Salty Girl of the Month: Alelia Parenteau, Surf Like a Girl

Since we launched Salty Girl Seafood, one of the first things that people say is how much they love the name. Often we are asked, what does it mean to be a Salty Girl?  

salty: of the sea, sailing or life at sea.

This is a series of blogs honoring some of our favorite Salty Girls--women whose lives and livelihoods revolve around all things ocean.

Alelia Parenteau, iSurf School & Surf Like a Girl Foundation

Alelia Parenteau, iSurf School & Surf Like a Girl Foundation

We couldn’t think of a more inspiring Salty Girl to kick off the New Year! This month’s Salty Girl is a woman who literally does it all. She’s a surfer, mother, entrepreneur, and all around ocean lover who has made it her mission in life to spread the joy of surfing to women and girls of all ages through her company iSurf School. In addition balancing her day job and running iSurf, Alelia founded Surf Like a Girl Foundation, a non-profit organization provides needs-based surf programming to underserved girls with the goal of introducing the wonders of surfing to girls who would not have access to the sport.  With a new year comes the opportunity to seize the day, try something new, and write your own adventure. We know Alelia will inspire you, as she has inspired us, to take 2017 by storm!

SG: What do you love most about the ocean?

AP: What I love most about the ocean is how dynamic it is. No two days in the ocean are exactly the same. When the sun is shining it looks like a million crystals are dancing on the water's surface and when the clouds are out it becomes this mysterious depth full of adventure and intrigue. I am also in awe of how the tides, winds and swells change the ocean - something you are particular in tune with when you surf...the ocean on a flat day versus a huge swell day is a completely different beast. It's kind of amazing!

SG: What does being a Salty Girl mean to you?

AP: It means that I respect the ocean. That I have committed to taking care of it so that I and others can keep enjoying it. It means that I am a steward of the ocean.

SG: Who first got you hooked on the sea?

AP: I first got hooked when I lived in Hawaii. The water is the most amazing shade of blue you've ever seen. And warm! It's just so inviting. When I moved to Santa Barbara it took me a little while to get used to wearing a wetsuit and to brushing up against the huge beds of sea kelp. But once I got used to it I started to love that cold aliveness of our coastal beaches. I love the peacefulness of being out in the ocean...I feel so in tune with nature when I'm out there.

SG: When you’re not on the ocean, what are you doing?

AP: When I'm not in the ocean I'm running around after my 3 and 5 year old sons, running our business (iSurf) and non-profit (Surf Like a Girl) with my husband and going to my day job (Energy Manager for the City of Santa Barbara). When I'm not doing any of those things I most likely cooking or eating! We like to stay busy!

SG: When you close your eyes and think about your favorite time on the water, what do you see?

AP: Me riding down the line on a wave! It feels like you’re flying over the water! There's no feeling quite like it.

Photo courtesy of iSurf School

Photo courtesy of iSurf School

SG: How does it feel to watch someone catch their first wave?

AP: It's a thrill. Every single person, no matter where they come from, how old they are, how scared they are - when they catch their first wave the look on their face is incredible. Sheer joy. I LOVE sharing that feeling with people through our school and foundation. It's the best feeling.

SG: What does a healthy ocean look like to you?

AP: It looks full of life and free of garbage and pollution. I hate hearing about the threatened coral reefs and the plastic gyre. How sad that we've affected such a massive ecosystem so devastatingly. I enjoy teaching students about how to help prevent further damaging our oceans.

Is there a Salty Girl in your life? Email us to share her story with us and nominate her as a monthly Salty Girl!

Specialty Food Association Announces 2017 Leadership Awards: Salty Girl Seafood Honored for Vision

Salty Girl Seafood co-founders Laura Johnson (left) and Norah Eddy (right). Photo by Lerina Winter (Winter Creative Co).

Salty Girl Seafood co-founders Laura Johnson (left) and Norah Eddy (right). Photo by Lerina Winter (Winter Creative Co).

Santa Barbara, CA, December 23, 2016 – Laura Johnson and Norah Eddy from Salty Girl Seafood have been honored for Vision by the Specialty Food Association’s 2017 Leadership Awards.

The awards, which are given in three categories, Business Leadership, Citizenship, and Vision, recognize industry frontrunners who have gone above and beyond in advancing food standards in society—and society itself—by creating social, economic and environmental impact through innovation and vision.

Nominations were made by members of the Specialty Food Association (SFA) and others in the specialty food industry. A panel of judges composed of industry experts and influencers selected the six winners from more than 50 nominees across the three categories.

“We are so honored to be recognized by the SFA among other entrepreneurs who have made such incredible positive impacts in their respective industries,” says Norah Eddy, co-founder of Salty Girl Seafood. “To be acknowledged in the Vision category in particular, as a mission-based company, makes it that much more rewarding to know that we are not only developing a brand that feeds people great food, but we’re building something that enables people to vote with their dollar and make a positive impact through their everyday decisions.”  

"These six individuals are leading examples of specialty food entrepreneurs who are truly making a difference," said Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association. "In our growing industry, leaders like these are paving the way for other companies to succeed and become recognized names. It's our honor to acknowledge their achievements through the Leadership Awards."

The awards will be presented during the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco at a special ceremony on January 22, 2017. The keynote speaker will be Marcus Benedetti, chairman, president, and CEO of family owned and operated Clover Stornetta Farms.

