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Dec 11, 2004 03:05 PM

Does anyone know if the Wakefield Seafood Co. still exists?

  • t

Wakefield used to sell a high-quality frozen crab which I liked to use for appetizers. I haven't seen Wakefield products here in Chicago for some time.

I really don't like the tinny flavor or the texture of canned crab and most places seem to carry the fake stuff which is a huge turn-off to me.

Short of buying King or Snow Crab legs, cooking and cracking them do you have any advice? Is it possible to buy Wakefield Crab or something similar online? Are crabs just so expensive or rare that vendors don't bother?

TIA for any suggestions and/or information

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  1. Check with Rich's, which acquired them 22 years ago:


    1. I used to make a crab/cream cheese appetizer with Wakefield that was the hit of every party I ever took it too . . .

      1. The company was purchased by Hunt Wesson back in the 1960s and slowly folded when king crab stocks collapsed in the 1970s. Harvests increased in the late 80s and 90s but remain relatively small, keeping prices high. Snow crab, also known as tanner, is cheaper. As far as I know, the processing style used by Wakefields since the 1950s of freezing the crab without the shell has been replaced by just selling the legs. One of my first paying jobs was hopping into a net, called a "live tank," so full of king crab that I walked on their backs despite being out in the water. I threw them one by one to a big guy on deck who threw them to a guy on the dock at New Port Wakefield. They then went into large plastic bins moved by forklift to the two guys on butcher line. The key was to not lose a finger. I was 11. I ate a lot of those meals. I "assisted" my grandmother as she came up with the recipes that eventually wound up on the back of each container. I'm pretty sure my uncle got the rights to the name.