John Cleary is at the helm of Newman’s Portland, and has been in the seafood business for over 33 years. Through his long career, Cleary has become an expert in every aspect of fish and seafood.
Cleary’s love for fish started in 1966, at 10, when his mom would take him to Armitage Park in Eugene, Oregon, where they would fish for trout all day.
Cleary’s entire career has been in the seafood industry. He worked for the Weyerhauser’s salmon project in Newport, OR, in the late 70’s, then became a Portland Fish Wholesaler in the early 80’s. At Troy’s Seafood, in Portland, he became highly skilled at smoking fish. Cleary also worked at Seafood Producers Cooperative in Sitka, AK, a large Alaskan processor, purchasing fish from fisherman and distributing fish throughout the United States and Europe.
In 1986 Cleary joined forces with Dwight Collins at Newman’s Fish Company Eugene, to bring the highest standard of fish to the Portland. Cleary set up a wholesale operation to buy directly from fisherman and processors, in order to deliver the highest quality fish to his retail markets. The Portland community was thrilled. The first location opened inside Holladay’s Market at Lloyd Center, with City Market, Irvington, and John’s Landing locations to follow.
In 2000, as Portland developed into a notable restaurant destination, the demand for the highest quality seafood grew. Fine local restaurants and chefs have understood and appreciated the excellent reputation, quality, and selection that Newman’s provides. Newman’s is proud to service many of the top restaurants and chefs in Portland.
In 2019, City Market, the last Newman’s Portland retail location closed its doors. This came as a disappointment to many loyal customers, who came weekly to buy fresh fish. Fortunately, those customers can now order the same excellent quality seafood from Newman’s online – and have it delivered directly to their door.