Locally grown sea veggies available

Tim Visi, president and CEO of Umami Sea Vegetables, LLC, is an inventor and scientist who conceived of the "never been done before in the U.S.A." idea to grow fresh sea vegetables in tanks.

After four years in development, Visi brought his concept to the Incubator@ Lincoln Center in Port Angeles last fall. The Incubator's coaches advised Visi and facilitated the presentation of his business plan for a fresh sea vegetable tank farm to ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia.

"We are excited and thankful for the resources and connections that the Incubator has provided to further the growth of our business," Visi said.

"The Incubator helped us secure a loan with ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia which allowed us to continue to refine the commercial retail side of the fresh food business."

Six tank farms have been completed in

Sequim. Each tank holds high quality sea plants grown in filtered and sterilized seawater from the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

"We will be growing sea vegetables long prized around the world by health conscious consumers that have used these products regularly in daily cooking," Visi said.

Sea vegetables are fast becoming known as an extremely healthy alternative to lettuce and cabbage in salads. Fresh products soon will be available in many local food stores including Sunny Farms Country Store and chain grocery stores.

The advantage of tank-farm-grown food product is fresh, year-round availability. Plans are forming to provide recipes and cooking demos to showcase the large variety of ways to use fresh sea vegetables.

Soon to be available will be Dulse, Pophyra (Nori), Ogo, and Ipo-Wakame and "salad" varieties of these four.

Umami Sea Vegetables also will pursue niche markets already in demand of consistently pure raw ingredients in the pharmaceutical, industrial, and food additive industries.

"The Incubator@ Lincoln Center will continue to provide us with the resources and assistance that we will need to move forward in highly specialized fields." Visi said.

"We are very exited about the future of macro-algae aquaculture in the U.S."

For more information, call 670-3246.

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