The Saraspe's are a third generation fishing family with over 50 years in the commercial fishing and fish processing industry. The Saraspe family’s fishing fleet started with Lauro Saraspe, an ocean-loving 17 year old, ambitious to share his catch. In his teenage years Lauro pursued what thrilled him the most—diving for abalone, white sea bass, and lobster off the coast of San Diego. The neighborhood knew him for his fresh, live abalone: “four for a dollar” that he used to sell door-to-door out of his 1940 leather maroon ford convertible. Lauro met the love of his life while delivering abalone to a neighborhood in Pacific Beach. Lauro retired from his lifelong career of Lobster fishing and in just one month, began deckhanding as a crewmember on his son’s boat.
The fascination with fishing all started with the Lauro, a father to three children, and grandfather to seven. Lauro’s children accompanied him on many of his fishing trips to San Clemente Island, sometimes even for weeks at a time. His two daughters, Elizabeth and Alexandra and his son Andy have a true love for the ocean that is imprinted in their genes. At the young age of 15, Andy was captaining his own 16-foot Woodward skiff where he spent most of his time harpooning swordfish. Andy purchased a trap permit long before the Spot Prawn fishery underwent governmental policy changes and was deemed ‘limited entry’. Some call him the pioneer of Spot Prawn fishing in California. As the first Spot Prawn fisherman in California, he now holds 1 of 16 Spot Prawn permits in the state. Andy’s oldest daughter, Tanner’s experience on her father’s boat began at the age of two days old. She and her younger siblings, Molly and Charlie had the opportunity to experience stunning sunrises and in the dead of winter, Andy brought them along on his work trips. As kids, they were fascinated to watch the laborious work of a fisherman; aggressively pulling slimy traps onto the boat. The 22-foot living space tested the relationship between the kids and their dad. The non-traditional fishermen lifestyle is one the family cherishes. The food that was on our dinner table was caught by their family, while the eggs on their breakfast plates were from the chickens they raised. Many people questioned the rigorous career of fishing. The freedom one receives while fishing is not like any other occupation.
Saraspe Seafoods, established in 1952, reinvented in 2017 shifted the family business from selling straight to distributors and instead built a brand that is geared towards serving the greater community and supporting sustainable food systems. Living in a multi-generational fishing family, the Saraspe’s hold onto a tenet that all fishermen know; suffering is temporary, but the pride in our work and gifts of our experiences are long-lasting. As a family fleet of artisanal fishermen the Saraspe’s understand the importance of preserving our resources for the next generations to come. It is their goal to make our locally-caught products more accessible for the direct consumer, allowing them to get a taste of real freshness.