Our Story

The old days …

For nearly 100 years, from the 1890s to the 1990s, Bay oystermen operated with a comparatively short-sighted view of their precious resource – and in all fairness, so did our company. These oystermen were, after all, decedents of a hunter-gatherer culture – naive to (or unconcerned with) the need for limits or the true costs of their harvest methods. And yet, historically speaking, these oystermen were progressive in many ways – the first generation to develop “private” leases (meant to encourage re-investment in the resource), the first to analyze spawning trends, the first to … plan. So, farmers of a sort. But ultimately, they would become the first generation to face the dire impact of overfishing.

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Modern day …

When the company’s fourth generation (cousins Ryan and Travis Croxton) stepped up to the plate in 2001, the industry had all but collapsed. There was finally talk of moratoriums – even threats to place the Bay oyster on the Endangered Species List. Many had abandoned hope for the native oyster and made moves to introduce a Chinese oyster to take its place. But a small band of budding aquaculturists, Ryan and Travis among them, refused to give up on the native oyster. Inside of a decade, the Bay’s oyster would go on to reclaim its place among the great oysters of the world, and Virginia would become a leader in oyster production.

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