He's the one on the right and most of what I know about him I've either read or heard secondhand (all good). We've chatted a few times, one of the first being the night I pitched him on this idea (Mom was right about those first impressions). He, Shore (on the left), Matthew and I went to Rendezvous in Central Square to discuss how we'd set this whole thing up. After shuffling through logistics our conversation ended like this:
Me: I've still never heard how you got here, you know? Your story in your own words. Skip: It's a long story. We'll talk about it another time. It might take awhile. (Pause) Probably about a year. (Big grin)
Last Monday, he was on a speaker's panel at Eastern Standard (they go through hundreds of his oysters each week) so I got a sneak preview. A few notes:
- He eats oysters everywhere he goes. "I love the process of eating them in a restaurant. Normally we eat them warm, right out of the water. It's nice to have ice, some lemon, a little wine. Plus I want to taste all the other oysters out there, compare them to one another and to mine."
- On success: "For me it's about having a passion and surrounding yourself with the right people. I graduated from college with a finance degree and had a job lined up in NY. But I thought digging clams was so cool so I just followed that passion. There was an opportunity cost to not having a career and I struggled with it a lot then but now, it's what I believe in."
- After trying to grow clams in Duxbury Bay (they all died), he switched to oysters (everyone thought they would die). "To some degree, I never really thought it would work. And if it stopped working tomorrow, I'd be grateful I had the opportunity."
- On his team: "I worked at my father's garage when I was a kid and the thing I learned there is that one person can really spoil the pot. At work I tell people, 'it's your responsibility to be upbeat every day' and everyone at the company has that. It's very important to keep that alive."
I'm just scratching the surface here, so bear with me. Better details are on the way. My last day with DailyCandy is tomorrow and while it's a bittersweet goodbye, I'm anxious to get down to the farm (despite the 30 degree temps). Dave and I are celebrating at (where else) Eastern Standard tomorrow night with some cocktails and a huge plate of Island Creeks.