This year, we celebrated our 10th year in business! Quite a bit has changed since 2012 when we were screen-printing our first t-shirts, running an Etsy shop and packing orders in our college dorm rooms, but our original dream to keep fishing with our family and to celebrate Wild Alaska Seafood is still so alive. We’re very grateful for our community - the folks who visit our shops in Homer, choose to eat Wild Alaska Seafood, wear our gear, and inspire us to work hard on and off the water.
In 2022 we prepared for a big summer season, knowing many travelers would be Alaska-bound. During spring, we spent time building a commercial kitchen in our storefront on the Homer Spit, where our friend and lifelong fisherman, Johnny, opened Johnny’s Corner. People came far and wide to try his incredible rice bowls topped with salmon, halibut, and sablefish; made with seafood sourced from Salmon Sisters and inspired by his worldwide travels.
Our operations came alive in the summer season with an amazing young team welcoming travelers to Homer and helping customers select Wild Alaska Seafood from our Fish Shop and good gear for getting outside at our Flagship Shop.
We welcomed a small-scale kelp processing operation to share the space behind our Fish Shop, where they built a beautiful hoop house resembling an upside down hull of a ship to dry kelp in the midnight sun. We look forward to having them back in the coming seasons as they continue processing, product development and exploring the future of mariculture.
We loved hosting our friends from Kaladi Brothers, who came down from Anchorage to help us celebrate the launch of our Rise & Grind Coffee collaboration – a tribute to the hardworking fishermen who go to sea each summer to harvest wild fish to feed the world.
We made fishermen’s feet happy with a few products we loved working on in 2022. We were honored to team up with our favorite sock makers at Darn Tough to product test and develop socks that hold up while working on the water. We were able to host their team from Vermont, show them around Homer and take them out on Kachemak Bay. The Stanley K and Emma Claire socks paired perfectly with this year’s Salmon Sisters x Xtratuf Boots, which were some of our favorite designs to date – the Tinned Fish Legacy and Sand Dollar Legacy Boot, and the Sockeye Salmon Deck Boot.
Sockeye salmon was the main ingredient in the tasty Salmon Cakes we launched this year with our friends at Jan and Tim at Rumblefish, made in Homer, AK. We submitted them to the Symphony of Seafood showcase during the Pacific Marine Expo and hope they inspire the next generation of fish-eaters to love salmon as much as we do.
Sockeye salmon also swam in our pre-season dreams as we geared up for our first summer fishing in Bristol Bay. In June, Emma and Jacob took their boat from Homer, across Cook Inlet and the portage to Lake Iliamna, down the river braids and into the Bay. It was a good season for many fishermen, and a good season for wild salmon. 79 million swam home to spawn, the largest run on record.
At the end of the season, Emma got to venture up into the wild headwaters of Bristol Bay in the Wood-Tickchik park with 6 other Alaskan fishing women. Witnessing the pristine place where so many wild sockeye salmons' lifecycles end and begin again was an incredible honor and an adventure of a lifetime.
Claire welcomed a salmon baby to her family in June, who spent some of her first weeks out on the water, helping her parents tender for the seine fleet and crew catch shrimp in Prince William Sound.
Similarly, Emma spent 9 months cooking up a different kind of baby (and also eating for two)––a cookbook that will be published in fall 2023!
As a family, we spent September back in the Aleutian Islands where we grew up, long lining for halibut and visiting friends in King Cove, False Pass and Dutch Harbor on weather days.
We are proud that our Give Fish Project continues to grow with our business and with the help of our customers. Since we began the Give Fish Project in 2016, we have donated over 80,000 pounds of wild fish caught by fishermen in Alaska, which have been distributed to communities large and small across the state through the Food Bank of Alaska. This amounts to around 319,000 (four-ounce) servings of wild salmon for hungry Alaskans. Thank you for helping us give fish and making our donation program possible!
2022 made us feel overwhelming gratitude for all of you. Thanks for reading and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting Salmon Sisters. Wishing you a good send off to 2022 and a bright welcome to 2023!