War Shore Oyster Company began as a hobby for childhood friends, Dave Svec and Brad Blymier, back in early 2010. After much research and the generous help from the good folks at the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Company, their curiosity and confidence paid off as they were able to harvest several thousand of their own oysters by early 2011.
War Shore’s flagship oyster called the Pungoteague Creek Oyster got the attention of several well-known chefs in the DC market for its balanced salinity, fullness, hard shell, and overall quality.
On a weekly basis, Dave and Brad made the 4.5-hour trek between Northern Virginia and Onancock, VA, on the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, to plant, sort, and harvest their oysters and hand deliver them back to restaurants and farmer’s markets on the weekends.
Demand increased rapidly, and they realized very quickly that they could not keep their day jobs AND be oyster farmers. They came up with a business plan to scale operations by partnering with a select few local farmers and then selling and distributing the products.
War Shore continues to lease multiple acres of water bottom and has plans to continue growing small quantities of its own product to be released to customers.
The experience of growing shellfish has given Dave and Brad a lot of respect for shellfish grower and harvesters and the knowledge to be highly selective when choosing product suppliers around the country. They continue to spend a significant amount of time traveling around the country meeting suppliers, vetting their growing and distribution processes, and most fun of all, sampling their products.