We fell in love with the serenity of this peaceful fishing
village, the safe and close-knit feeling of the community, and the
uniqueness of the breakwater. Some people are intimidated by Oregon
coastal weather, but we love the cool breezes and cloud-dappled skies—with
just enough storms each winter to let you know you’re alive.
found our ways to Winchester Bay separately. Cindy is Oregon-born
(Pendleton) and headed south after attending school in Portland. Vern
moved to Oregon as a young man and came to work as a fish culturist after
graduating from the U of O. We each had the need to be near the ocean and
had decided Winchester Bay was the perfect place to start a business as
well as raise children—Vern’s daughter, Cedar, and Cindy's two, Lucy and
We joined forces in 1991 and experimented with growing a
variety of shellfish crops in the triangle, including oysters—the demand
for which was insatiable. Once you’ve had oysters raised under the unique
growing conditions provided by the 20%/80% blend of fresh Oregon rainwater
and crisp saltwater, it spoils you for any others—you have to come back
The real secret of the clean sweet taste of Umpqua
Triangle Oysters is our innovative long-line technique of suspending the
growing oysters on 15- foot lengths of rope that form nearly two miles of
oyster “curtains.” These allow the oysters to bob up and down with the
tide over the course of their two- to four-year growing cycle.
Suspension surpasses the traditional method of raising oysters in
beds where they’re exposed to air at low tide and sediment when submerged.
Umpqua Triangle Oysters never come in contact with the muck at the bottom
of the bay, which can give them an unpleasant, pungent taste. Our oyster
curtains are continually suspended in clean water, which produces a firmer
and sweeter—almost pearlescent—meat.
We sell our oysters wholesale
to some of the best restaurants on the Oregon coast and direct to
oyster-lovers from all over the country through the retail outlet at our
processing plant. With the development of nearby Salmon Harbor, which was
supported by officials of Douglas County, our business has grown along
with the tourism that is filling the gaps left by the logging and fishing
We live just a half-mile from where we work, with
spectacular views of the Umpqua Lighthouse and the National Sand Dune
Forest. Our children live nearby and, though grown with ventures of their
own, still help out during the height of the summer season.
are grown in coastal zones around the globe, but farming ours in the sweet
waters off Oregon has allowed us to live and work where and how we
want—who could ask for more?