Norumbega Oyster: Eric Peters ’87

Eric Peters '87 owns the Norumbega Oyster Co., which cultivates oysters in the Damariscotta River. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Eric Peters ’87 owns the Norumbega Oyster Co., which cultivates oysters in the Damariscotta River. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

The Damariscotta River has been the mother lode for oyster lovers since Native Americans started amassing their famous shell heaps here millennia ago. Eric Peters ’87, who knew in high school that aquaculture was for him, is one of a dozen or so oyster cultivators on the river.

In season, Peters and a part-time employee hand-harvest up to 8,000 shellfish weekly from the riverbed acreage that Peters leases from the state. Currently wholesaling through a distributor to restaurants in Boston and elsewhere, Peters will begin retailing in 2009 as Norumbega Oyster Inc. to diversify his clientele and boost revenues.

His oysters are bound not for the cannery or stew pot but the raw bar: “A good-quality product with a nice-looking presentation on the plate.”

Multimedia

  • Harvesting oysters on a gray, windy day on the Damariscotta River with Eric Peters ’87 (audio)
This story was published in 2008.