Island Spotlight: Ryan Smith of Signature Oysters

We hope you’ve been enjoying getting a sneak peek into some of the Island’s small businesses that we love. This week, we’re speaking with Ryan Smith, Owner of Signature-Oysters , located right here in Katama Bay.
 
Just think about the days when we’ll be able sip Rose on a warm summer evening and enjoy cold and briny oysters, overlooking South Beach! Signature-Oysters are cultured from the cold pristine waters of Katama Bay, and are renowned for their sweet, salty taste and rich texture.
 
Signature-Oysters can safely be served on the half shell or prepared in a variety of ways. For this season, The Dunes restaurant at the Winnetu, will offer the classic, Oysters Rockefeller, featuring Katama Bay grown, Signature-Oysters! The Winnetu is also planning on offering Signature-Oyster farm tours with Ryan later this season.
 
Did you know, oysters are not only delicious, but they are also good for you! They are one of the most nutritionally well balanced foods containing protein, carbohydrates and lipids.
 
Be sure to enjoy some oysters from Signature-Oysters when you next visit the Vineyard!
 
 
TELL US HOW YOU ENDED UP ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD
 
I grew up on Martha’s Vineyard. My dad was a commercial fisherman and that is how my passion grew for working on the water. 
 
After college, I moved back to the Vineyard to fish on my dad’s boat, the Alison Lee. Fishing was tough work and often changing from great to unreliable, which caused us to move into other fisheries.  

My dad always told me that it would be ideal to grow your own product instead of relying on Mother Nature and regulations becoming stricter every year. often changing from great to unreliable, which caused us to move into other fisheries. My dad always told me that it would be ideal to grow your own product instead of relying on Mother Nature and regulations becoming stricter every year.  I got the opportunity to go fishing on a big sea scallop boat out of New Jersey. I lived on the boat for one month and when we got caught in a strong storm offshore, the captain quit and we all lost our jobs. That was the final straw for me.

 

HOW DID SIGNATURE-OYSTERS BEGIN?
 
After experiencing the scare of that storm, I took all the money I made and applied for a grant in Katama. I bought 200 cages, 2,000 grow bags, a truck and a boat, and built a tidal-powered nursery. I was instantly in love with oyster farming and knew this was something I would do for the rest of my life. I have become so involved in oystering that now my wife also has a farm in Katama.
 
 
WHAT’S THE FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB NOW?
 
My kids! My wife and I have three children: Hailey, 11 years old; Mya, 9 year’ old; and Hudson, 4 years old. My favorite part about my job is when my kids are involved. My oldest daughter has come out since she was 5 years old. They love to collect the different shells and play with the crabs that fall off the cages. My son loves to catch fish that live under our work rafts. I am very proud to continue my family’s tradition that was instilled in me, working and living off the waters of Martha’s Vineyard. 
 
WHAT ARE YOUR AND YOUR FAMILY’S FAVORITE WAYS TO EAT OYSTERS?
 
Tough choice. My wife prefers them raw on the half shell with a little mignonette sauce. I love them raw, but my dad makes an amazing Po’ boy fried oyster on a slice of bread with some delicious aioli sauce. My kids will eat them fried.  
 
 
YUM! Thank you, Ryan, for the inside scoop and we look forward to enjoying some of your oysters this season on the water! 

The Winnetu on Instagram

There are still perfect fall Vineyard days ahead- savor them while they’re still here. Tap the link in our bio to learn about what we’re offering in the final days of our season 📸: @luolivile
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Golden season is all around us in Katama 📸: @caitlinhoustonblog
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Stop by The Dunes this week and soak up the season’s flavors from exec. Chef Colin Coyle’s fall menu. Tues - Sat. (and, weather pending, the deck and it’s glorious views is still open!)
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#winnetu #katama #edgartown #marthasvineyard #mv
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Spectacular autumn nights are on the way. Savor the season on the @thedunesmv’s deck, Tues - Sat 📸: @bygeorgiagrace
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Looking at you, October 🍁🍂📸: @bygeorgiagrace
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Wading into the weekend 📸: @bosfashionista
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Local beer with a local view. Come join us on the @thedunesmv deck for our fall menu and views over South Beach, Tues-Sat.
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Sailing into fall. Happy first day of autumn from Martha’s Vineyard 📸: @theryanpatrick
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Those who know, know that September is glorious on Martha’s Vineyard. Come explore with us in #Katama this fall 📸: @bosfashionista
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September views from the Winnetu 📸: @dania_alyse
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Summer lingers on with oysters plucked right from Katama Bay by @signatureoysterfarm. Book a BYOB Oyster tour with Signature Oysters when you’re with us next 📸: @shorelinesillustrated
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September doesn’t mean that summer is over! Tap the link in our bio to learn about our summer offerings offered this September 📸: @topflightfamily
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Now serving: @thewhisperingangel & fresh Katama Bay oysters from our friends at @signatureoysterfarm. Stop by @thedunesmv and experience a little Katama luxury
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Looking to explore the island by Jeep? Ask about our on-site rentals through @mvautorental. Enjoy pick up and drop off your rental right at the Winnetu 📸: @whatsupmv
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Summer later with us this September. Tap the link in our bio to learn about what’s happening around the hotel during this spectacular month on-island
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Book an Arrive & Drive package and we’ll arrange to have your rental vehicle waiting for you at the ferry dock. Tap the link in our bio to learn more 📸: @homewiththewileys
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Being the only hotel on Katama Bay, we’re neighbors with some of the finest oyster farming in the world. Our partnership with @signatureoysterfarm provides us with fresh oysters farmed by husband and wife team Ryan and Julia Smith, straight out of Katama Bay and delivered right to our back door and onto your plate (or cocktail!) at @thedunesmv.
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Congrats to @mpappag, the latest winner of our #MyVintageSummer series! Her vintage summer photo stirred our Timeless Summer heartstrings and captured the essence of a day of adventures under the sun. If you have a vintage family photo that you think will do the same, share it with us and you might win a Winnetu vacation (or one with our sister resort, @thenantucket). Tap the link in our bio to learn more, and happy summering!
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Leave your car on the mainland and take advantage of our Arrive & Drive option. We’ll arrange to have a rental Jeep, Mini Cooper, or one of several other options waiting for you at the ferry when you arrive! 📸: @mrsnipple_
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What’s your island ride? This is one of ours. 📸: @homewiththewileys
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Every day feels like the weekend here in Katama 📸: @mrsnipple_
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