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World Famous Pike Place Fish Market
(Our Most Famous Client)

In the spring of 1986, Pike Place Fish Company in Seattle’s Public Market was on the verge of bankruptcy. In addition to his retail store, the owner, John Yokoyama, had started a wholesale fish operation and within a very short time had gone deeply into debt. About that time, an old friend, Karen Bergquist, introduced John to her husband, Jim Bergquist, who happened to be the owner of bizFutures - a company that offered business coaching. Jim proposed that John use his service to get his company back on track and beyond that, to create an extraordinary future. John accepted and here’s what happened…

Jim began coaching John and the fishmongers in developing an empowering company culture. One of the first steps for Pike Place Fish was to create a vision of the future that inspired them. The fishmongers were inspired by the prospect of being “World Famous - in a way that makes a profound difference for people.” Then began the work of “unfolding their vision” by learning how to be the vision everyday. Along the way they have discovered how to communicate effectively and how to coach in a way that leaves their team members empowered. They’ve discovered what it really means to make a difference for the people they serve. They’ve also learned what it takes to break records and to go beyond what everyone thought was possible.

Today, Pike Place Fish continues to generate record-breaking performances in sales and profitability. Not only that – its fish-throwing staff have been featured in People’s Magazine, Fast Company Magazine, Free Willy (the movie), ESPN, Good Morning America, CBS’s Sunday Morning, and many more. They’ve been captured on film and written about by filmmakers and journalists from all over the world. Their Fish Market has been named by CNN as the #1 most fun place to work in the U.S. Their company’s work culture has become a favorite subject for case studies in business schools. They have become a legend in the corporate training industry.

The coaching relationship between bizFutures and Pike Place Fish has spawned an entire industry of training videos, books, business retreats, “Fish Trainings,” and workshops. The videos that document their exciting work culture have become the best selling corporate training videos of all time. John Yokoyama and his staff of fishmongers are now sought-after the world over as public speakers. They are now world famous…which is no accident…it was their intention all along!

People often want to know if bizFutures can accomplish similar results with other companies. Yes, of course we can. For some other examples please see our case studies.

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