Mike Perez and Felix Arcade are not vegan. Both grew up in cultures where meat was part of almost every meal. So why did they start SeaCo Catch, a business that makes plant-based fish tacos?
They wanted to work with each other, but they didn’t know that vegan food would bring them together.
Over the years, Perez and Arcade have worked together in the restaurant industry on and off. So when Mr. Perez was asked by a local business to start his employee lunch program, he brought Mr. Alcaide along.
The challenge was to create a completely vegan menu with no meat or animal products. Together, they were inspired to get creative and try plant-based fish taco recipes.
“We weren’t going to start anything. SeaCo CEO and co-founder Perez said: “We wanted to offer something similar to fish tacos, but delicious. We did that, and then we really started investigating.”
They made vegan tacos again for hundreds and hit Burning Man, an annual creativity-focused community event held in the desert. Participated in a local contest and won.
positive feedback they got It gave them the confidence to pursue a vegan food business.
The white “meat” of SeaCo’s “fish” flakes is like your everyday fish taco. Made from coconut meat. It’s also packed with just as much crunch as a “regular” taco, but this one is fried in a special gluten- and soy-free batter. Top 8 Most Common Allergens.
They also focus on using perfect ingredients and not being highly processed.
That said, SeaCo isn’t trying to create a protein supplement for people who don’t eat meat or fish in their daily diet.
“What they lack in protein, they make up for in good taste,” says Perez.
Tacos are the most eye-catching for SeaCo, but according to Perez, their ultimate goal is to: We deliver not only the fish itself, but also the clothing to a wide range of consumers and restaurants.
Alcaide and Perez both eat meat, but were aware of the growing demand for plant-based foods.
They each have three children and personally try to cut down on the amount of meat they consume. Because they see it as a way to reduce their impact on natural resources.
“For us, we’re really looking at what we’re doing to the environment. We have kids, and we want to make sure they live on a habitable planet,” Perez said. I got
For whatever purpose people choose to consume plant-based foods, whether it is for ethical, health or environmental reasons, SeaCo’s founders are determined to help meet these desires. We saw an opportunity to build a business that offered more options.
Both vegans and non-vegans lined SeaCo’s trucks at a recent vegan food pop-up market at Local Roots Boothyard in Vista.
Jorge Valdes, who is not vegan but loves fish tacos, said, “I tried it and it was pretty good. I was like a human. I wanted one more and ordered another.”
SeaCo’s fish tacos are $7, a little more than Rubio’s original fish tacos (about $5). Besides tacos, they also sell ceviche and fish and chips.
Before Caston Turner went vegan, he loved fish tacos. She said the texture of coconut and her coating of fried SeaCo tacos were reminiscent of the same experience.
“We treat vegetables exactly the way we treat animals when we cook,” said Alcaide, SeaCo’s president and executive chef. “We marinate it … we give them love because it’s the secret ingredient. I think it’s because I have
Alcaide said it took about a year to get the taco recipe right, and SeaCo has been in business since 2019.
It has won awards for non-vegan tacos in competitions, the latest being the Jury Award and People’s Choice Award at the 2021 San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. It was the first time a vegan taco had beaten the competition, and the first time a single team swept both awards.
Perez and Alcaide, who worked in the restaurant industry more than a decade ago, said the venture was a learning experience, unlike the daily routine of a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
They rent space and time in a shared commercial kitchen in San Marcos three days a week. SeaCo employs a part-time staff of 12 people to help prepare the fish and work at the event. It’s a balancing act of making enough fish each week and maintaining the necessary freezer space to store it.
In addition, the duo and their third business partner, Scott Holtgreeve, also have full-time jobs outside of SeaCo’s ‘side hustle’.But they have big dreams for their business, This was a grassroots self-funded venture.
Soon you will need a larger kitchen space to expand your production so that you can pursue larger deals and partnerships for your products. Perez estimates that it currently produces about 4,800 pieces (120 pounds) of fish each week.
SeaCo fÿsh is available at Eris Food Co. in Oceanside and Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. Gracias Madre is a trendy vegan Mexican restaurant frequented by celebrities.
They’re also one of the local vendors selling vegan goods every week at North County’s Vegan Food Pop-Up Market. This Saturday, SeaCo Catch will be serving fish at the San Diego Heritage Museum in Encinitas from noon to 4pm.