December 11, 2023

North Coast Seafoods Enters Distribution Partnership with Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods 

North Coast Seafoods, a prominent Boston-based, family-owned seafood supplier, has partnered with Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods, a leading New England wholesale food distributor serving food service businesses and educational institutions in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Known as an industry leader in premium quality, certified sustainable fresh seafood, North Coast has been making waves in local K-12 school systems and higher education with its newest innovation: The Kelp Meatball.

Kelp Meatballs (which can also be menu’d as Nuggets or Bites) are a one-of-a-kind plant-based product that is trendy, delicious, healthy and effortless to prepare. These “meatballs” are naturally vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, with a clean label list of ingredients composed primarily of kelp, green chickpeas, brown rice and spices, rewarding a bright, herby, fresh flavor profile and umami richness.

North Coast proudly partners with Atlantic Sea Farms (Biddeford, ME) to source the star ingredient, sugar kelp, which is sustainably rope-grown and hand-harvested by independent family farmers in the cold, clean waters of the Gulf of Maine.

Kelp (multiple species) is also verified by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) as a Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested® species.

Kelp has been steadily gaining notoriety and increasing in popularity, acclaimed for its sustainability profile, “superfood” nutrition profile, ocean-purifying characteristics and support of local fishing families and the coastal economy.

Native to Maine, ocean-farmed kelp is a carbon-neutral, regenerative, 100 percent sustainable food source cultivated during the fall-winter off-season in “kelp forests.”

Kelp is a zero-input crop, requiring no arable land, no fresh water and no pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or irrigation to be grown.

Kelp is also extremely climate-friendly, removing carbon from the ocean, which improves water quality and locally mitigates the effects of ocean acidification in the Gulf of Maine.

This sea vegetable is known as one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet — packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including high levels of iodine, potassium, iron, folic acid and more calcium per ounce than milk.

Last but certainly not least, Maine-grown kelp offers a promising way for fishing families to diversify their income streams in the lobster off-season.

North Coast shares Native Maine’s commitment to supporting New England’s vibrant and diverse food system by providing locally grown and processed food items while prioritizing exceptional customer service, food safety, food security and the environmental impact of their business.

With this new partnership, Kelp Meatballs will now be more accessible to consumers in the Northeast region through the restaurant, food service, K-12 and higher education customers that Native Maine services.

“At North Coast, we are not only focused on seafood sustainability but leaving our planet in a better state than we found it. Using kelp not only gets us closer to that goal every day but also fuels the creation of unique & innovative products, like the Kelp Meatballs and Sliders, that make a substantial positive impact on the community,” said Chef Andrew Wilkinson, North Coast’s Chef Director of Research and Development.

“By incorporating kelp into our products and educating consumers on its many health, community and environmental benefits, North Coast is helping to actively reduce our carbon footprint while providing delicious, nutritious and convenient food solutions for generations to come,” said Rich Polins, Principal at North Coast Seafoods.

Native Maine is excited to add North Coast Seafoods’ Kelp Meatballs to their portfolio. “We are always looking for innovative and sustainable products to offer our customers, and North Coast Seafoods’ Kelp Meatballs align perfectly with our values,” said Melissa Motejunas, Procurement & Strategic Accounts Manager of Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods. “We are thrilled to partner with them and bring their products to our customers in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.”

By expanding the availability of kelp products, North Coast Seafoods and Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods are not only providing consumers with a wider range of choices but also supporting the growth of the Maine kelp farming industry as a whole. With this collaboration, the Northeast region can look forward to enjoying the health benefits of kelp while also contributing to a more sustainable future.

To order or learn more about how to become a customer through Native Maine, email

For more information on North Coast Seafoods’ history of sustainable practices, click here.


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