Eric Peters ’86 raises oysters for the raw bar

The Damariscotta River has been the mother lode for oyster lovers since Native Americans started amassing their famous shell heaps here millennia ago. Peters, 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.”

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