I sat in on a class, I almost applied. Then I got busy with this thing.”

Jared Auerbach of Red’s Best

To-the-bones an entrepreneur, Jared’s first business was smoking salmon on a dock in Alaska. “I saw what was going on around me and couldn’t stop asking questions. Who owns that truck? Who’s making money here?” As the big picture came into focus, he set his sights on middle of the supply chain activity.

Quick seafood supply chain 101:

A fisherman goes out and fishes with his license in his permitted vessel. (Permitting and quotas must go on ice for another day.)

When that vessel pulls in, an unloader weighs and takes what he believes he can sell.  He gives the fisherman a receipt for this. “Fish is sold on consignment,” Jared explained. “We represent our boats on the market, which is why the trust between boat and unloader is so important.”

After the unloader, the next pair of hands belongs to the processor. Then comes distributor, then wholesaler, then the end user who, in most cases, is not the eater but rather a restaurant or a retailer. (Going direct to consumer is a slightly different story, but one Red’s Best hopes to grow into.)

Red’s Best is a triple play: unloader, processor and distributor.

Having lived firsthand the paper-heavy, tedious, inconsistent and labor-intensive accounting and legislative aspects of fish business, Jared set out to build a highly efficient, zero redundancy, semi-automated software solution.

Red’s Best is both technology infrastructure and boots-on-the-ground logistics. Being both is something few middle-of-the-supply-chain food operations have managed to pull off.

“Our values are supporting small, local boats and doing business that is good for ocean, people, and economics.”

Quite literally, Red’s Best takes everything off the boats.  In an industry known for trawling the ocean with football-field sized nets, pulling out a few choice species and dumping the rest overboard – dead or dying – this is significant.

“We take everything,” Jared emphasized.  “If it comes out of the ocean and you can eat it, we take it.”

Come hear Jared pitch at the Quick Service Incubator on Tuesday, February 11th at Babson.