New Brunswick

Cooke Aquaculture and Martha Stewart form partnership

True North Seafood, a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture, has announced a line of ready-made meals developed with Martha Stewart.

Cooke's True North Seafood will release ready-to-cook meals developed with Stewart

Martha Stewart and her chefs developed the dishes that will be sold by True North Seafood, a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture. (Charles Sykes/ Associated Press)

A New Brunswick seafood producer is partnering with one of the biggest names in the food world.

True North Seafood, a subsidiary of Cooke Aquaculture, says it will sell a line of ready-made meals developed with Martha Stewart.

Dishes will feature salmon, pollock and scallops.

Stewart is a longtime fan of the Saint John company's products, said Joel Richardson, vice-president of public relations for True North Seafood.

"She came out to visit our salmon farms a couple of years ago and was very impressed by the operation … and wanted to look at opportunities to work together," said Richardson.

In a news release, Stewart was quoted as saying she's served seafood from Cooke Aquaculture "for years" and has visited the company's operation near her home in Seal Harbour, Maine.

"I saw first-hand their innovative and industry-leading methods of sustainable farming and fishing," she said. 

Joel Richardson, the vice-president of public relations for True North Seafood, says the products should be available in Canada by the end of 2019. (CBC)

This is Cooke's first collaboration with a name from the food world.

"Martha Stewart … has tremendous, not only name recognition, but tremendous recognition as an authority on good eating and proper food preparation and is very thoughtful about sustainable farming."

Richardson said the new line includes four dishes, ready to cook with all ingredients sealed in the same package.

"Martha and her chef team worked with us to create the recipes, create the pairings between our seafood products and our spice blends," he said.

The products will be unveiled in March at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston before hitting the shelves in the United States in May.

Richardson said a Canadian rollout will follow later in 2019.

Company growth

Cooke is the largest, independently owned seafood company and hopes the deal with Stewart will grow the company even more, he said. 

The partnership is the latest in a number of expansions for Cooke Aquaculture.

Earlier this month, the company bought an Ecuadorian shrimp-farming company. In December 2017, it acquired a Houston-based fishing company. 

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