Think oysters are only available during months that include an “r”? Local oyster growers are putting that myth out to sea.
Culinary elites suggest that North Carolina could become the Napa Valley of oysters, but we’ve got a long way to go to even scratch the surface of Virgina’s oyster industry success.
Read more about Tideland area oyster growers.
Bay River Oysters
The Bay River in Pamlico County is home to three local oyster-growing operations. It’s namesake, Bay River Oysters, is owned by Johnnie Mercer.
Devil Shoal Oyster and Clam Company
Fletcher and Heather O’Neal own Devil Shoal Oyster and Clam Company at Ocracoke. Thank you to Fletcher for letting our photographer follow him for a day.
Carolina's Finest Seafood
Pirate Pearls are cultivated by brothers Doug and Don Cross of Pamlico Packing. They are also grown in the Bay River in Vandemere.
Great Island OystersLyle Cahoon is about 6 weeks away from having his first harvestable oysters. Grown in Swan Quarter Bay, they will be sold under the name Great Island Oysters.
Chadwick Creek Oysters
Owned by Chris and Kelly Matteo with Kelly’s dad Duane Creech assisting in the operation. The Matteos also operate a nursery that serves other growers. Chadwick Creek is located off the Bay River in Pamlico County.
First Flight Mariculture
Located in Bath, First Flight Mariculture is owned and operated by Mike Hucks, Andy Hogan and Eric Poss. The operation is on the Pamlico River near Indian Island. Their oysters are available at Washington Crab and Seafood.
Striking Bay oysters are cultivated by Cory and Callie Carawan in Hyde County’s Spencer Bay. The Carawan family is best known for their Mattamuskeet Seafood brand, wholesalers of fine crabmeat.
Bodie Island OystersWanchese Fish Company is cultivating oysters in both Dare and Hyde counties. They are marketed as Bodie Island Oysters.
Currituck Oyster CompanyJeff and Gina Credle are growing oysters in Slade Creek in Scranton. They expect to have their first marketable oysters this fall. Their brand name will be Currituck Oyster Company.
I&M Oyster Company
Cultivated by Robbie Mercer and Ivan Ireland, Pamlico Sounds Bounty are grown in Lowland. On Facebook you’ll find them under I&M Oyster Company.
Woccocon Oyster Company
Woccocon Oyster Company is owned by Dylan Bennink, Steve Wilson and Albert O’Neal. If you’re visiting the island they can be found at Ocracoke Seafood.