Success Stories

Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast’s programs.  As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorships, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees.  Read these success stories to learn more.

If your company has a success to share, email us at info@foodexport.org.

Rhode Island Supplier Expands Export Markets With Help of Food Export Programs

by Food Export | Aug 15, 2016
Founded in 1980, The Town Dock has steadily grown over the last 36 years. This amazing growth has added to Rhode Island’s fishing industry and created new jobs in that sector.

Within 10 years they had opened the largest ice plant in Rhode Island to supply their fleet and uphold their quality standards. It was during that time Town Dock began shipping its seafood internationally.

By the early 2000’s the company had more than doubled their fleet, and purchased a second processing plant in Johnston, Rhode Island.

By 2012, the company was employing over 50 Rhode Islanders, and today they are one of the largest suppliers of calamari in the United States.

In addition to the company’s own vessels, they source as much product as possible from local fisherman. Town Dock purchases fish from independently owned boats who share their quality standards and unload at their own docks.

While Boston/Longfin Squid is one of their main domestic products, they are exporting many lesser-known and underutilized species, including Hake, Monkfish, Skate, and Scup.

Town Dock began exporting in 1990, and they haven’t slowed down since. They are currently exporting to 30+ countries outside of the United States, including most of North America, and parts of Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

In 2004, Town Dock began using Food Export’s services when they participated in the Boston Seafood Buyers Mission and Food Show PLUS!™ at Abastur Mexico.

With 23 event registrations, Town Dock has strategically utilized Food Exports programs and services to meet their immediate needs and interests. They are a consistent participant at the Seafood Buyers Mission, but they have also taken part in several Trade Missions to Colombia, Guatemala, and Shanghai, just to name a few.

Town Dock joined the Branded Program in 2015, to support their growth in the Asian market, because there was a large market for squid and other US products in this market. With the promotional support provided through Food Export’s Branded Program they hoped to expand upon their product exports to this market through new clients across southeast Asia as well as eastern Europe. Through the Branded Program, they attended the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo, and participated in the Focused Trade Mission to Shanghai. They have enrolled in the Branded Program again for 2016, and their continued focus is Asia, through the Fisheries Expo and advertising promotions.

“We see a lot of potential in the Chinese Market, considering their population and that they are the largest seafood importer in the world. While there is already a large market for US Squid, we hope to begin exporting more products to China by meeting new clients. To do this we must promote our Brand in the market, and the assistance provided through the Branded Program is an important asset by making our participation in international tradeshows possible,” stated Lyndsay Owirka, International Sales Specialist for Town Dock. “By utilizing Food Export’s programs, we have a new strategy for entering new markets. Without participating in Food Export’s events, we would not have grown within particular markets, like we have.” TheTownDock

Food Export uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products; as these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports.

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