20 Apr 2016

Meet Our Farmers: Skip Bennet of Island Creek Oyster Farm

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Where is your farm located? Duxbury, MA

What do you produce on your farm? Mainly oysters, but we also grow clams. We are a fully-integrated farm so we grow our shellfish from seed to harvest.

When did you start Island Creek Oyster Farm? The first oyster was planted in 1995 after three years growing quahogs in Duxbury Bay.

What’s the history of the farm? Like so many success stories, Island Creek Oysters started over twenty years ago as a crazy idea.  After years of trial and error (and some undeniably delicious oysters) we were able to produce consistent crops of some of the world’s best bivalves.  The distribution arm of our business started in the back of a pickup truck.  Island Creek has now grown into one of the most reputable shellfish companies in the US–selling some millions of oysters each year directly from our farm and other small operations to 600 of the country’s best chefs. We’re proud to own three of New England’s most acclaimed seafood restaurants and donate over $100,000 each year to aquaculture-based social enterprises in countries like Haiti and Tanzania.  One thing about this wild ride hasn’t changed–our commitment to growing the best oysters in the world and having a damn good time doing it.

How long have you worked with Seattle Fish Co. and what’s the history? Seattle Fish Co. is the only seafood distributor we work with.  Most of our products are shipped direct, but we have a great relationship with the team at Seattle Fish Co. and trust them to handle and distribute or products within their region.  They’ve been a customer over a decade.

How is your farm focused on sustainability? Farm-raised shellfish are among the only protein sources known to man that actually represent a net benefit to the environment where they’re grown.  They’re good for our coastal estuaries, good for the people that grow them, and good for the people who eat them.  For the last eight years, we’ve committed to sharing this resource with the world through the efforts of Island Creek Oyster Foundation.  We leverage our company’s brand to raise money that supports community-based aquaculture projects in developing nations like Haiti and Tanzania.  We’ve donated nearly a half million dollars to Haitian fish farming project that now provides an income for over 500 families in two separate rural communities.  Learn more at islandcreekfoundation.org.

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