Gurume Club is run by Yoko and Mitch Kashima and is an extension of our wholesale business which we started in February of 1991. As of today's writing, it has been 30 years! The seafood business is deep in our hearts, as we breathe and live by it. Our whole life, we have pioneered and searched for creating high-quality food for our own family, and for our friends.
What started our wholesale business was the abundance of Flounder in Down East, NC. The catch method was pound net. We were only able to achieve what we dreamed of, the top quality seafood, because of this pound net setup. When Mitch went down there 30 years ago, the fish looked already damaged and old as soon as the fish was unloaded to the dock. This was because nobody cared about the quality, not the fishermen, not even the buyers. Buyers paid the same money whether good or bad. Fishermen had no incentives to take care of the fish.
Mitch saw this sad situation and wanted to change the fish quality. First, he gave the fishermen free vats with free ice to bring to the fishing ground. He taught the fishermen to mix the ice with seawater so the fish can be cooled properly without bodies touching each other to avoid heat spots. If the fish came back looking good, we would offer more money. Then, we wanted the fishermen to do more. We asked the fish to be cut (bled) while the heart was still pumping. Fish had to be alive to be able to perform this function. Each fish had to be cut 2 locations, neck and tail as you can see in the above pictures. The location has to be precise in order to cut the artery, so blood can be pumped out by live fish. It took a while for the fishermen to learn this trick. When they are catching 200-500 lbs of fish per day, this task was not easy to do. However, we offered an additional price for the extra work. All fishermen happily agreed to the request. The income per day for each fisherman increased significantly. Everybody wanted to sell to Mitch. Mitch bought thousands and thousands of pounds of fish every day during the flounder season, and he would discriminate the purchase price according to quality. Fishermen learned quickly not to cheat taking care of each fish. We would buy the best quality fish, pack, and send it to wholesalers all over the US by air. This was unheard of at that time. Shipping fish by air? We even shipped fresh flounder by air to Japan, where the world's largest seafood auction market is, Tsukiji Market (that was the name before it moved to Toyosu). The fish we sent by air took 3-4 days to arrive at Tokyo's Tsukiji Market, and we competed with local 1-day old flounder. After continuously sending the top-quality fish, the Tsukiji market has given us the top price better than 1-day old fish. You can now understand where the top-priced fish would go right? The most expensive Sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Even our domestic sales were very strong, and top-notch restaurants could not have enough of our fish because it was not only excellent quality but it would outlast any other fish. This is due to Mitch's engineering mind who knew the fish has to be completely cooled to the bone before packing. He also engineered the packing boxes and method of shipping to make sure the fish stays at a constant cold enough temperature throughout the shipping time. The key to creating and prolonging the life of high-quality fish was temperature control and bleeding.
Gurume Club is a small family business but with word of mouth, we grew, and we grew items that we offer. We keep Sashimi items in our Super Freezer with -60°C. This is a technology that protects meat cells so the flavor remains after thawing. Regular home freezing causes meat cells to breakdown, and the good flavor drains as liquid after thawing.
We pride ourselves and love sharing our passion in seafood, and food in general to be our best medicine, and power to live the life to fullest.
We welcome new members. Please register and create your log-in for your convenience.
Yoko & Mitch Kashima
537 Front Ridge Dr
Cary, NC 27519
(919) 502-0009 |