A year after opening our manufacturing and distribution center in Cambridge, our team hosted an equipment showcase to preview Hoopers’ newest aquaculture gear and processing equipment. More than 100 people representing oyster farms from Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Virginia attended.
I was especially proud to unveil Pearlception 2.0, the first high-speed, laser-guided oyster processing system designed and built in the U.S. Capable of processing up to one million bushels of oysters annually, it was manufactured here under the direction of master equipment fabricator John Tall.
The showcase was a wonderful opportunity to thank our customers, partners and fellow farmers for helping Hoopers grow into a full-service – ‘seed to shuck’ – company. We had a great day of food and fellowship sharing how we create seed, equipment and systems to help oyster farmers be sustainable – and profitable.
As guests filled our 20,000 sq. ft. headquarters, they were treated to a classic “Bull & Oyster Roast.” Moving around a dozen displays featuring nursery systems, grow-out gear, processing equipment and seed, our team shared their passion – and expertise – for oyster farming ‘the watermen’s way.’
In addition to sampling two of our best oysters – Chesapeake Gold and Mermaid – prepared three ways – guests were treated to local Dorchester County hospitality with brisket sandwiches from L’il Bitta Bull BBQ, craft beer from RAR Brewery and music by Cambridge singer, songwriter Colby Sard.
While it was our first showcase – it certainly won’t be our last. We’ve already set a date for 2020’s oyster roast and plan to offer even more resources to our fellow farmers.
Special thanks to our entire team for making the event possible … and a whole lot of fun!: Chris Wyer, Natalie Ruark, John Tall, Bob Gootee, Alyssa O’Prey, Imani Black, and our shuckers, fabricators and vendors for pulling out all the stops!