Bay Center Farms was founded nearly four decades ago as Bay Center Mariculture Company for the purpose of producing oyster seed for the shellfish industry. After developing the techniques to raise bivalve larvae and culture their food, single celled algae, the company branched into the actual farming of oysters under the name Bay Center Farms. This was possible during the next six years through the purchase of two active oyster farms where the planting and harvesting of oysters had been practiced for over 100 years.
Willapa Bay, in southwest Washington state, is formed behind the Long Beach spit. This 24 mile long barrier spit opens directly to the Pacific Ocean at it northern most extent. This unique situation creates the shallow estuary where the cool rich up-welling marine water mixes with fresh water from several small streams draining the forested Willapa Hills. This provides the perfect environment to grow the small algal food for shellfish. Oysters have been harvested from the bay's pristine waters since the mid 19th century when the Native Oyster was shipped by wooden sailing ships to California during the gold rush. Today Willapa Bay yields around thirty percent of all the shellfish harvested in the United States.
Bay Center Farms has always produced the highest quality oysters and clams that Willapa Bay can offer but for over twenty years it only supplied oysters for other companies to process for the fresh market. Many people, both local and travelers, stopped to enjoy the excellence of fresh shellfish direct off our boats as they arrived from the bay. It was at the urging and encouragement of these customers that triggered the next phase into processing and packing our own shellfish for direct shipment to large wholesalers throughout the country. Even though the Bay Center peninsula is rather isolated, about 10 years ago we opened a small retail store, Seasonal Seafoods, adjacent to our processing plant to serve local customers and those who travel 'off the beaten path'.
The next logical step was to open this online store to make our fine oysters and clams available directly from the waters of Willapa Bay to your door, just as if you stopped by, as our harvest boats arrive at the dock. We know you will enjoy the famous exquisite taste of the Willapa Bay shellfish.
Place an order today and enjoy our fresh products!
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