Cascadia Seaweed chairperson Bill Collins and CEO Mike Williamson grill up some salmon and seaweed burgers. Along with plans to manufacture marine products for other industries, the Sidney-based company has decided to produce and sell its own food products. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Sidney seaweed company grills up plans to grow and sell its own food products

Cascadia Seaweed hopes to reach international markets

The future of sustainable food is slimy, sticky and growing beneath the surface of the Salish Sea.

At least, that’s what a Sidney-based company believes. Launched in 2019, Cascadia Seaweed has decided that along with growing and supplying Island-raised seaweed ingredients for a wide range of manufacturers, it will produce, brand and sell its own packaged seaweed food products.

“The best use of seaweed is as human food,” said CEO Mike Williamson. “As society looks for more sources of plant-based food … there’s a demand, and seaweed can fill that.”

Cascadia Seaweed grows sugar kelp at aquatic farms in Barkley Sound and has plans to expand. The company has partnered with Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Ltd. and has agreements with two First Nation communities in that area – the Huu-ay-aht and Uchucklesaht First Nations.

In January, Cascadia won the Ocean Products category at the Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards.

The passionate group of entrepreneurs noted marine-grown food meets at the intersection of sustainability and profit. As a regenerative crop, seaweed sequesters carbon and offers nutrients and habitats for ocean life.

RELATED: Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

“As it grows it improves the planet,” Williamson said.

Creating their own market-ready product will give the company more control with its long-term goal of evolving North American minds – and palettes – for seaweed consumption.

“We’ve tasted it at every stage. From raw, right out of the ocean, right to our prototypes,” Williamson said, adding the company’s seaweed food items will be minimally processed. Current product ideas include smoothie cubes, burgers and jerky-type snacks.

“We want to do breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks … on the go and at home,” he said. “We have an aggressive plan starting with some of the local Victoria and Vancouver grocery stores and expanding across British Columbia, down the I5 corridor and into California.”

Cascadia Seaweed said more information will come in September, when more food products and plans are finalized.

-with files from Wolfgang Depner

RELATED: Sugar kelp partnership sweetens food hub proposal on Vancouver Island


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Saanich PeninsulaSidney

Just Posted

Vancouver Island parents say schools not appropriate voting stations

Elections B.C. says site of polling stations not yet determined, working with Dr. Henry’s office

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Duncan man at large after massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Lumber hitting record high prices due to low supply and high demand

B.C.’s forest industry hasn’t been able to keep pace with the COVID-19 building boom

Vancouver Island Indigenous leaders support B.C. plan for old forest preservation

More than 260,000 hectares in Clayoquot Sound mapped for immediate old growth harvesting deferral

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Neighbours concerned about proposed apartment complex on Island Highway

City says it’s early in the process, still, and residents will ‘absolutely’ have their concerns heard

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Lockdown quickly lifted at Nanaimo District Secondary School

NDSS was under lockdown mid-morning Friday, Sept. 25

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

‘Monkey Beach’ supernatural film adaptation premiers at VIFF

Based on Kitamaat author Eden Robinson’s debut, mystical novel

Police seeking whereabouts of 15-year-old Campbell River girl

Pohlman was last seen near the 200 block of Evergreen Road in Campbell River

Most Read