Now, more than ever, watermen, oyster farmers, restaurants and suppliers need our help.
During this time, many of us are seeking a taste of normalcy, a taste of what we know and love, and for a lot of us, that’s the local catch. We’ve compiled a few simple ways below that you can support your neighborhood seafood restaurants, markets and suppliers at a time when they need it most. And, for you sea–foodies, perhaps when you need it most, too.
Eat more Seafood
To keep the Bay’s seafood industry working through these tough times, the simplest and most effective action we can take is to eat more seafood. Shopping locally at a trusted market supports fishermen and their families, and it keeps our coastal communities thriving. Fishermen, after all, purchase fuel, bait and other supplies from businesses in their area.
Buying local seafood has always been an important way to contribute to the strength of our waterfront economy. Over the years, ORP and its partners have developed a number of resources intended to help you take advantage of the Bay’s bounty.
Looking to find out what’s in season? How to best cook that catch? Maryland’s Best Seafood is a great resource for all things Chesapeake Bay seafood! Their seafood guide showcases the options available from Maryland’s wild fisheries and aquaculture, tips on how to handle and store fresh seafood, some great oyster, fish and shellfish recipes, and more. Our Shell Recycling staffer, Dan Worrell, has also kindly volunteered his grandmother’s favorite crab cake and crab imperial recipes, linked here. He swears it’s a must-try!
If you needed another reason to enjoy the Bay’s bounty, it’s been found that seafood – especially oysters – are packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including immune–boosting and heart health properties. According to the FDA, fish and shellfish support strong bones, brain development, and a healthy heart and immune system. The Journal of the American Medical Association found that eating fish at least twice a week reduces the risk of coronary death by 36 percent and the overall rate of death by 17 percent. Now that’s a win-win!
Remember our Restaurants
In place of in-house dining, many local restaurants are working to keep the doors open, lights on and support their staff with to-go orders. Restaurants throughout the region are offering pickup or delivery on menu items, unique food specials, and even fresh produce and meat. Additionally, some spots are still honoring happy hour pricing or offering to-go deals – and to-go alcohol!
Supporting restaurants at this time also supports the entire food system, including the suppliers that serve them. Here are a few simple ways you can help:
- Order Delivery or Takeout: Enjoy your favorite restaurant dishes at home with curbside pickup or no contact delivery. To order, simply call ahead or use a mobile food delivery app.
- Buy a Gift Card: Support restaurants right now and you’ll have a great dining experience to look forward to later. If you’re able, you can even stock–up, so you have gifts at the ready.
- Engage on Social Media: Like, share and repost restaurant content, along with a of photo of your meal. This provides restaurants with an extended reach, free advertising and give them a boost when they need it most.
- Leave a Positive Review: Now is the time to leave that glowing review you’ve been meaning to post for months. No amount of advertising can stack up to real, genuine customer feedback, so take a few minutes and share your experience.
Need help determining what restaurants are open? Visit Maryland has curated an ever-growing, comprehensive list of restaurants offering takeout and delivery, located here.
Craving seafood, but need a little inspiration? Check out our list of 300+ Shell Recycling Alliance members located throughout Maryland, DC, Virginia and Pittsburgh, Pa. View their websites and social media accounts, or give them a call to hear more about their operations and offerings.
Order Direct from Seafood Suppliers & Farms
Looking for some fresh local seafood direct from the supplier? With restaurants operating at a lower capacity, small retailers are an increasingly important outlet for local fishermen and watermen to sell their products. Many oyster farms, seafood distributors and markets are offering online/phone ordering for curbside pickup and carry-out.
We’ve compiled a list below of Maryland oyster farms working to serve direct to the public. If you don’t see your favorite farm listed, view this link to Maryland and Virginia oyster farms to contact them directly. Additionally, please remember to support hardworking watermen and women by purchasing from seafood markets throughout the area, many of which are listed on Visit Maryland’s Crab & Oyster Trail site. Some grocery stores also carry local seafood, so keep an eye out while you are doing your shopping and choose local if possible.
[Suppliers, please let us know if you are selling direct and we’ll be sure to add you below!]
- JJ McDonnell & Co. in Elkridge, MD is currently taking orders up until midnight the day before you would like to pick up. Pick up times are Monday-Friday, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. Click here for more information and their daily seafood menu.
- Profish in D.C.’s Ivy City has their wholesale seafood available for direct ship to your home, or for pick up next to their warehouse. Visit their website for the daily menu and ordering instructions.
- Choptank Oyster Co. in Cambridge, MD has oysters available for pickup at their farm. Simply call ahead to 443-521-6425 to have them ready for your arrival.
- Double T Oyster Ranch in Tall Timbers, MD has oysters for pickup at their location. Call or email to arrange.
- Fisherman’s Daughter Oysters in Tilghman Island, MD can be ordered direct through their website for Tuesday or Friday pickup.
- Harris Creek Oyster Co. in Wittman, MD has oysters for local pickup at the farm, direct delivery with advance notice, and pre-orders for pickup at their “pop-up” shops. Orders can be placed through the website.
- Hollywood Oyster Co. In Hollywood, MD has product for purchase at Snellman’s General Merchandise, just be sure to call ahead to (301) 373-2776 to ensure availability. Direct ship from the farm is also available.
- Hooper’s Island Oysters in Cambridge, MD is offering shucked pints and whole oysters at their store (837 Chesapeake Drive, Cambridge) open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 am-4pm. They are also available for purchase at Emily’s Produce and Simmons Center Market, in Cambridge.
- Orchard Point Oyster Co. in Chestertown, MD is now offering pickup and direct ship through their website orchardpointoysters.com/shop.
- Scotts Landing Shellfish in Snow Hill, MD has oysters available for pickup. Call 443-880-2325 to order yours today.
- True Chesapeake Oyster Co. has their oysters available for online pre-order and Friday pickup at the True Chesapeake Oyster Co. restaurant in Baltimore. Click here to place your order.
- VanAlstine Seafood and Farm in Dunkirk, Md. is taking phone orders at 443-223-3433 or email for pickup during select days and hours.
- Warshore Oyster Co. has teamed up with Hank’s Oyster Bar to bring you Current Catch, boxes of fresh, local seafood and chef-crafted sauces delivered right to your door. Current Catch allows you to to cook up restaurant quality meals at home.
Spread the Word
Individual choices can make a big impact during these challenging times. Remember to share your decision to buy local seafood with your friends, families and followers, and be sure to let them know how they can support the local seafood industry too!
Here are some great ways to spread the word and encourage others:
- Share this post on your social media and tag some of your local seafood spots
- Follow your favorite seafood businesses on social media and share their posts
- Try a new recipe, post the results, and challenge your friends and family to do the same. Why not enjoy the meal together over a video call?