Shellfish growers give new meaning to farm-to-table
As the farm-to-table movement becomes increasingly popular, oyster farmers like Taylor Shellfish have found the restaurant environment an ideal place to tell their story.
The Shelton, Wash., company just opened a restaurant in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood in April and will open a fourth this summer in Pioneer Square, not far from Pike Place Market. Taylor opened a location in Seattle’s Melrose Market three years ago and also has a store at one of its farms in Samish Bay.
While its restaurant segments will only constitute approximately 10 percent of the company’s overall revenue, they have allowed Taylor Shellfish to tell its story.
“For city diners this is the ultimate fresh experience, with oysters harvested in the morning and served the same afternoon,” said Jeff Pearson, president. “Our goal is to explain our product and our story of super fresh oysters. The restaurants have allowed us to have direct input and feedback from our customers, which has been the impetus for opening additional sites.”
The 1,000-square-foot, 30-seat Melrose store has been consistently profitable, with revenues exceeding USD 1 million (EUR 733,202) for the past two years and growth up to 30 percent each year, Pearson said. “But we’re out of room there, which is why we’re opening more locations.”