We bring passion and science to our craft
Nature takes it from there
Flash back: the year 2000, a couple of shellfish biologists living and working on the Chesapeake Bay. Careers focused on restoring the Bay’s decimated oyster populations and advancing oyster farming as a viable commercial industry. We spent weekends on the banks of Mobjack Bay, with our toddler daughter Amalia, hobby farming eastern oysters. Amalia, just 2 yrs old, had a taste for shucked oysters, dripping with brine freshly harvested from the Bay – that would be the start of Sweet Amalia Oyster Farm.
Fast forward through life’s celebrations, twists, turns, bumps and bruises, Amalia is 22 years old, her brother Gabriel is 17 and Sweet Amalia Oyster Farm is a vibrant farm located on the banks of the Delaware Bay in “down” Jersey, a homecoming for now owner operator Lisa Calvo. Lisa brings a scientist’s perspective to oyster farming as she strives to craft the perfect oyster, embracing the farm’s integration with the bay’s ecology. Science informs the art, but nature takes the lead.
Twenty-twenty, time to grow, excited to have Ed Pappas join the Sweet Amalia crew. With complimentary entrepreneurship and a food science background, Ed will help guide our growth, as we nurture more oysters than ever before.
Back to the area this year, Chef Melissa McGrath joins us too. Melissa’s last project, a natural wine restaurant in San Fransisco called Palm City, won critical acclaim and popular success. Also a veteran of local kitchens The Diving Horse and Pub and Kitchen, Melissa brings top-notch culinary chops to the Sweet Amalia team, much needed as we expand into catering and open our market and kitchen in Newfield, NJ featuring prepared farm-to-table delicacies, in Spring of 2021. Stay tuned!
Sweet Amalia Oyster Farm is located in the southern portion of the Delaware Bay on the Cape May Peninsula. The area is known as the Cape Shore Flats to locals. At low tide, extensive sandbars reveal an ideal location for rack and bag oyster culture. Sweeping rising tides carry rich plankton for our oysters to feed on, imparting a sweet crisp bay flavor and plump buttery meats.
Oysters carry the flavor of the place they are grown. Oyster lovers call this merroir. For Sweet Amalia Oyster Farm the place is ideal and the merroir of our oysters is distinctively delicious.