Issue 8, July 2013


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Aqua Star

A Certified NMSDC® Minority Business Enterprise, Aqua Star is one of the leading suppliers of frozen seafood in the North American market, offering a broad range of commodity and value-added seafood products.

Aqua Star was founded in 1990 by a group of seafood veterans, two of whom still manage the business today: Bob Hooey (CEO) and Dirk Leuenberger (President). Established as an import, sales and marketing company centered on commodity shrimp and fresh salmon, Aqua Star quickly expanded into crab, fish, scallops, squid and lobster — essentially, all the center-of-the-plate seafood categories.

In August 1998, Aqua Star was acquired by the Red Chamber Group — the nation’s largest American seafood corporation — owned and operated by brothers Ming Bin and Ming Shin Kou. The Ming brothers got their start at their family’s restaurant in Los Angeles before founding Red Chamber Company in September 1973, while they were still in high school. Since then, they have grown the business to employ more than 1,200 people full time in the United States alone, with sales offices, manufacturing plants and cold storage warehouses located across North America, South America and Southeast Asia.

Since partnering with the Red Chamber Group, Aqua Star has developed into one of the most diversified branded seafood companies in North America. Its international presence is established in U.S. offices in Seattle, Bentonville and Parsippany, and Canadian offices in Toronto and Montreal. Outfitted with a team of broadline foodservice industry experts, Aqua Star is committed to growing together with Sysco and expanding current offerings.

Aqua Star products include:

  • Wild Mexican shrimp, farm-raised Asian and South American shrimp
  • 100% natural crab meat line
  • Star-Cut In-Shell Crab (Red King, Gold King, Snow, Cold Water, Jonah, and Dungeness)
  • North American lobster
  • Breaded and battered seafood
  • Farm raised and wild finfish
  • Calamari

For more information on Aqua Star please contact:

Aqua Star (USA), Corp.
Western Sales Office
Seattle, WA
800-232-6280 / 206-448-5400

Bob Hooey, CEO
Dirk Leuenberger, President
Rick Fox, Director of Category Management


MWBE Recipe Corner

Star Cut™ King Crab Legs and Claws with Avocado Salsa
A tasty dish that demonstrates the perfect flavor marriage between crab and avocado
Serves 6


2 pounds Aqua Star, Star Cut King Crab Legs and Claws, thawed

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
½ sweet onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon or 1 lime
2 T. olive oil
2 avocados, pit removed and diced into ¼-inch pieces
2 T. chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve crab in the shell with salsa.

Star Cut™ Red King Crab 9/12ct 1/10# 731149111363
Star Cut™ Red King Crab 12/14ct 1/10# 731149111387
Star Cut™ Red King Crab 14/17ct 1/10# 731149111424
Star Cut™ Red King Crab 16/20ct 1/10# 731149111431
Star Cut™ Red King Crab 20/24ct 1/10# 731149111462
Star Cut™ Red King Crab 24/30ct 1/10# 731149111479

Delicious Crab Crostini
One of our favorite ways of eating crab — on a slice of hot, grilled ciabatta.
Serves 4


19 oz. Deep Sea Red Crab Meat, thawed and drained
Handful of fennel tops, finely chopped (reserve a few tops for garnish)
1 fresh red chili, deseeded and finely sliced
Juice of ½ lemon
2–3 T. extra virgin olive oil
8 slices of ciabatta, toasted
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the aioli:
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
4 T. mayonnaise

Mix crab meat, chopped fennel tops, red chili, lemon juice and olive oil together in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
To make aioli, combine crushed garlic with mayonnaise until well blended. Toast ciabatta, spread with aioli, top with crab mixture and garnish with reserved fennel tops.

Deep Sea Red Combo Meat 2/(2x2.5#) 731149112155

Foods of the Month

National Baked Bean Month
National Bison Month
National Culinary Arts Month
National Grilling Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Blueberry Month
National Baked Bean Month
National Bison Month
National Culinary Arts Month
National Grilling Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Ice Cream Month
National Blueberry Month

Catfish Month
Peach Month
Sandwich Month
Family Meals Month
Kiwi Fruit Month

California Wine Month
National Chicken Month
National Honey Month
National Mushroom Month
National Papaya Month
National Potato Month
National Rice Month
National Whole Grain Month
National Wild Rice Month




Sysco Heritage Supplier Diversity Award Winners

In June, Sysco announced the winners of the 2013 Heritage Supplier Diversity Awards. Each year Sysco recognizes three diverse suppliers for outstanding performance in various areas, including new products, sales growth and promotional support. These suppliers help us meet our goals with their diverse product offerings.

Supplier Diversity is an important part of our business and Sysco works diligently to maintain a diverse supplier base with valued minority and women-owned supplier partners

Congratulations to the 2013 Sysco Heritage Supplier Diversity Award Winners!

Gold – Renaissance Man Food Services
Silver – Windsor Foods
Bronze – Lemon-X













Sysco's Minority & Women-Owned (MWBE) Supplier Spend

Sysco partners with more than 400 minority and women-owned suppliers, and each year this base continues to grow. Diverse suppliers help Sysco meet the changing demands of foodservice operators while supporting strategic alliances that enable the continued success of Sysco, our customers and our supplier partners.

Sysco continues to grow its purchases from minority and women-owned suppliers each year. Our MWBE Spend for FY 2013 (Q3) was $231 million, compared to $218 million in FY 2012 (Q3).





Sysco's Supplier Diversity Registration Portal

We encourage you to continue communicating the importance of company registration to your minority suppliers. If you haven't done so, please remind your suppliers to register their company as a minority and/or women-owned business.

An increasing number of large customers are requiring minority suppliers to present their certifications in order to count their purchases for contract purposes. Please direct new and existing minority and women-owned suppliers to Sysco’s Minority Supplier Registration Portal via the website.

The registration portal allows Sysco to source various MWBE suppliers for products of interest when the need arises. It also allows suppliers to create or update their company profiles and MBE, WBE, Hubzone or SBA (8A) certificates their company has acquired.

Why Supplier Diversity is Important to Sysco Operating Companies

  • Restaurant decision makers with whom Sysco does business are becoming increasingly multicultural, multilingual and multifaceted, and often require unique niche products from minority or women-owned companies.
  • Minorities and women represent the fastest growth to the consumer/business base, and contribute dramatically to the revenue stream that major corporations, including Sysco, enjoy.
  • MWBEs can potentially offer better prices for Sysco and non-Sysco brand products.
  • Sysco can potentially receive quicker turnaround and better or expanded levels of service from MWBEs.
  • Supporting MWBEs allows Sysco to give back to the communities where Sysco employees live, work and do business.
  • Sysco can help MWBEs grow and participate on a level playing field with other Sysco suppliers.
  • Many key customers, including the military, national accounts and gaming customers track and depend upon Sysco's Tier 1 purchases from minority and women-owned supplier partners.