It All Started at Home
W.R. Etheridge, a hard-working, innovative man, started a small fish processing plant in the harbor community of Wanchese on Roanoke Island in 1936. In 1941, Malcolm Daniels married Etheridge’s daughter, Maude, and later joined the business of sorting, packing and shipping fresh seafood. Soon after, in 1946, Daniels was given charge of the company. The Daniels’ had 15 children—all of which have contributed to the family’s success. Today, the second and third generations of the Daniels own and manage the venture.
The First Move
In the late 70s, due to the severe shoaling off the coast of North Carolina, Malcom was unable to pass his fleet through Oregon Inlet to unload its fresh catch in his Wanchese fish house. Being a man of great ingenuity, he then turned his business toward Virginia. He sent one of his sons to Hampton to open a new Wanchese Fish operation. During this time, Malcom’s vision flourished as his children began to take different roles to expand the family business.
A New Plan, a New Plant
In the late ’90s in response to the increasing demand and price of scallops, the Daniels family began using new technology to generate the Wanchese Scallop Medallions. With this new method, which resulted in a high-demand, flavorful product, Wanchese Fish Company continued to grow. To meet the growing demand, the family opened Suffolk Cold Storage in Suffolk, Virginia. This building serves as a state-of-the-art processing plant, cold storage facility, and corporate office for the family’s multiple operations. With expansion into our new state-of-the-art 300,000 square foot facility, we will be continuing the tradition which has been handed down through three generations of developing new, cost-effective technologies to improve operation efficiency and add new value-added products to both our food service and retail lines.
Malcom had a plan. In the beginning, he used to send his sons with trucks to Virginia and New York to rush the fish to the market. Today, the company has several trucks that carry Wanchese products up and down the east coast. The next generation continued with Malcom’s plan and have taken Wanchese Fish Company global. Wanchese Fish Company locations can be found in both Argentina and France, with family members working at each location.