Proudly servicing the United States with sustainable seafood for more than 40 years.
Greg Linton and Andy Drewer started Shore Seafood in May of 1981 in the small town of Saxis, which is located on Virginia's Eastern Shore. With the Chesapeake Bay in such close proximity, they knew they had real opportunity with easy access to fresh soft shell crabs; they just needed a customer base. Greg and Andy initially made contact with potential customers on routes into Ocean City, MD and Philadelphia, PA as well as the northeast extension of Pennsylvania. Following a positive reception after a showing of fresh soft shell crabs, which were in extremely high demand at the time, the business immediately found themselves with over a dozen major wholesalers in Philadelphia and another two in Ocean City with an additional twelve restaurants. It quickly became apparent that there would be a need for an operating plant and a packing crew. In the early 80's, while Andy was trying to secure a facility for the business, Greg was working out of the spare bedroom of his home in Pocomoke City, MD and storing product in chest coolers and freezers. He started leaving his house at 2am making runs into the Philadelphia market as well as making deliveries to Shore Seafood's Ocean City's customers. His wife handled the bookkeeping and also helped deliver orders after purchasing their first refrigerated truck.
As time progressed and the business grew, Shore Seafood was offered a seafood facility to rent in 1985 in Saxis, VA, which the company would utilize to process soft shell crabs during the summer months and shuck clams on the half shell during the winter. With added space for production that offered more opportunity and a growing list of customers, the company quickly outgrew the small leased plant after only five years. Andy's father, H.V. Drewer, had large estate that became available and Shore Seafood purchased the property and buildings in 1990 which was twenty times larger than its predecessor. With much more space for production, the business felt comfortable they could advance sales even more which is when they began to actively market their products.
Shortly after the new property acquisition, the company participated for the first time in the annual Seafood Expo North America trade show - the largest seafood event in the world - hosted in Boston, MA. This is when the business began promoting their soft shell crabs under the Chesapeake Bay Delights line which has since become a trusted name associated with soft shell crabs today. Greg and Andy believe the company's continued participation in these trade shows is what propelled the company into what it is today. Boston not only promoted good customer relationships throughout the years that still exist today, but it was also instrumental to the company's growth and long-term endurance.
A few years later, in 1992, Greg and Andy met a business man named Jim Shaug who owned a marketing company in Japan. His timing was impeccable. This was when the company really took off as the soft shell crab had just been introduced in Japan. Demand for a new product was at an all-time high with a new kind of volume Shore Seafood had never seen before. For the next decade, the business sold container loads of frozen soft shell crabs to Japan and could hardly keep up with the increasing demand.
In the early 2000's, however, things overseas began to change. This is when southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam began to realize they had their own soft shell crab - a mud crab. With this new discovery, the exportation of soft shell crabs slowed as the mud crab was much more readily available for only a fraction of the price of a US soft shell crab. With this sudden and massive market shift, the company knew they had to quickly diversify.
To supplement for the continuous decrease of soft shell crab supply, which is still ongoing today, the company began to explore other types of opportunities and began growing and harvesting their own oysters as well as starting a chopped clam line in the late 2000's. This is when the Grand Pearl and Chilantic product lines were created. Several years later, the business began acquiring and installing breading line machinery and equipment that the company will use to produce breaded clam strips. Once complete, Shore Seafood will become one of only three companies in the United States to have a full-service clam strip breading line, which is predicted to become a major asset for the company in the many years to come. Shore Seafood has now grown to a staff of more than fifty employees when operating at maximum capacity during busy summer months, in order to conduct a number of different production operations the company performs on a daily basis. Today, Shore Seafood continues to grow and adapt to frequent supply shortages and changing market conditions and are still led by their original owners more than forty years later.
Copyright © 2022 Shore Seafood, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.