With eight of the only twelve reefnetting commercial fishing organizations in the world right here in Whatcom County, Lummi Island Wild is among the unique and truly sustainable businesses that bring our local fish to our grocery stores and ultimately our dinner tables.
Lummi Island Wild, a locally-owned cooperative business, takes fishing and quality very seriously. From the fishing to the processing, they are part of every step – ensuring the highest quality of their products. As a result, they have become known and respected by authors, chefs, restauranteurs and, of course, our families.
Reefnetting, a historic Pacific Northwest fishing method, involves a spotter who calls to have the nets raised when he sees a school of salmon in place. The salmon are then rolled over the platform and into holding tanks full of seawater where they are allowed to rest. At that point, any unwanted bycatch is released unharmed back into the sea. “We do it differently and we do it better,” says Keith Carpenter, President and Executive Director of Lummi Island Wild. “We are committed to making things better.”
Lummi Island Wild sells directly to local stores, such as Haggen Northwest Fresh and Community Food Co-op, as well as restaurants and even Microsoft. They recently launched their new online store offering a variety of high quality products. And, as the sole provider of pink salmon for Patagonia through their Patagonia Provisions line, they know that their dedication to providing high quality products through a humane and sustainable approach has paid off.
After five years of building their cooperative business, Carpenter explains that it was time to begin building their brand identity and increase awareness of their business and its story. “You can’t tell a story by just putting a fish in a fish case,” says Carpenter.
To that end, Lummi Island Wild enlisted the help of Bellingham’s Signs Plus, Inc. Carpenter knows the importance of having that strong brand identity, which sets the stage for them to tell their incredible story. With a new location packed with inventory, they are ready to focus more heavily on branding for the business. “We wanted to keep our logo moving forward because it’s who we are,” explains Carpenter. “Now we have that brand identity and we can tell our story.” The Lummi Island Wild logo consists of an image of the traditional spotter that goes hand in hand with their identity.
Jim Sutterfield and the team at Signs Plus, Inc. helped Lummi Island Wild create a look and a color palette using their existing logo. Then they set to work to create a presence and identity that would be seen and discussed around town.
Signs Plus, Inc., a locally owned creative agency, delivers innovative signs that build strong brand identity for clients. What makes them unique is their passionate focus on clear communication and their commitment to discussion through the entire process from planning to installation.
Sutterfield and his team looked at the project, made suggestions and worked through the process with Lummi Island Wild to create that brand identity and presence that would successfully share their brand and story.
“They didn’t tell us what to do,” says Carpenter. “They helped us make better decisions.”
What resulted was a new wrap for the Lummi Island Wild delivery truck along with a sign to hang above the door at their new location. Carpenter enthusiastically says that the truck has made a huge difference in creating presence for the local business. “Jim and his team made this project much better than we ever thought it would be,” says Carpenter. “I hear, ‘That’s the most beautiful truck,’ whenever someone in town sees it.”
Lummi Island Wild connected with Signs Plus, Inc. through word of mouth. “I received really high recommendations for Signs Plus, Inc.,” says Carpenter. “They got our business because of the work they have done for other businesses.”
Carpenter knows the importance of trust when it comes to delivering high quality products. “Partnerships of all types are important in business,” says Carpenter. “To be successful you need to have the right partners. I consider Signs Plus, Inc. a good business partner.”
Carpenter goes on to say that a business needs to recognize if they need help in building a strong brand. Finding a great partner like Signs Plus, Inc. is vital to building that awareness and identity.
You are sure to see the Lummi Island Wild truck around town. It has truly created conversations. “We’re ready to build our marketing presence,” says Carpenter. “We’ve got Signs Plus, Inc. to help with that.”