Mark Vann was raised in Gloucester, Virginia on the shores of the York River where, as a boy, he fished crabs and earned money working for Buntings Oyster Company. He went on to Virginia Tech and relocated to Georgia where he enjoyed a successful career in the wood manufacturing industry. Returning to Gloucester and raising oysters was always part of his life plan.
Marcia Berman was raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts and landed in Virginia via graduate school where she studied coastal geology and marine science. She has worked for the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science for 28 years; devoting her career to managing coastal resources.
The Cappahosic Oyster Company is named for the geographic area marking the northern limits of our growing area on the York River. Here, in the 18th century, a ferry provided transportation across the river, and the Cappahosic House served as public housing for travelers. Or so the story goes.
The farm is located approximately 6 miles upriver of historic Yorktown in Gloucester County. This area of the York River has a mid-salinity range averaging 18ppt. We grow our oysters from larvae and seed using product from local hatcheries only. Asexual Triploids are raised in upwellers until they are transferred to bags and set overboard in the river. Within weeks they are transferred from bags to ½ inch mesh cages; which we build onsite. We utilize automated sorting techniques as part of our regular husbandry practices until the oysters are ready for market.
Our facility includes a land-based downweller and upweller, a floating upweller, spat on shell growing tanks, a cage bending and assembly area, a hydraulic sorting machine, a 24 foot barge with a 2 ton crane, and provisions for a larger 42 foot barge.
We are certified shellfish shippers by the Virginia Department of Health and HACCP certified as a shellstock shipper. We sell only what we harvest and we maintain HACCP Plans and best practice records onsite.