Hand-raising the best effin’ oysters in the world

Imagine walking around Downtown Charleston with friends from out of town. After touring them around the historic sights, nearly getting run over by a horse carriage, and trying your damnedest to the avoid staring at the sick cargo shorts they are wearing one of them says “I’m hungry. Where can we get some local seafood?”

Having spent time in Charleston you don’t hesitate. “I know just the place,” you say.

A 10-minute Uber ride later and your little group is bellied up to one of Charleston’s famous raw bars. You confidently state to your friends that we’ve got the best seafood in the world. There’s no doubt in your mind because it’s true. Then the server hands you the half-shell oyster menu…

Beausoliel, New Brunswick, Canada…. $3

Blue Point, Long Island, New York…. $2.75

Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts….$3

Kumamoto, Seattle, Washington….$4

What…

The….

$#%$?!?

You look over to your friends who are patiently waiting for you to order them some local oysters. That’s what they came here for after all.

You glance back at the menu hoping desperately you just missed the “SC” section. Nope. Your face starts to turn red. Is it hot in here? You tug at your collar to release some of the steam. The pressure is on and this local joint isn’t helping your forthcoming panic attack.

“Uhhh, I guess they just aren’t in season down here right now.”

Our mission at Lowcountry Oyster Co. is for you to never, NEVER, be in that situation. Trust us, we’ve been there too. Growing up Trey and I would get asked by visitors “Where is the best place for local seafood?”

“Uhhh, our house???” We’d reply.

At the time it was the only answer. Years later we are blessed with tons of great seafood restaurants. But there’s still a problem…A lot of them aren’t serving local seafood because they don’t have anywhere to get it. At Lowco we will not stop until every restaurant in not only Charleston, but the state of South Carolina can literally fill their raw bar with delicious local oysters that will rival or surpass oysters from any region in the world.

It’s a goal that started a long time ago…

A business 20 years in the making

Lowcountry Oyster Company Team Charleston, SC

The Lowco Team, Malcolm, Dredge, and Trey from left to right

It was just a typical summer day growing up in the Old Village. Step 1) Make the rounds house by house to get the OV bike gang up to full force. Step 2) Hit the creek that runs next to the Pitt Street bridge and spend the day filling up a few five gallon buckets with shrimp and blue crabs.

“Alright guys if you bring it I’ll cook it.” Trey’s mom shouted from the porch as we rode off.

“We know!!!” We yelled back.

Four hours and a few sunburned necks later and we were carefully loading the full buckets onto the handlebars of our bikes. We really cleaned up that day and it was time for a feast.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this everyday?” I said as we headed up Pitt Street.

“I have a feeling that someday we will” Trey answered.

Fast forward 20 years…

“That’s not how you do it dummy. Here, let me show you.” Trey took the mesh bag that holds about 4,000 baby oysters from my hand and with a trained eye looped the zip tie through the small holes and cinched it up.

“You make that look so easy.” I say as I shake my head and stare at my hands that are so good on a keyboard but can’t seem to handle a simple zip tie.

“That’s what 15 years of professional fishing will do for you.” Trey answered.

He was right. Those two boys that pedaled away from the Old Bridge with sunburns and enough seafood to feed half of Mt. Pleasant had lived very different lives over the last 20 years.

Trey had become one of the most successful sport fisherman in the world.

Myself? I made it a point to see as much of that world as possible while learning as much about entrepreneurship as possible along the way. Despite the distance and the time that had passed the fire in those little boys eyes never faded.

In August of 2017 Trey and I started stoking that fire again and Lowcountry Oyster Co. was born….

These ain’t ya average oysters

When you think South Carolina oysters you probably don’t think oysters on the half-shell. What comes to mind for you? If I had to guess it would be winter oyster roasts with friends. Clusters of local hand-picked oysters steamed in a wet burlap sack and strewn across a table.

We love that. That’s what we grew up doing and we’ll never stop. But that’s not what Lowcountry Oyster Co. is. Lowco is a sustainable oyster farm. Keyword: farm

We are using the latest technology and techniques to hand-raise what we think are the best single, select oysters on the planet. Our Lowcountry Cups are trained from birth to take their rightful place on raw bars all around the state.

Oysters are unique in that they truly represent the place they come from. When you take a bite of an oyster from South Carolina’s ACE Basin you are tasting the pristine waters it was raised in. Our goal at Lowco is to make that experience available everywhere in the state and beyond.

Want to know more about what we do here at Lowco? Here’s how:

Become a #LowcoInsider

By reading this far you’ve proved that you give a damn about Lowco’s mission. That means that you are our people and we like to take care of our people. By signing up to our email list you will become a #LowcoInsider. That means you’ll…

  • Help us protect the SC coastline and take the burden off of the overfished natural oyster population
  • Get invites to top-secret #LowcoEvents
  • Impress your friends with all sorts of wow-worthy oyster information, recipes, stories, ordering tips, etc.
  • Be the first to know about new and exclusive #LowcoSwag

What are you waiting for?

Thanks for stopping by! Talk soon,

Malcolm “Trey farms while I write” Jenkins