Local business brings Alaskan fish to Central Texas markets

Coho salmon is a popular product for Savory Alaska. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Coho salmon is a popular product for Savory Alaska. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Nathanael and Sarah Ferguson, who have three children, began Savory Alaska in 2018. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Ivory king salmon is a rare salmon variety. The fish appears regular on the outside but has white flesh once opened. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
In addition to fish, the company sells other Alaska-made products like coffee, salts, salsa and salmon caviar. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The products can be found at farmers markets throughout Central Texas. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
When a customer buys a piece of fish from Savory Alaska, they support a family-owned business in Leander as well as small businesses 2,600 miles away in Alaska.

Owners Nathanael and Sarah Ferguson started their business, Savory Alaska, in 2018 to give their friends and family in Texas a taste of Alaska.

When cooking they would often hear comments on how good their salmon dinner tasted.

“I’m not particularly a good cook, so it’s not me—it’s the fish,” Nathanael said. “We have such a direct connection to some of the best seafood in the world, and it’s really difficult to get that experience in a grocery store.”

Fish from Savory Alaska taste like the ocean, the owners said, and lack the “fishy” taste that customers often avoid. Unlike large fisheries, the Fergusons’ fish are humanely processed with sustainability in mind. The fishermen who work with Savory Alaska are from small, independent businesses, which creates a ripple effect of support. Because of that, Sarah said, they are thankful for their regular customers.

“They’re not just helping our business grow; [they’re] helping multiple small businesses grow in Alaska as well,” Sarah said. “I don’t know if our customers always see the bigger picture, but that means a lot.”

Nathanael and Sarah said they have close relationships with the fishermen and companies they work with in Alaska. Nathanael, a native Alaskan, said he grew up on a fishing boat in a 60-person Alaskan fishing village. Many are childhood friends of Nathanael’s, and the close connections allow customers to request certain fish or specialty fish products, such as salmon collars, fish heads, halibut cheeks and white-fleshed salmon. Each fish has a label that gives details down to the name of the boat that caught the fish.

The pandemic brought some logistical challenges to the business, including shipment delays and relocations to Houston. The Fergusons chose to absorb much of the excess costs because their goal, they said, is to offer uniquely Alaskan fish to budget-minded customers. When grocery stores sold out of meat at the beginning of the pandemic, many customers sought out fish from Savory Alaska and other farmers market sellers, which led the business to sell out faster than expected.

Amid the pandemic, the Fergusons took on a new business venture: They opened Savory Farmers Market in June inside the Travisso community. Products include meats, crafts, plants, vegetables and more.

Many vendors lost business during the pandemic because restaurants needed less supply and many local festivals and events were canceled, Sarah said. Some vendors found the farmers market as a new output for sales while their regular customers were on hold.

"This provided another opportunity for not just us but for all of the vendors too," Sarah said.

From sea to market

Here's how Savory Alaska's products often take just two days to travel from Alaskan fishing boats to farmers markets in Texas:

1. Hook-and-line caught fish are hand processed on a boat and flash frozen.

2. Packaged fish travel by boat to Juneau, Alaska.

3. Fish are flown on Alaska Airlines to Austin.

4. Products are sold at weekly farmers markets in Georgetown and Leander.

Where to find them:

Sun City Farmers Market

9 a.m.-noon Tuesdays

Savory Farmers Market at Travisso

3-7 p.m. Wednesdays

Wolf Ranch Farmers Market

8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays

Old Town Leander Farmers Market

9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays


By Taylor Girtman
After interning with Community Impact Newspaper in 2019, Taylor Girtman became a reporter for the Cedar Park and Leander edition in Feb. 2020. She covers Leander ISD and the Cedar Park and Leander city councils.


Of the total cases reported to date, 11,304 are estimated to have recovered, and there are an estimated 806 active cases in Williamson County as of Nov. 24. (Community Impact Staff)
Williamson County reports 337 new cases of coronavirus Nov. 24

Of the total cases reported to date, 11,304 are estimated to have recovered, and there are an estimated 806 active cases in Williamson County as of Nov. 24.

New mosquito trap tests positive for West Nile virus in Cedar Park

Seventeen mosquito trap samples have tested positive for the West Nile virus in Williamson County this year. This is the most samples reported in a year for the county since its testing program began in 2012.

October home sales increased 22% in Cedar Park, 50% in Leander

In Leander, October home sales increased 50% from 2019, with 153 closed sales.

Harini Logan, 10, won the 66th annual Express-News Spelling Bee at the University of Texas at San Antonio downtown campus on March 17, 2019. For 2021, the event is slated to be held in March at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels. (Photo by Jerry Lara, courtesy the San Antonio Express News)
New Braunfels to host regional spelling bee and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.

The Commissioners Court approved funding for the program Nov. 24. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County funds COVID-19 convalescent plasma program

Some 252 Williamson County patients have received the therapy of the 1,300 total patients.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

As of Nov. 23, there are 63 patients hospitalized, 23 in intensive care units and 12 on a ventilator. (Community Impact staff)
376 new cases, 2 additional deaths reported in Williamson County from Nov. 20-23

As of Nov. 23, there are 63 patients hospitalized, 23 in intensive care units and 12 on a ventilator.

P. Terry’s Burger Stand is expected to open its long-awaited Pflugerville location this January. (Courtesy P. Terry's Burger Stand)
P. Terry's to open in Pflugerville in January and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Williamson County reports 203 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death Nov. 20

Williamson County reported 203 new cases of the coronavirus and one death Nov. 20.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Festival attendees will have access to augmented reality artworks throughout the galleria. (Courtesy Bee Cave Arts Foundation)
Inaugural interactive light festival coming soon to Bee Cave and more Central Texas updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

The Round Rock Express play at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)
Round Rock Express will have a new affiliate after Astros announce departure

A new affiliate is expected to be announced soon for the 2021 season at the Dell Diamond.