Being World Famous

In 1965, when the previous owner of Pike Place Fish offered John Yokoyama the opportunity to purchase the business, John figured he could more easily pay his $150 monthly car payments on an owner’s salary than his own, so he said okay.

Becoming World Famous
The fish market was not always a place that drew crowds. In fact, it wasn’t until 1986, when John started working with coach Jim Bergquist at BizFutures, that things at Pike Place Fish began to take the shape it is today.

The first thing Jim had John and the team do was to answer a very big question: Who do we want to be? The answer was (after a bit of discussion): Let’s be World Famous!

And the commitment was made.

Even before we were actually world famous, we decided what “World Famous” meant:

  • Being present and relating to people as a human beings
  • Looking for ways to make your day
  • Being of service and taking great care of you
  • Having the very best quality seafood
  • Serving not only customers, but the world

We believe in our very core that we can generate the future we commit to; as individuals, each of us aligned ourselves with the commitment and declared, "I Am World Famous Pike Place Fish."

"The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. " - Goethe

Once we got on board, that’s when things started happening. We are now the #2 most visited attraction in Seattle. Travel & Leisure ranked Pike Place Market as the 13th most visited attractions in the U.S. The fact is, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone talk about “the fish guys” without the word “famous” in the same breath.

We not only sell fish every day, but every other Thursday, after we close the shop, we meet with Jim for coaching session which consist of committing to the business as well as committing to our families and ourselves. Each one of the guys is world famous and we’re proud of that.

The secret to our secret lies in our commitment to being who we say we are.