Smokey McKeen, the owner and icon of Pemaquid Oyster Company, was among the vanguard when folks first started cultivating oysters in the Damariscotta River. He's been at it since 1986 and, along with this crew, knows how to grow an amazing oyster that is much of a household name for oyster lovers. He's a leader among the river community, organizing events like the annual Pemaquid Oyster Festival, which raises funds for the Edward Meyers Marine Conservation Foundation.


Founded: 1986

Location: Damariscotta River, ME

Technique: Bottom Cultured, drag harvested

Appearance: Hardy brown shell

Flavor: Clean, mild salt, full of brine, refreshing finish

Grade: 3"

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