John Yokoyama

Former Owner of "World Famous" Pike Place Fish

John Yokoyama Fee Range
$20,001 to $50,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
Washington, United States

John Yokoyama Speaker Biography

Former Owner of “World Famous” Pike Place Fish

John Yokoyama purchased Pike Place Fish in 1965. At that time, John was one of several employees of the quiet, unassuming little fish stand. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to sell the business, John’s employer offered him the opportunity to purchase Pike Place Fish.


As a young man of 25, John was at first hesitant to buy the business. However, the monthly payments on his new 1965 Buick Riviera were taking most of his pay. He decided he could do better on an owner’s salary and went ahead and bought the company…so… originally, John purchased Pike Place Fish so he could make his car payments…amazing how things have turned out!

Pike Place Fish

Over the years humble little Pike Place Fish became “World Famous” Pike Place Fish, a dynamic, fast-paced retail fish market that’s fun for both customers and employees! The antics of the fish-flinging staff have become the highlight of the Pike Place Market, and have been featured in Spike Lee’s Levi commercial, on NBC’s “Frasier”, MTV’s “Real World”, and ABC’s “Good Morning America”. The “low-flying fish” have been captured on film and immortalized in print by filmmakers and journalists from all over the world.


In 1996, Charthouse Educational Corporation produced two award winning corporate training films, Fish and Fish Sticks. These two videos document the amazing culture of Pike Place Fish and have become the best selling corporate training videos in the world. In a CNN Special Report on January 26, 2001, CNN identified the three most fun places to work in the United States. The World Famous Pike Place Fish Market was #1!

Flying Fish Productions

In 2018, sold Pike Place Fish to the employeess, and began a new venture. John, along with his coach/consultant, Jim Bergquist from BizFutures Consulting Company, has formed a new company, Flying Fish Productions.

John and the Fishmongers

The Team now travels to company conventions and special events where John and The Fishmongers are accompanied by a BizFutures Consultant to deliver their Fish Wisdom in a way that is fun, educational and inspiring.

John Yokoyama Speaking Topics

Beyond Customer Service - The Opportunity to Make a Difference

Delivered by John Yokoyama, former owner and founder of Seattle’s World-Famous Pike Place Fish and Jim Bergquist, his consultant and performance coach, from bizFutures, Inc. In this program, John and Jim share the underlying principles and key insights that led to creating the number one fish market in the world (starting from nearly going bankrupt). John shares what it took for him to give up old outdated ideas of leadership in business and reinvent himself as an owner and leader. He began to lead his staff from inspiration and deep appreciation. John shares about realizing that great performances come from inspired people who are out to make a difference for customers – not just in order to make money but to positively impact people’s lives. The staff began to love their work, staff turnover stopped, they set sales records, customers experienced being served and empowered, crowds formed, then the media showed up and 33 years later it’s still going strong!

Breakout Session

The Breakout Session is aimed at practical applications of the underlying principles. It’s about having participants be engaged and excited about creating a culture of empowerment and appreciation. Participants will receive coaching via interactive exercises designed to cause insights and new distinctions that lead to management by inspiration and empowerment.

Choose Your Attitude: Loving What You Do – Doing What You Love

Taking a look at the importance of having a powerful vision and what it takes to create a work environment that empowers people to be great at what they do – and love doing it.

BEING THERE: Creating The Condition For REAL Communication

We’ve discovered that most people don’t listen…and think they do. In this segment we explore the kind of awareness that’s required to listen to people powerfully.

Team Building: From Managing To Coaching

In this topic we address the kind of creativity and productivity that’s possible when managers transform themselves into coaches . . . coaches who are out to enhance their player’s performance and build great teams. We show people how to get started being coaches.

Make Their Day: Service With An Attitude

Most organizations know that their relevance and indeed their very existence can depend on the quality of service they provide for their customers (both external and internal). In this topic the Fish Folks show what it takes to deliver service that actually impacts the quality of someone’s life.

John Yokoyama Books

When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace
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John Yokoyama Videos

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Recent Books

When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace
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