Nfld. & Labrador

Clearwater celebrates Grand Bank plant anniversary with $350K upgrade

It's not cod, crab or shrimp that's king in Grand Bank. It's the lowly clam.

'The customer always goes away enormously impressed,' says John Risley

John Risley says he is proud to have had a long-running relationship with workers at Clearwater's plant in Grand Bank. (CBC)

It's not cod, crab or shrimp that's king in Grand Bank. It's the lowly clam.

Clearwater Seafoods celebrated 25 years in the clam business in Grand Bank this week by announcing a $350,000 upgrade that will add a new 25-person prime cut line for the European and North American markets.

Huge kudos to the people in Grand Bank.- John  Risley , Clearwater Seafoods

"Huge kudos to the people in Grand Bank," said seafood magnate John Risley, who remembers how things got started for the Clearwater Seafoods operation.

"We were enormously impressed by a delegation of town officials who came to see us in Halifax before the plant opened," Risley told the St. John's Morning Show

The Arctic surf clam is one of the main products produced at the Grand Bank plant. (Clearwater Seafoods)

Risley said the delegation told the company about their community and how anxious they were to find a long-term partner.

It inspired the company to find an opportunity to process something in Grand Bank.

Wednesday's celebration recognized more than 70 workers who have worked at the plant for the past 25 years.

'Fantastic' relationship

Risley said that shows the depth of partnership between the community and the company.

The customer always goes away enormously impressed.- John Risley

"It's been fantastic," he said. "Whenever we bring customers from Asia to the plant, the town always sort of turns out and participates in some sort of a social occasion with the customer, and the customer always goes away enormously impressed."

Clearwater, which processes capelin roe, Arctic surf clams, cockle clams and northern propeller clams, employs 115 workers at the Grand Bank plant. 

Another 258 fishermen are employed on Clearwater's offshore clam vessels.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show