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Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Apr 15, 2021

Our oceans are in dire trouble, and a big part of the reason is because we’re killing so many aquatic animals for food. But if you want hope, look no further than Monica Talbert, whose story is sure to inspire.

Monica was born into the seafood industry, and for years has been running her family business, Van Cleve’s Seafood, from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. But as you’ll hear in this conversation, a series of events led her to start experimenting with plant-based seafood recipes. And while it’s no longer major news for conventional meat companies to develop plant-based lines since so many are admirably already now doing that, Monica announces in this episode something far more inspirational. 

What started as a supplemental form of business has now become a passion for Monica so much that she’s personally essentially gone plant-based, and announces in this episode that she’s phasing out the legacy conventional seafood side of her business entirely to focus exclusively on growing the Plant Based Seafood Co. If anything, they might keep Van Cleve’s Seafood around but rebrand it as Van Cleve’s Seaweed, selling only, as you can guess, delicious sea vegetable products. 

So far the Plant Based Seafood Co. is winning innovation awards, earning investment from venture capital funds, and is rolling out products nationwide. Monica’s goal is to grow it not just as big as Van Cleve’s Seafood, but to go much bigger, and produce enough sustainable seafood, ie, plant-based seafood, to feed the world and save the oceans in the process. 

Discussed in this episode