People of Maine: Abigail Carroll of Nonesuch Oysters

Before becoming an oyster farmer, Abigail Carroll from Nonesuch Oysters worked in finance and in industries ranging from telecoms to fashion. She has lived, worked, and studied all over the world from Europe to Latin America. She even spent over 12 years in France.

Abigail currently serves on the board of Friends of Scarborough Marsh, Biddeford Shellfish Conservation Commission, World Affairs Council of Maine and is Rear Commodore of the Biddeford Pool Yacht Club.

It’s fascinating to me  that this world traveler who often times gets sea sick ended up running an oyster farm.

You have lived and studied all over the world. You are now an oyster farmer. This is not something you hear of every day. How did this opportunity unfold? 
Abigail: By accident! I was helping someone with a business plan for an oyster farm and wound up with the farm! 
What does a typical day look like for you?
Abigail:That has evolved over the years. In the early days I was on the water all day every day and actually this summer I was as well. Currently, I am trying to expand our business and that requires me to step back from the water work and do more business planing. So I’ve been spending a lot of time on excel and on my phone! 
Can you share how beneficial oysters are to our environment?
Abigail: Oysters can help save the planet if you let them! They can filter water clean, reduce ocean acidification, snuff out dangerous algae blooms, and mitigate storm surge. Oysters foster a livable habitat for multiple other marine organisms. The benefits of oysters can clearly be seen in the efforts of the Billion Oyster project in NY harbor where they are seeding the harbor in an effort to clean in up and species that haven’t lived there in generations have returned. 
Nonesuch Oysters offers tasting tours which are not only educational but a great way to spend an evening with friends. Do you run these tours year round or only in certain seasons? 
Abigail: Most of our tours take place between Memorial Day and Columbus Day but we do offer private tours – when possible – all year round. 

What’s next for you? Abigail: Now that the farm is stable, I am trying to build up small businesses that we’ve been running over the past few years. Currently my focus is on skincare. We’re working on building that into a bigger more robust company that can produce wonderful healthy skincare products with Maine marine ingredients and help my company hedge the risk of farming.

I love sharing inspirational quotes with my readers. What quote would you share with someone inspiring and motivating them to not only ‘Be the Change’ but to also see the world? Abigail: Everything is connected so take each action with purpose.

Not only did I have the opportunity to spend some time with Abigail but I also had the chance to see her oyster farm up close. Nonesuch Oysters provides boat tours and she had a group of locals going out on an evening tasting tour. They kindly allowed me to join in. I couldn’t have asked for a better group.  With any activity or restaurant, if locals are there then you know it’s good! This wasn’t their first tour with Nonesuch Oysters and they shared with me that it’s a great way to spend an evening with friends. I certainly can’t disagree.

The boat tour is a BYOB (or wine!) and Nonesuch provides everything you need to enjoy oysters right out of the sea. We even had a lesson in cracking open the shells. Although, I think I’ll leave that to the professionals. This was also an educational opportunity for those who had never seen an oyster farm, like myself.

(Left to Right: Margot, Mary, Allan, Amy, and Tom)

If you are ever in Portland, Maine then book a tour with Nonesuch Oysters. It’s an educational and culinary experience you will not want to miss.

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