Our team

Hana Nelson

Owner, Fishmonger

Hana Nelson has a strong, diverse background in food and food systems. After completing her Masters in Agro-Ecology abroad she returned home armed with the determination to reconnect Nova Scotians to their most valuable resource – the ocean! As a result, she started Afishionado Fishmongers in 2014, a company that solely focused on sustainably farmed and fished products. Starting out as a humble fish counter in a local grocer, Afishionado has developed to become the staple brand for chefs, restaurants, retailers, home-cooks, and general foodies and seafood lovers alike! Hana is passionate about connecting people with their food and being an advocate for small, owner-operated, women-run businesses.

Laurie Starr

Operations & Logistics Manager

Laurie Starr is a graduate of Dalhousie University where she majored in Marine Biology. With a solid foundation in science she has recently completed a Masters of Marine Management. As part of her masters Laurie spent several months in Indonesia working with a local NGO and learning about the intricacies of the small-scale fisheries sector. She hopes to be able to apply some of this knowledge to the Nova Scotian context. Laurie is excited to be a part of the Afishionado team and the larger movement of reconnecting people to the origins of their food and sustainable thinking. In her spare time, Laurie indulges in Ultimate Frisbee, bouldering, and hosting potlucks.

Chad Poirier

Sales and product development

Chad Poirier is a 14 year veteran of the seafood industry with a wealth of experience that spans from retail to international lobster export, most recently working with a Panama-based open ocean aquaculture startup. Originally from outside Vancouver, many weekends of his youth were spent wandering the local public markets cultivating a love for fine seafood that remains to this day. Some years ago he started smoking fish as a hobby because the kinds of products he was used to getting on the West Coast simply didn’t exist in Nova Scotia. This hobby turned into a vocation during the COVID-19 pandemic while others were pickling or baking sourdough, and now he’s on our team developing the first all-sustainable line of smoked fish products in the Maritimes with our CFIA-inspected smoke room.

James Crofton

Order Fulfillment & Wholesale support

James Crofton is a recent graduate of the Marine Affairs program at Dalhousie. Hailing from Victoria, BC, James has always been an advocate for marine conservation and sustainability. In 2015, he worked as a fisheries observer on-board trawl fishing vessels. Not only did this give him a unique opportunity to experience amazing marine wildlife firsthand, it opened his eyes to the destruction of the trawl fishing industry. While completing his Masters degree, James worked for the Coast Guard in Dartmouth developing an oil spill response plan for the Halifax Harbour, giving him a better understanding of threats to the marine environment. James now brings his experience and passion for marine conservation to the Afishionado team to help spread the word of sustainable seafood.

Adira Nehme

Co-op Student

Adira Nehme is currently a Dalhousie Student in the Bachelor of Management Program, with a major in Entrepreneurship and is working towards receiving her certificate in Marketing. Growing up in a family business environment Adira always had an entrepreneurial mindset. Her program’s Internship opportunity introduced her to Afishionado, and having a soft spot for small businesses, Adira felt it would be a great fit. Although new to the seafood world, Adira has always had a passion for sustainability and supporting local businesses. Adira is excited to be a part of the team and to see what more she can learn!

Xijie Zhao

Co-op student

Xijie Zhao (Josh) is currently a Commerce student at Dalhousie University. He majors in Supply Chain and Logistics Management with a minor in Economics. He identifies himself as a nature lover, a scuba diver, a sports enthusiast, and a warm-hearted person. He is doing his first Co-op job with Afishionado. He was born in a coastal city in China called Qingdao. Seafood accompanied his whole life. He is very excited to discover the different seafood species between the west Pacific and west Atlantic with his passion and knowledge of the ocean. 


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