More about Specialty Food Association’s Leadership Awards can be found here.

About Salty Girl Seafood
Salty Girl Seafood, Inc. is a sustainable seafood company founded in 2014 that develops sustainable, traceable, simple to prepare seafood products that incentivize sustainable fishing practices and promote stewardship of oceans. For more information on Salty Girl Seafood and where to find products in stores nationwide, please visit the Salty Girl Seafood website or join their community on Facebook and Instagram.

SALTY GIRL SEAFOOD MEDIA CONTACT:
Gina Auriemma, Marketing, gina@saltygirlseafood.com

About the Specialty Food Association
The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,500 members in the U.S. and abroad with resources, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at specialtyfood.com.

SPECIALTY FOOD ASSOCIATION MEDIA CONTACT:
SFA PR Team
646-878-0130
press@specialtyfood.com

Salty Girl of the Month: Laura Miller, fisherman - artist - scientist

Since we launched Salty Girl Seafood, one of the first things that people say is how much they love the name. Often we are asked, what does it mean to be a Salty Girl?  

salty: of the sea, sailing or life at sea.

This is a series of blogs honoring some of our favorite Salty Girls--women whose lives and livelihoods revolve around all things ocean.

In this edition, we are honored to introduce you to Laura Miller. As kindred spirits living an ocean-centric life here in California, we love her passion for the sea and the fish in it. Laura Miller has this amazing and unique balance between rough and tumble seafarer and poetic and graceful artist.  

Growing up in Pacifica, CA, Laura has never lived out of earshot of the ocean. Her life of adventure began at an early age, traveling all summer with her family in their Chevy camper van. Memories of the ocean begin for Laura - as they do for so many of us - exploring local waters with her father at the helm. From a career in fiber arts, to conducting salmon spawning surveys with Fish and Wildlife, to purchasing and co-captaining the salmon troller F/V Animal Fair with her best friend, Laura is a woman after our own hearts who wears many hats - entrepreneur, scientist, artist, and ocean going gal.

SG: What do you love most about the ocean?

LM:  I have always lived near enough to the ocean that I can hear it when I sleep. I can smell, taste, and feel the salt in the air every morning when I look out to see what the ocean is doing that day, and every time it’s exciting, whether it’s beautifully calm or amazingly rough and dangerous. There is a constant and powerful pull to step outside and take it all in, to be present.

SG: Who first got you hooked on the sea?

LM: When I was little my Dad would take my brother and me out sport fishing on his Boston Whaler in Half Moon Bay and San Francisco Bay. It was a fast little boat, and we went out in fairly rough weather. My brother and I would sit on the cooler in front of the steering console and hold on, giggling and grinning ear to ear, while the little boat would fly off of the waves and then come crashing down over and over again. It was like the most exciting roller coaster ride in the park. My Dad was always so proud of us for holding it together, not getting seasick, while we caught and cleaned whatever we were after that day in the little wash well at the stern of the boat. Those days with my Dad are what made me feel comfortable working on my best friend’s (now business partner’s) sea urchin boat and eventually buying our salmon troller, the F/V Animal Fair.

SG: When you close your eyes and think about your favorite time on the water, what do you see?

LM: At the end of a long productive day of midsummer salmon fishing, the sun is setting and the cloud-filled sky is lit up with color. The ocean is calm and the sunset is reflecting off the water. We’re heading with speed towards a great and familiar anchorage. Dinner is in the works, and a good night’s sleep will follow.

SG: What does a healthy ocean look like to you?

LM: Diversity and Activity. It’s 5:00 am, and boats are streaming out of the harbor one after another. The salmon trollers are setting out their poles, the sport boats screaming past them despite the choppy conditions, avoiding the islands of kelp and wash rocks at the mouth of the bay. Birds are noisily working, diving on schools of baitfish they’ve found near the surface. The water is dark green and somewhat cloudy in color, indicating recent upwellings of food and nutrients from the deep canyons just offshore of our magnificent coastline. Whales are passing through the area, surfacing to breathe, sometimes leaping out of the water. Before long our deck is full of salmon from a good morning bite, the radio silent while the fishermen tend to their catch.

SG: If you could go fishing anywhere in the world, where would it be?

LM: We are so fortunate to have such an abundant variety of species in Northern California. The coastal forager or fisherman is easily occupied harvesting abalone, scallop, clam, squid, sea urchin, kelp, rockfish, salmon, sablefish, tuna, or crab. I’m pretty happy fishing right here at home, but I’ve always wanted to travel to the Mediterranean, mostly to eat rather than fish!

SG: What does being a Salty Girl mean to you?

Photo credit: Allan Droyan 

Photo credit: Allan Droyan 

LM: My work on the ocean has evolved into an opportunity to become a provider of fresh, healthy, high quality seafood to my community. It’s so satisfying to see our customer’s faces light up when they come to pick up their fish and to know that all of the work it took to get it to them is appreciated. When I run into them later in town, they’ll tell me about the wonderful meal they had with their family or friend who was visiting. I know that I mean a lot to them, they also mean a lot to me, and we support and respect each other.

Learn more about Laura's story here and stay tuned to be inspired for more women who find themselves at home in, on, under, and beside mother ocean.

Is there a Salty Girl in your life? Email us to share her story with us and nominate her as a monthly Salty Girl!