ASPA Member Feature: Dean Blanchard Seafood, Inc.
January 8, 2021
Dean Blanchard Seafood is one of the largest shrimp distributors in the United States. Their advantageous location in Grand Isle, Louisiana is a convenient stop for countless shrimpers that have unloaded at the dock for more than 30 years. This fishing town full of heritage and history is a Mississippi River Delta barrier island that lies 50 miles south of New Orleans and is right in between Barataria Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Owner, Dean Blanchard, is one-of-a-kind. What you see is what you get and he’s as direct as they come. Couple that with his natural wit, and one conversation with this man will leave a remarkable and unforgettable impression. If he believes in a cause, you will hear his opinion about it, and if he disagrees about an issue, you will most likely here that too.
However, it’s this tell-it-like-it-is personality that has garnered him a reputation as a fierce champion for the shrimping industry. Just Google his name and an endless list of stories pop up from various worldwide media sources that have interviewed him because of his recognizable passion and vast knowledge of industry issues. Reporters have called him the “Shrimp King” and a “superstar in the Louisiana shrimp business,” but perhaps the most honored title given to him came from one of his processing peers: “Defender of Louisiana seafood.”
Dean, 55, comes from a strong lineage of dock owners that can be traced back to his great-grandfather, so defending something he has tirelessly devoted his life to comes second nature to him. From the time he was a little boy, he knew being involved in the shrimp industry was all he ever wanted to do.
“I was born on the shrimp dock,” Dean says with his striking Cajun accent. “When I was little, instead of a cradle, they put me in a shrimp box. My daddy had a dock, my grandpa had one, my great-grandpa had one, my great uncle had one. It’s all we ever did. Most kids want to be football players, policemen, and firemen, but I was very lucky and knew what I wanted to be. Ever since I can remember, this is all I ever wanted to do.”
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