As Nevada’s economy continues to recover, more and more of our state’s small businesses are coming up winners. One recent Silver State award winner is Nevada State Bank client Sierra Gold Seafood Inc., a Sparks-based distributor of fresh and frozen seafood to large and small entertainment and leisure industry businesses.
The Whippersnapper Award
Nevada Business Magazine covers business news activity across the state. Each year at its Family Owned Business Awards ceremony in Reno, it recognizes a northern Nevada business that fulfills the following criteria:
- An expanding Nevada businesses that is less than 10 years old.
- A business in the first generation of succession, i.e., started by the first generation within the family.
- Finally, the business must plan to pass the company down to the next generation and future generations, helping create business stability within the state, along with new opportunities to grow Nevada’s economy.
Sierra Gold Seafood not only meets these criteria, but the business is already growing, with new family members taking positions of responsibility as it expands its operations, adding new products and growing a larger service region.
Sierra Gold Seafood: Another Nevada Success Story
Jim Crowell, the President of Sierra Gold Seafood, sat down during a recent interview, revealing the company’s history and plans for its future.
“I have been working in the seafood business since I was 14 years old,” Crowell began. “In 1978 my wife, Cindy, and I moved to Nevada as a good place to raise a family. I worked in the seafood business until we started our family business in 2006.”
As Sierra Gold Seafood developed a reputation for delivering high quality, fresh and frozen seafood products in and around Sparks, the business became more popular with the food service industry in the Reno and Lake Tahoe regions.
Crowell explained how Sierra Gold Seafood has evolved into a family business that will be handed down to the next generation of his family. “Our sons, Brandon and Justin, who graduated from University of Nevada, Reno, are executives in the company. Brandon is Vice President of Operations, and Justin serves as Vice President of Marketing. Cindy is our accountant. Our sons run the company,” Crowell stated, keeping Sierra Gold Seafood in the family.
Growing a Business and the State’s Economy
Sierra Gold Seafood has expanded in a short time, and plans are underway to take the company to the next level. “We have grown from four employees one-and-a-half years ago to 13 employees now,” Crowell proudly explained, “and we’re continuing to grow. I tell our sons it’s like building blocks. Start with one block and carefully add the others to fit in.”
“Our philosophy is to do one thing right and do the best we can, and then grow on that. We don’t want to be all things to all people. We specialize in seafood,” Crowell stated.
“We started with shrimp, servicing the Eldorado in Reno. We then grew with lobsters, and then shellfish and clams, and other seafood. [Sierra Gold Seafood] guarantees fresh delivery: from the airport to our delivery truck, to our main customer base in Reno and Lake Tahoe.”
Sierra Gold Seafood Nets Success
When the Crowell family launched Sierra Gold, the family members had a vision – a vision that led to business success and expansion, even during the recent downturn in the national economy, which hit Nevada especially hard.
With expansion and client care in mind, Sierra Gold started its own transportation company, Refrigerated Transport, to get its products where they had to be, when they had to be there. This enabled Crowell and his team to manage delivery of Sierra Gold’s highly perishable products.
“During the past recession, we didn’t have one month in the red. We kept a low overhead,” Crowell continued. Maintaining positive business revenues in the midst of an economic downturn is an achievement worthy of the Whippersnapper Award.
Plans for the Future
Crowell and his family have plans to expand into northern and eastern Nevada. “We are also reviewing getting into retail, directly serving customers,” he said.
Expansion of a service area, and adding new outlets for products and services, often require the counsel of a local business professional familiar with the unique Nevada market. Crowell turned to Nevada State Bank when it came time to develop plans for the company’s future.
“We used to be a customer at a large bank, but we felt like a number,” Crowell explained. “We were looking for assistance because we were planning to expand, and we switched to Nevada State Bank.”
Nevada State Bank maintains regional business centers across the state, along with a team of relationship managers – professionals in the business of growing business within a broad range of commercial spheres.
“Dugan Pulsipher, our [Nevada State Bank] Relationship Manager, is a great guy. He has a very personal touch, and understands our needs,” Crowell said.
Nevada State Bank and Relationship Manager, Dugan Pulsipher, congratulate the Crowell family and the entire team at Sierra Gold Seafood for their investment in, and contributions to, our state.
The Whippersnapper Award is a great “catch” for Sierra Gold Seafood – anotherNevadasuccess story.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.