Category: Core Values

SeafoodSource | Hissho Sushi cuts out eel, mackerel as part of sustainability push

Article Originally Published on SeafoodSource, click here to read the original.

Hissho Sushi cuts out eel, mackerel as part of sustainability push

Hissho Sushi, one of the largest distributors of sushi to U.S. retailers and foodservice outlets, recently stepped up its sustainable seafood sourcing policies, including cutting out three species for which it could not find sustainable sources.

The supplier, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A., with a customer portfolio including Walmart, Safeway, Target, and Sodexo, said with the changes it can now claim 100 percent of the seafood used in its products comes from responsible sources.

“Whether it’s wild-caught or sustainably farmed, from Asia or South America, Canada or Indonesia, all of Hissho’s sushi is transparently certified sustainable by an independent third party and traceable to producers and vendors that comply with strict standards for food safety and quality,” the company said in a press release.

“Our retail partners’ customers are responsible consumers. Through feedback, we’ve learned that it’s important to our customers to understand where their food comes from and to protect the environment,” Hissho Sushi CEO Dan Beem told SeafoodSource. “Responsibly sourced seafood is a top of mind issue for both our retail partners and customers.”

To achieve its goal, Hissho Sushi removed several menu items from its product offerings, such as baby octopus, eel, and mackerel. The decision was a difficult one  – especially regarding eel, because it is “a key protein in one of our most popular sushi rolls,” Beem said.

Eels are frequently smuggled internationally, especially in Europe, where the European Union has said populations are at critically low levels and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has listed the species.

“The temporary cost of eliminating these items was outweighed by the value of living up to the standard we set for ourselves,” Beem said. “In eliminating these offerings, we have seen our chefs and customers trade to other responsibly sourced offerings.”

Instead of eel, the company is selling more yellowtail, tuna, and salmon, and in place of octopus salad, squid salad has become a popular item, according to Beem.

While he would like to eventually add back the traditional sushi offerings, Beem said, the company “will only do so when we can find a sustainable, transparent, responsible source.”

Hissho Sushi, which sells 80,000 pounds of seafood weekly and more than 2,000 tons annually, is primarily a retail supplier, with clients including Sprouts Farmers Market, Meijer, and Giant Food Stores, among others. However, around 15 percent of its business is in foodservice outlets in airports, hospitals, university campuses, and other locations, according to Beem.

The company “only partners with best-in-class suppliers who adhere to its strict standards for food safety and quality,” Hissho said. A third party must certify all vendor products to ensure the seafood used by the company is traceable to farms or fisheries.

“Responsible sourcing generates positive, long-term impact for our consumers, our industry, and the environment,” Beem said. ”While we’ve taken dedicated steps over the last few years to get here, I’m proud of our employees, vendors, and franchisees for helping strengthen our resolve to reach our 2023 sustainability goal. It’s a standard that aligns with our corporate identity to inspire all to be great and do well, and as an industry leader, it’s simply our responsibility.”


Hissho Sushi, headquartered in Charlotte NC, is the second-largest sushi distributor in the country and has regularly been recognized for their year-over-year growth by Charlotte Business Journal’s Fast 50, by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in America, Grant Thornton’s NC 100 and Smart CEO’s Future 40, among others. Founded in 1998, Hissho has grown to more than 2,000 locations across the United States. Through its business, Hissho Sushi aspires to enrich lives, and to inspire all to be great and do good. For more information, visit hisshosushi.com or follow Hissho Sushi on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

April 24, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Achieve the Impossible

Core Value 11
There is always a way. Go out and find it. We’re not interested in settling, conforming or worse – surrendering and giving up. You’re sometimes asked and expected to perform the impossible. When you begin to think something is impossible cry out “Hissho!”, and envision Certain Victory and achieve the impossible! That is what you are capable of. You are a Hisshonian! Achieve the Impossible!

April 24, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Generate Fun

Core Value 8
As Hisshonians, we Work Hard and Play Hard afterwards, but while we are working, it can no doubt be stressful. We’re also here at work more than we are often at home. We want you to enjoy your work. Don’t get bogged down in the stress. Look for ways to generate and have fun throughout the day. Not only will you find the stress melting away and the day flying by because you’re having so much fun, but you will also find that with the stress relieved and your new free spirit soaring high, fresh and exciting ideas will spring forward. Generate fun! You’ll soon find yourself even more creative and dynamic.

April 24, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Self Control & Respect

Core Value 7
Hisshonians must first respect themselves before they can respect others.  When you are trustworthy, show integrity, and have a sense of awareness, you will gain respect.  Respect must be earned over time and but also understand it only takes an instant to tarnish one’s reputation. Work hard, walk the high road and avoid the shortcuts. You will respect yourself for doing so and so will others. Likewise, your fellow Hisshonians are also working hard and walking that high road. Be sure to treat them with the same respect they too have earned.

April 23, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Simple Hip & Chic

Core Value 10
You won’t hear the words “normal” or “customary” here at Hissho, and you won’t see us following the crowd either. We’ve always been different here at Hissho Sushi and we never settle. Hip and Chic is our way and that’s reflected in all that we do. From our rolls, to our retail products to our office and even our library, Hisshonians live and embrace the Hip and Chic culture.

April 21, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Create Synergy

Core Value 9
Success does not come from just one person, but is the collaborative effort of a team.  Hisshonians will work together to create synergy.  It actually multiplies the success rate beyond what people working separately could accomplish on their own.

April 18, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Great Hissho Service High-Speed & High Touch

Core Value 1
At the center of our core is swift and impeccable service. We know that it is not enough just to have the best products on the market. We must also provide the very best service to one and all. From the consumer to our business partners to our vendors – service comes first in so many ways. We are driven by service and through that exceptional service of meeting and exceeding all expectations of us, we will continue to thrive and grow.

April 17, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Inspire & Be Inspired

Core Value 2
When you wake up in the morning, think to yourself, “Today, I want to go out and make a difference in the world.” Sometimes, that means just making a difference to those around us and sometimes those who may be far away and never known to us. But it does not matter. What matters is that you wake up wanting to make a difference. As Hisshonians, that same attitude spills over at our workplace, because this is who we are and what we do. Your vibrant energy will become contagious and enrich so many and with each growing day you will see the fruits of your labor in those around you as they too will be inspired by your own inspiration.

April 16, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Empower Hisshonians for Innovation & Change

Core Value 3
By providing the tools, training and most importantly, the freedom to act independently, Hisshonians are empowered and primed to reach new heights and goals. The resources needed to succeed are at each of our fingertips.

April 15, 2014 by Hissho News 0 Comments

Compassionate & Humble

Core Value 5
Hisshonians cannot do it alone, so when we grow, we celebrate as a team.  Being humble means remembering ‘where you came from’ even when you’re successful.  Arrogance isn’t attractive and makes others uncomfortable.  Be grateful for what you have, and always try to have an understanding of others misfortunes by showing compassion.