Snapshot 08/04

Wayne Samiere, 42, founder of Honolulu Fish Co. in Honolulu
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This story appears in the August 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Description: Distributor of fresh Hawaiian fish to high-end resorts and restaurants across the country

Startup: $6,000 in 1994

2004 projected sales: $10 million

Reeling in business: Wayne Samiere's business may seem fishy, but there's good reason. Honolulu Fish Co., a fish distributor, profits from Hawaii's ocean of high-quality, sashimi-grade fish and from the state's uncommon system for selling them-as in Japan, buyers are allowed to handpick each fish. Now the company has more than 2,000 accounts, delivering more than 30 varieties of fresh Hawaiian fish to clients across the mainland in less than 24 hours.

Hooked on fish: Trained as a marine biologist, Samiere has a love for fish that runs as deep as his respect for life under the sea. To protect immature fish, he deals only with long-line fisheries that use special hooks designed to catch fish of specific sizes. He is also opposed to fishing with nets, which disrupt ocean habitats. "I'm still a biologist at heart," he says. "A net is devastating, because it captures everything in its wake."

Biting the bait: By operating his own business, Samiere is living his father's dream. And like his father, who rallied help from Samiere and his siblings to build bikes, make candles, even sell metal polish to start a business, Samiere has turned his one-man show into a family affair. Three-possibly soon to be four-of his five brothers have jumped onboard. His father, who never did start a business but lent Samiere startup capital, is extremely proud of the result. Says Samiere, "[He] is absolutely tickled pink."

Edition: July 2017

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