It was a snowy day on November 19th, 1986 when Taro Akiyama first set foot in Canada. Born and raised in the countryside of Kochi Prefecture in Japan, Taro came to Toronto with his heart set on making his mark here.
On the same day he arrived in Canada, he started his first shift at Nami Restaurant where he’d arranged to be employed. Although his head was spinning while he worked this first evening due to having come fresh off a plane, he now looks back fondly on this memory.
Prior to the establishment of Taro’s Fish Inc. Taro spent 10 years refining his craft and learning about the industry from such restaurants as:
1986 ~ ’88 Nami Restaurant
1988 ~ ’91 Union Fish
1991 ~ ’93 Akebono Catering
1993 ~ ’95 Mye Restaurant
1995 ~ March ’96 Fish House Restaurant
Taro had long felt the importance and demand for there to be a Japanese style fish market but no one had been stepping up to fill that need. His feelings reached a peak in April of 1996 and with the support and encouragement of Mr. Hibino, the President of Heisei Market (aka J-Town) he created his own business, Taro’s Fish.
The original Taro’s Fish was situated in Mississauga and was a very different kind of business. The focus was on the delivery of wholesale seafood products to restaurants; and sushi, sashimi, and other various Japanese foods to the homes of families. For the purpose of sharing his passion and love of Japanese culinary, Taro made deliveries not only to local restaurants and homes but even locations much further away. Taro’s Fish would deliver to downtown Toronto, and even neighboring cities such as Kitchener, Woodstock, Stratford, New Market, and Barrie.
Two years later, Taro moved his business to J-Town where he established Taro’s Fish as Canada’s first-ever Japanese owned and operated fish market. Business went well and eventually the exciting decision to move to the current location was made in 2008.
It’s been entirely thanks to the support of customers, store staff, and suppliers, that this vision could be realized in its current iteration, and it is with a heart full of gratitude and appreciation that Taro boldly declares, “There is still more to come!”
The mission of Taro’s Fish is to spread the love of Japanese culinary practices and the appreciation of seafood products from all over the world.