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A Fishmonger’s Guide to Greatness


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

If you feel like you are swimming up stream, take a few hints about life and work from some famous Seattle fishmongers.

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Editorial Rating



While author Cyndi Crother acknowledges that another wildly successful business book about this fish market preceded her, she has insights to offer based on time she spent with the free-wheeling, fish-throwing denizens of Seattle’s World Famous Pike Place Fish. Her book picks up on the spirit of past coverage, but she adds the fishmongers’ philosophical ruminations to her own slightly mushy, eclectic New Age managerial wisdom. This is not for strictly business readers, but it will ring a chord with those who seek to balance life and work. It’s about warmth, and treating people with sensitivity, and creating your own reality by aligning your thoughts and actions with your intentions. It is also about workplace comradeship, customer service and how to sell the heck out of fish all day long. It’s all pretty entertaining, given the lively background of the fish market. getAbstract suggests you throw a line in the water; you might just hook something you can really use.


What is Pike Place Fish?

The World Famous Pike Place Fish Market (its real name) is a tourist destination and a fish market inside Seattle’s several-block long Pike Place Public Market. It was not always so. An entrepreneur named Johnny Yokohama bought the market in 1965 and ran it the same way most fish markets are run. Even today, Pike Place Public Market has four other fish markets. But only the World Famous Pike Place Fish Market is known for its distinctive style of management and its merry approach. It has become famous for being famous. The fish counter has appeared on the television sitcoms and in the movie Free Willie.

World Famous Pike Place Fish Market got its break on the road to notoriety when a training company made two films about it, Fish! and Fish! Sticks, and published a book entitled Fish! The book hit bestseller lists in the US, Japan and Germany. CNN called World Famous Pike Place Fish the “most fun place to work” in America.

The market eventually hooked up with a consulting company to market its unique blend of people, fish and management philosophy. Nowadays, when they’re not tossing turbot, the fishmongers travel to corporate events to...

About the Author

Cyndi Crother, PhD, teaches quality control, product quality assurance, corporate training and management at the Industrial Technology Department of California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.

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