‘We’ve got the best fish’ | Community profile

Fred Lenze holds a wild sockeye salmon in the fish department at Albertsons on Mercer Island. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Fred Lenze holds a wild sockeye salmon in the fish department at Albertsons on Mercer Island.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

WHO HE IS: Fred Lenze

WHAT HE DOES: Butcher block supervisor in the fish department at Albertsons on Mercer Island

WHERE ARE YOU FROM: I was born and raised in the Philippine Islands until I was 19 years old.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING HERE: At this store, eight years. I’ve been working with fish for 30 years.

WHERE DID YOU FIRST LEARN ABOUT FISH: I spent one summer fishing in Alaska, and I worked a long time ago at a fish and chip restaurant called Skippers in Kent. We did a lot of research and development while I was there, so I wrote a lot of their recipes.

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU GET TO WORK IN THE MORNING: I clean up. There’s a lot of times when you have new fish coming in, and we refresh the case. Fish gets taken care of every day.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR WORKDAY: Between 4 and 7 o’clock at night. That’s when most people come in to buy food for the evening, and it’s all customer service. There are two elements of what we do here: fish and service.

WHAT DON’T MOST PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOUR JOB: For the most part, people really do not know fish. Basically, our job is to just educate people about fish and how easy it is to prepare and how good it is for you. We’ve got the best fish and the best advice.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD ANYTHING FUNNY HAPPEN TO YOU AT WORK: Well, yeah. Every time I put on this silly apron!

WHAT DO YOU WISH YOUR CUSTOMERS WOULD KEEP IN MIND: I wish people would know that we know what we’re doing. If they have questions, they can ask us.

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