John Yokoyama purchased Pike Place Fish in 1965. At that time, John was one of several employees of the quiet, unassuming little fish stand. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to sell the business, John’s employer offered him the opportunity to purchase Pike Place Fish.
As a young man of 25, John was at first hesitant to buy the business. However, the monthly payments on his new 1965 Buick Riviera were taking most of his pay. He decided he could do better on an owner’s salary and went ahead and bought the company...so… originally, John purchased Pike Place Fish so he could make his car payments…amazing how things have turned out!
Over the years humble little Pike Place Fish became "World Famous" Pike Place Fish, a dynamic, fast-paced retail fish market that’s fun for both customers and employees! The antics of the fish-flinging staff have become the highlight of the Pike Place Market, and have been featured in Spike Lee’s Levi commercial, on NBC’s "Frasier", MTV’s "Real World", and ABC’s "Good Morning America". The "low-flying fish" have been captured on film and immortalized in print by filmmakers and journalists from all over the world.
In 1996, Charthouse Educational Corporation produced two award winning corporate training films, Fish and Fish Sticks. These two videos document the amazing culture of Pike Place Fish and have become the best selling corporate training videos in the world. In a CNN Special Report on January 26, 2001, CNN identified the three most fun places to work in the United States. The World Famous Pike Place Fish Market was #1!
John has received many requests from other businesses and organizations to coach and instruct them on the underlying principles that have given shape to his company. To accommodate these requests, John, along with his coach/consultant, Jim Bergquist from BizFutures Consulting Company, has formed a new company, Flying Fish Productions.
The Team now travels to company conventions and special events where John and The Fishmongers are accompanied by a BizFutures Consultant to deliver their Fish Wisdom in a way that is fun, educational and inspiring.