Bye-bye Belle: Seafood Supplier Changes Name to Reflect Family | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record
After 87 years, family-owned Shaw’s Southern Belle Frozen Foods has a new name and logo – Shaw Family Seafood Co.
Shaw manufactures frozen seafood products sold in supermarkets under its own brand and under other brands.
It also supplies restaurants ranging from fast food to fine dining, selling products in all 50 states.
Shaw’s 185 employees were to learn of the name change at a barbecue lunch on March 3.
The official name change will be unveiled at Seafood Expo North America March 13-15 in Boston.
Shaw’s is located at 821 Virginia Street, where the Saint John and Trout rivers meet north of the Talleyrand area and approximately 8 km north of downtown.
Four generations of Shaw have made the company a national supplier.
First cousins John Shaw III, 44, and Howard “Bubba” Shaw Jr., 58, run the establishment with their aunt, Sylvia Shaw Pitman, who serves as the company’s treasurer.
The Shaw cousins hold the title of Director of Business Development, with John Shaw looking after retail and grocery customers and Howard Shaw looking after food service and restaurants.
John Shaw said that because it is a private family business, he declined to disclose his earnings.
The company slogan is, “We’re not the biggest fish in the sea. But we’re big enough to serve some of the biggest names in the food industry.”
Shaw’s products include Crab Cakes, Lobster Cakes, and Shrimp and Lobster Cakes; seafood stuffing; seafood burgers; donuts; dips; and mac and cheese.
The new name is part of an overall rebranding campaign.
The old logo was a red, white, and blue badge with patriotic streamers and a caricature of an Old Southern woman in a hoop skirt wearing a decorative wide-brimmed hat and carrying a parasol. The logo included the initials USA written above three large stars, one of which represented the American flag.
The company said the Southern Belle part of the name came from Shaw’s grandfather’s name for their grandmother.
The new logo is a predominantly blue six-sided horizontal label with white and blue lettering. An embossed anchor with a red “S” sits at the top of the logo.
The Shaws said the name change had nothing to do with the move by many companies to change names and logos that date back to pre-war days.
“As my Aunt Sylvia said, the barn needs a fresh coat of paint,” Howard Shaw said.
While most of its business involves supplying products to other businesses, Shaw’s Southern Belle Frozen Foods is sold under its own name in area grocery stores, including Publix. These products will soon bear the new name and logo.
Over the past 18 months, the company has been doing market research to rebrand itself. He found that “Shaw” and “Family” needed to be in the new name.
“When it comes to the future, we have to be global,” said John Shaw.
Another reason for the new name is that few people in Jacksonville are familiar with its products.
“We’re better known nationally than here in Jacksonville,” John Shaw said.
The business began in the late 1800s in southern New Jersey, where the family worked as fishermen and boat builders, according to its website.
In the early 20th century, HW Shaw and his wife, Flossie Russell Shaw, moved the family to Florida, opening a crab factory in Apalachicola in 1934.
The couple soon moved their operation to Jacksonville.
Their son, John R. Shaw Sr., and his wife, Alma W. “Phoenix” Shaw, opened a second factory, which remains the location of the company.
Alma Shaw was called the Southern Belle by her husband and developed many recipes for her products. But like Coca-Cola’s formula, the Shaws aren’t about to go public.
However, Howard Shaw said his grandmother’s crab cakes incorporated claw meat, which many recipes do not use.
New customers come to the factory and taste the products made from its recipes. Some customers will choose a product and request that the flavor profile be changed to suit their needs.
With this information, Scott Rom, the company’s Culinary Institute of America-trained chef, develops a product that matches the customer’s desires.
While the business has been family-run for four generations, a fifth is unsecured.
John Shaw’s children are in primary school. Howard Shaw is in his late twenties but has yet to be asked to join the company.
“We have a rule. Spend five years away and become your own man. When you’re ready, come to the table with new ideas and then we’ll talk about them,” Howard Shaw said.
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