November 6th, 2020

“Dad [Frank] was the son of an Italian immigrant and grew up with 32 first cousins – so, of course, everything he does is in the mindset of family.” 

– All quotes are from an interview with Franco Cristiano, Marketing and Brand Developer at Marina Del Rey and Kayla Menu-Courey, Ocean Wise Seafood Accounts Coordinator, Quebec

Franco’s father, “Frank” Cristiano, co-founder of the Marina Del Rey Brands, moved to from the Quebec countryside to Montreal to build a better life for his future generations. He does everything for his kids, and this is exactly how he leads his business. These values have served as the very foundation of the healthy work environment at Marina Del Rey (MDR Brands) and has proven to be the recipe for success at MDR Brands, which was established in 2009. 

Franco’s father, Frank Cristiano, co-founder of Marina Del Rey Brands

“We have strong and friendly relationships with our employees, with Dad’s values being very family oriented. He’s the one that taught me what business is all about: it is relationships!”  

MDR’s Ocean Wise recommended Peruvian scallops

MDR is proud to be an Ocean Wise Seafood partner and to do their part by working to educate consumers about seafood sustainability. Franco Cristiano – the son of Frank Cristiano and the Marketing Coordinator of MDR Brands –  strongly believes that businesses must be transparent about what consumers are buying and must explain how a product can make a positive difference for the environment and for future generations. Their Ocean Wise recommended Peruvian scallops grow in the cold and clear Pacific waters off the coast of Peru, filtering and cleaning the water as they grow while leaving little footprint on the aquatic environment. 

Working with Ocean Wise Seafood is important to MDR, especially to gain access to knowledge and educational tools for both employees and consumers. These resources help MDR communicate the environmental sustainability of their products with confidence and provides assurance to their consumer that they are doing their part to make the world a better place. 

“It’s been an education, even for me, and the more people we educate, the bigger the impact. We can be the change we want to see in the world.” 

With a lot more time left to spend on this planet, 21-year old Franco is mindful about the future of the Earth’s lands and seas. He wants to live in a healthy environment for himself and his generations to come, which means that work must be done to ensure that we respect, protect, and preserve our Blue Planet. And although previous generations may have had less consciousness and awareness about the impact of overharvesting, habitat damage, and bycatch on the health of our oceans, that is changing with programs like Ocean Wise Seafood.

MDR Brands has found that partnering Ocean Wise Seafood has helped them define and demonstrate the positive impact of their sustainable practices. The Seafood program collects and processes scientific information to encourage business and consumers make sustainable choices when sourcing seafood. Choosing Ocean Wise recommended seafood relieves pressure on overexploited species and prevents the use of damaging harvest methods. As Franco put it, we have the opportunity, and even the responsibility, to be a source of positive change for our planet.  

“You have to be that change.” 


Aquablog written by Kayla Menu-Courey, Accounts Coordinator in the province of Quebec, Ocean Wise Seafood   

All photos are from Getty Images except for the last one taken by Kamchatka.


Learn more about the 1-year anniversary of MDR Brands’ non-GMO, vegan, gluten free snack, Frankies, named after the family’s grandfather and his commitment to clean, self-grown foods. 

“The history of our snacks traces back to that fateful day when our Grandfather Francesco first took us down to the family farm in southern Quebec. If there’s one thing Grandpa Frankie taught us, it’s to do things the only way he knew how- the right way. It’s how he raised his cattle and farmed his crops, it’s how he cared for his family- it’s how he lived.” 

– Frankies Brands 


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