You've heard of Community Supported Agriculture—now how about Community Supported Fishery? Village Fishmonger, which launched in the fall, works like a CSA, regularly delivering locally harvested seafood to members and, by working directly with small producers, promoting sustainable practices and strong communities. "Responsible seafood can mean a number of things," cofounder Sam Lee tells us, "including gear choices, habitat issues, transparency, or ecological trends. But beyond these factors, one of the most important things we look for is a fisherman's relation with his or her community. Our partners, from Cape May to Montauk, are equal parts educators and stewards of their industry and environment. They're keystone members of their coastal communities."
That's not to say such fish isn't otherwise available in the city, but Fishmonger's CSF model is often more transparent. "A lot of our members tell us that in the past they had been hesitant to purchase seafood on a regular basis because they weren't sure of its provenance, the quality of the product," Lee tells us. "But through the CSF they feel more confident about consuming seafood because they know that we own the entire process once we receive the fish off the docks."
Since January, the company has been based out of the Pfizer Building, which seems to be the perfect place for it. The building "currently houses over 40 food-related businesses, and every day a new one pops up," Lee says. "It's a real community, and I'm always surprised and delighted by how everyone helps each other out—and by the kinds of collaborations that can pop up between neighbors."