Proudly servicing the United states with sustainable seafood since 1981
The watermen of the Chesapeake Bay first introduced the soft shell crab to the seafood industry in the 1870's, just a few miles from our home in Virginia. Today, the soft shell crab represents a major Virginia fishery with the majority of its supply coming from the Chesapeake Bay. We began marketing our soft shell crabs under the Chesapeake Bay Delights brand in the late 1980's. Since then, our company has processed hundreds of millions of dozens of soft shell crabs through our facilities that have been consumed in restaurants all over the country. Our soft shell crabs are synonymous with fresh, quality crabs that deliver time after time. That's the reason our loyal customers that have entrusted Chesapeake Bay Delights for years, and how our many long-term customer relationships began to form, which was the key to the start-up of Shore Seafood. The soft shell crab operation was and continues to be the foundation of the business. And while supply is not what it used to be, it continues to be a pillar for the company's success.
Contrary to the common belief, soft shell crabs are not a separate species of crab, but are blue crabs, Callinectus Sapidus, that have shed, or molted, their hard outer shells in preparation for growth. In order for a crab to grow, this hard exoskeleton must shed, and when it does, a soft, pliable crab emerges, expands its soft, new shell and then conforms to its new body. At this point, it is known as a "soft shell crab" or more simply, a "soft crab". A soft crab will be soft for about two-three hours before their shell begins to harden again, therefore, it is crucial the crab be removed from the water immediately once it has shed its shell. In 2007, the company installed their first crab floats which are holding tanks powered by pumps that moves water from the bay through the tanks to provide the blue crabs a genuine environment to accelerate the shedding process. Because of this, shedding soft shell crabs is a very labor-intensive operation and staff must be present almost 24/7 during season. Installing this operation allowed the company to drastically increase its supply while still continuing to purchase soft shell crabs from local watermen.
We only ship crabs the same day they come out of the water or shed their shell. It doesn't get any fresher than that. Weak crabs don't get shipped.
Professionally cut and cleaned, uniformly weighed and graded, frozen fresh to preserve freshness, extended shelf life.. the benefits go on and on.
Crabs from the Chesapeake Bay are the best soft shell crabs you can get. So, you're guaranteed to be getting the best soft-shell crabs money can buy.
Soft shell crabs are our expertise. Our staff is highly experienced with the soft-shell crab inspecting and packing process. We guarantee a very minimal to non-existent mortality rate.
Soft and lively or we don't pack it. We also don't "hold" crabs over, not even for a day. If a crab doesn't get shipped the day it sheds, it gets sent over to our frozen team to be cut and cleaned.
We only ship soft shell crabs the day they shed. This procedure guarantees a fresh delivery and allows our customers added shelf life for unforeseen delivery delays to their customer.
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