Kingo Yamanashi, having moved to the U.S. from Japan a few years prior, opens Yoshi Japanese Restaurant in Colts Neck, NJ, beginning a lifelong obsession with sourcing the very best tuna.
Kingo Yamanashi buys his first eight pieces of bluefin tuna in Boston for $1,200. At the time, tuna was mainly caught for sports fishing, not consumption, but Kingo knew that Japanese chefs in New York prized the catch.
Yama Company established in Matawan, NJ, when Kingo borrowed a small garage space from a friend to begin selling to restaurants around New York. Lacking both the proper knife and skills of how to cut seafood, Kingo would bring whole slabs of fresh tuna directly to chefs in a cargo van, who would cut their own slabs.
Now working with 20+ restaurants, Yama Seafood, Inc. leased their first warehouse in the Meatpacking District in New York City, a hub for seafood distribution in the city. Kingo considered buying the space (which would today be worth 20X the price he was quoted at the time) but he hated that there was no parking in the area and his employees kept getting parking tickets.
Yama Seafood, Inc. relocated to a larger warehouse in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ, close to both major ports and New York restaurants. Kingo’s father was an architect, so he was able to do his own architectural design for the space.
Wanting to keep Yama Seafood as a family business, Kingo’s son Nobu Yamanashi left the exotic car industry to join the company as the second generation. Honoring the family’s value of there being no task too small, his first tasks involved cutting fish, cleaning scales from the warehouse floor and delivering orders.
Yama Seafood’s direct-to-consumer e-commerce business launches, serving customers across New York and the tri-state area.
Nobu Yamanashi named President of Yama Seafood, 46 years to the date after his father sold his first bluefin tuna
July 4, 1976.
July 4, 2022.