Issue Spring 12
Honoring the past and planning for the future are as important to Adelphia Seafood as its day-to-day commitment to provide fresh, quality product to its customers. “Many companies like ours make sure people get fresh products, but I think what makes us different is our commitment to the future,” says Jason Hurleman, president and owner of the Reading, Pa.-based wholesaler.
The company also operates two retail locations in Reading and a third location in Pottsville, Pa. “We are for the most part a young organization in terms of leadership – we have our whole lives ahead of us, so we want to protect fish species for our industry so we’ll be around for future generations.”
Sustainability is a high priority for the company, both in terms of the practices used to source the seafood it processes and provides to restaurant and retail customers as well as its own operations. “Growth is important to us, but one of the biggest things to us is the sustainability of the species to make sure we still have an industry,” Hurleman adds. The company sources both farm-raised and wild fish species from the United States, Canada and other locations throughout the world.
Adelphia says it strives to work with suppliers that are certified sustainable or that use fishing methods that are less damaging to fish habitats, such as long-line fishing.
The company also recently upgraded its processing areas with energy-efficient lighting as well as new refrigeration. Adelphia is in the process of upgrading its fleet of 15 trucks to natural gas-fueled vehicles in an effort to offset its costs as well as reduce its carbon footprint.
Commitment to Quality
Adelphia Seafood distributes more than 2,300 varieties of seafood to customers on a next-day basis seven days a week. The company serves customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio. “We produce, manufacture and distribute products fresh, which makes the timeliness of getting to market even more important,” Hurleman says.
Adelphia Seafood produces its own private label brand, Gold Label Shrimp. The company buys wild-caught shrimp directly from boats operating in the Gulf of Mexico. “In addition to supporting our local fishermen, Gold Label shrimp are a premium quality shrimp that are prized for the sweet shrimp flavor and excellent quality,” the company says.
In addition to processing and cutting whole seafood, the company prepares soups, salads, crab cakes and other items. Many of the recipes used by the company date back to its origins as Harry O. Hahn Seafood, a seafood retailer established in the 1950s.
“We pride ourselves on bringing the same level of quality to customers now as we did then, only on a much larger scale,” Hurleman says.
The company adheres to a number of quality procedures including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and FDA guidelines. Its facility is regularly inspected by the FDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, as well as its national restaurant chain customers. Third-party auditors including Surefish also inspect the facility annually.
All seafood passing through Adelphia’s facility goes through an initial inspection before processing, and an internal HACCP committee monitors all processing.
Adelphia Seafood believes in talent mobility and making sure all employees are cross-trained and familiar with the company. “If someone has a talent in one area we will put them in a different, higher position,” Hurleman says.
Hurleman himself is an example of this approach. “I’ve worked in every job and in every position here my entire life, and I think that’s what makes the difference for me as a leader,” he adds. “I wasn’t just appointed to a position at a desk here – I’ve lived it.”