Bart BirkHappy Oyster Company
Bart Birk shucks and serves Long Island SMILE oysters that he raises in his Happy Oyster Company farm in Great Peconic Bay.
“We live and love better when we appreciate more. It’s how our company got its name, and its why we call the oysters we grow SMILES,” he says.
It’s not unusual to see Birk on the bay waters, hauling in a fresh bounty for his raw-bar services, featured at vineyards and events around eastern Long Island. A pop-up outdoor Happy Oyster Bar proved so popular that a restaurant may soon be in the works.
The Happy Oyster Company raises premium quality oysters for eating, known as the Crassostrea Virginica, or true oyster, native to North America, also known as the Eastern, Atlantic, or East Coast oyster.It’s a small oyster farm. The same hands care for each oyster throughout its life, from its start as tiny spat, through harvest, and into the bag.
Birk’s enthusiasm for aquaculture emerged from his volunteer work atCornell University’s Cooperative Extension Marine Program.He jumped all-in as an oyster farmer in 2018, closing his successful bicycle shop after four decades in his hometown of Westhampton Beach,NY. Two years later, Birk harvested his first bounty of premium quality oysters.
The tide-to-table farmer chronicles his adventures on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/happyoystercompany
Eating healthy, enjoying a bit of fun every day, and being part of the community are important. Says Birk, “As a lover of good food and drink, and all that goes with it ~ laughter, friendship, and family ~I want to share my passion for delicious oysters with you.”