Started by James and Lori Kennedy in 1984, Louisbourg Seafoods in Sydney, Nova Scotia, has grown into one of the largest seafood companies in Atlantic Canada. Home of the award-winning Mira Bay seafood products, the business employs more than 500 people and has a strong commitment to community and conservation.
“What makes us different is we have such a diversified line of products,” says Senior Operations Manager, Allan MacLean. “We either harvest or process just about any kind of fish available in Atlantic Canada.”
The family-operated company harvests its products using its own fleet of vessels. That fleet will get even bigger with the addition of a new state-of-the-art groundfish trawler.
“This will allow us to have our own capacity to supply the groundfish plant we own in Glace Bay,” says Allan. “It will basically allow us not to rely on contracting vessels to have a continuous supply of premium product that we can process and put in the global marketplace.”
Allan says the $7-million project, is the single biggest investment the company has ever made. When looking at funding options it made sense to turn to the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board.
“We went to the Loan Board because they understood what we were doing, the unique opportunities and how it would enable this company to be successful and grow,” says Allan, explaining that because the project fell outside the normal lending of the institution, they put different rules in place and guided them through the process. “This is their business; they understand the implications of certain things and, because they are focused on the seafood sector, they have the ability to work with you on a daily basis.
“They worked with us on sometimes an hourly basis, but usually a daily basis, so we were able to proceed in the timeframe we had to proceed,” says Allan. “They went out of their way to help us. They tailor agreements to the size of the project and generally work in a fashion that’s obvious they want you to succeed.”
Because the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board understands the seafood sector and the challenges it faces, Allan says they can be easier to work with than some financial institutions.
“The Loan board has been so supportive; they have helped take the fishing industry from where it was to where it is today,” he says. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them and we have to give credit to Nova Scotia for supporting and making sure they are maximizing the seafood sector in the province.”
To learn more about Louisburg Seafoods, visit their website.