Dan Schwarz, founder and owner of Dan’s Fish Inc. in Sturgeon Bay (http://www.fullfish.net/dansfish.html), is the winner of the ninth annual Door County Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
This year’s award winner has been distributing superior products both locally and globally since his teen years. Dan Schwarz and his company have demonstrated the ability to profitably grow regardless of economic climate, effectively adapting to change and maintaining environmentally and fiscally sustainable practices.
Dan’s Fish, Inc. is a family operated business that specializes in fresh water fish. The company processes, distributes, exports and imports seafood from all over the world. It also manufactures value added products such as breaded seafood and cheese, and manufactures specialty products such as Great Lakes whitefish, as well as various fish roes. The company also owns Sturgeon Bay Cold Storage and Seafood International, based out of Estonia in the European Union.
In 1992, Dan formed International Fine Foods to internationally market caviar from the state of Wisconsin. Dan’s activities in exporting caviar, a product that formerly had been discarded, have proven a significant source of income to Great Lakes fishermen and their families. For several years, Dan’s Fish has conducted caviar business with companies from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Japan, Russia and other countries. In 2009, Dan’s Fish was named by the federal Small Business Administration as the Wisconsin Small Business Exporter of the Year.
As a Sturgeon Bay-based organization, Dan’s Fish is active in the local business community, and provides financial and in-kind support to many area non-profits, including the Door County Maritime Museum, Boys & Girls Club, churches, Door County Skatepark, baseball leagues and the Sturgeon Bay Jaycees.