THE FISH KING STORY

hank kagawaIn the Beginning
As a young man working his way through commercial art courses at Los Angeles City College in 1952, Hank began working part-time at Fish King. Eventually in 1956, the enterprising Kagawa and his uncle, Harry Kuruma, took over ownership of the market which consisted of a small storefront with all of two old fish cases. The store was a two-man operation back then, and Harry and Hank did everything, struggling for a few lean years until business picked up. In l968 when Harry passed away, Hank took over the helm and made changes and new innovations which proved to serve the business well. Fish King hit its stride beginning in the 70’s when fish became more popular for not only being economical, but a healthy choice – high in protein, and low in fat and calories. Since that time, Fish King has expanded into three adjoining stores, adding prepared foods in the Galley Deli, and has grown to include a Distribution Plant in Burbank. In 2003, they also acquired the Glendale Honeybaked Ham store. After all of his successful years in business, Hank says that his personal “claim to fame” is that he was finally able to use his limited artistic talent by making signs for the store.

A New Generation
jon kagawaWhen son, Jon Kagawa, now president of the corporation, graduated from USC in 1979, he joined the family business. Not new to the business by any means, Jon literally grew up at Fish King learning the trade. As a child, he remembers accompanying Hank to the various fish distributors early in the morning to buy fish. In later years he waited on customers at the retail store and was also a driver, delivering fish torestaurants. He claims that the “Boss Man” was harder on him than the other employees…and for less pay. Although his forte is in sales and marketing, Jon says that his “claim to fame” is something that he was never taught in his days at USC … he can tell how fresh a fish is, by just looking at it.

old logoThe Fish King Legacy

Back in the late 1940's and 50's, there were at least 1 or more independent fish market in every Southern California city. With the coming of huge supermarkets and corporate domination, we are now one of the very few remaining from those early years...come in and see why.