Construction of the food hub in the former Port Fish plant on May 22, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY PAPA)

Construction of the food hub in the former Port Fish plant on May 22, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY PAPA)

Port Alberni Food Hub opens to seafood processors

Four ‘anchor’ tenants welcomed

The new Port Alberni Food Hub on the city’s waterfront has opened to seafood processors.

Following months of renovations to the Port Alberni Port Authority’s (PAPA) former fish processing plant, the new food hub facility is open to a few “anchor” tenants who process seafood. Flurer Smokery, Cascadia Seaweed, Nova Harvest Oysters and Canadian Seafood Processing (Effingham Oysters) have moved into their respective areas within the hub to start processing.

A fifth anchor tenant, Forest for Diner, which processes land-based wild grown food products, is expected to move in soon.

PAPA president and CEO Zoran Knezevic says this marks the beginning of achieving a great vision shared by PAPA, the City of Port Alberni, Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET), the province and the community.

“After years of relationship-building, networking and creating a vision to support the development and growth of the local seafood sector, we are excited to see these finfish, shellfish and seaweed processors move in to create local food products and new jobs,” said Knezevic in a press release.

Port Alberni economic development manager Pat Deakin calls it a “legacy project” that will address food safety, security and supply matters.

In the meantime, PAPA is continuing work on a shared commercial kitchen space that will offer incubator opportunities for individuals, small businesses and community organizations.