Blount Fine Foods


#TBT: The Restless Nature of Our Founder

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With Columbus Day this coming Monday, today’s #TBT takes a look at “exploration,” and specifically the restless nature of our founder, Nelson Blount. Here is an excerpt from “Sea to Soup: The Evolution of Blount Fine Foods,” that gives a sense for just what an explorer our founder really was:

“By 1949, Blount Seafood owned 12 trailers, six oyster and clam boats, an airplane, and two plants that produced 90 percent of the East Coast’s chowder clams. And Nelson had become a millionaire by age thirty.

But still, the old restlessness returned. Nelson had been flying since earning a pilot’s license in 1944. He ran twice for political office in Barrington and lost. Nelson was more successful in industry initiatives, serving as the chair of the Rhode Island Pollution Abatement Committee for two years before becoming vice president of the National Coast Anti-Pollution and Conservation League in 1948.

When it came to business, Nelson was soon preoccupied with finding the next big things. As early as late 1946, Nelson was away from Blount Seafood for an entire month. During the late 1940s alone, he sold lobsters, purchased a weekly newspaper, and invested in a South American diamond mine.

“I’ve lost an awful lof of money and have started a lot of harebrained enterprises,” Nelson later admitted.