Inland was founded in 1977 fueled by one man's love for the ocean and a single cab pickup truck. What started as a passion has grown into one of the largest seafood, meat, and specialty foods distributors in the Southeast. Over the years, Inland has evolved to become a trusted name in the industry, driven by our commitment to freshness, quality, and customer satisfaction.
In the heart of Atlanta, at a time when the city’s emerging culinary scene was limited in large part by its landlocked geography, Inland Seafood embarked on a journey that would redefine the way Southeastern restaurants sourced their ingredients.
It all began with a simple question: why should the distance from the sea determine the quality of the seafood accessible to Atlanta’s restaurants? Joel Knox’s answer: It shouldn’t. It was this idea that sparked him to found Inland Seafood, a then small seafood distributor with big dreams.
Inland Seafood was born on March 2, 1977, when Joel picked up his first air freight shipment from Oregon of Wild Columbia River King Salmon, Pacific Dover Sole, and Rockfish fillets (all of which are still sold by Inland, today). He loaded these boxes of fish onto a pickup truck at the Eastern Airlines freight terminal at the then William B. Hartsfield Atlanta Airport, and headed out to make his first delivery to the Captain’s Roost Restaurant in East Point, Georgia. The seafood revolution had begun in Atlanta!
In the early days, Joel and his team were focused on connecting Atlanta's restaurants with the ocean's freshest bounty. The goal was clear: bring the finest, restaurant-quality seafood to a city that sat hundreds of miles away from the nearest coastline.
The journey wasn't without its challenges. The small Inland team traveled from coast to coast, building strong relationships with fishermen and suppliers, and pinched every penny to invest in ample refrigeration and logistics. But word quickly spread through Atlanta’s culinary circles and Inland earned a reputation as THE seafood distributor to go to for unparalleled freshness and quality.
As time went on, the Inland team expanded their reach and perfected their craft of sourcing only the best seafood for their customers. It wasn’t long before they realized that the demand for unique, high-caliber ingredients extended beyond the ocean's borders. Why should their expertise remain confined to the sea? This realization inspired Inland to diversify their product range, and the journey into the world of specialty foods began.
Fast forward to today, and Inland Seafood has evolved into Inland Foods. With each passing year, we’ve expanded our team, our service area, and our portfolio. While we continue to provide a level of expertise in seafood that is second to none, our team of chefs and industry experts has curated a selection of premium non-aquatic proteins, locally grown produce, small batch cheeses and oils, and other artisanal provisions, ensuring an elevated culinary experience for our valued partners and their customers.
As the story of Inland continues to unfold, our promise will remain unchanged: to provide our customers with access to quality ingredients, delivered on a clean truck, with a courteous driver, on time.