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

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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#winnetu #newengland @igersnewengland #mv #marthasvineyard #thevineyard #katama #oysters
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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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#mv #winnetu #newengland #igersnewengland #mvy #summer #marthasvineyard #thevineyard
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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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#winnetu #newengland #igersnewengland #marthasvineyard #thevineyard #vineyard
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What’s your island ride? This is one of ours. 📸: @homewiththewileys
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#winnetu #mv #newengland #igersnewengland #marthasvineyard
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Every day feels like the weekend here in Katama 📸: @mrsnipple_
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#winnetu #mv #newengland #igersnewengland #katama #marthasvineyard
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Congratulations to our third #MyVintageSummer winner, Laurie Donahue, whose vintage family summer photograph we used to create this poster for our 2020 Season.
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Laurie’s photo captures exactly the kind of summertime energy we’re channeling to make this summer just as memorable as summers that came before it.
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If you’ve got a photo you’d like to submit for a chance to win a two night stay with us or our sister resort @thenantucket, tap the link in our bio to learn more.
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#winnetu #newengland #igersnewengland #mv #marthasvineyard #katama #summer
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Winnetu gang’s all here for our impromptu 4th of July parade 🇺🇸
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#winnetu #mv #marthasvineyard #newengland #igersnewengland
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Keeping you cool with a specialty cocktail this 4th of July. See you at the pool!
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#winnetu #mv #marthasvineyard #newengland #igersnewengland
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Our new executive chef, Colin Coyle is bringing summer to life dish by dish this season. Join us for a summery dinner on our deck or in one of our private cabanas 📸: @caitlinhoustonblog
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#newengland #winnetu #resort #igersnewengland #marthasvineyard #mv #winnetu
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Summer’s here and it feels so good! Tell us what you’re most excited about doing on-island this summer in the comments!
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#winnetu #mv #newengland #igersnewengland #marthasvineyard #summer #southbeach
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Looking for a way to commemorate a special occasion? We’re offering private poolside dining in our cabanas this season. Enjoy the evening atmosphere with a party of up to four in memorable land summer-y setting. 📸: @candidlydeena
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#winnetu #mv #marthasvineyard #vineyard #thevineyard #newengland #igersnewengland
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Sailing into summer views with this gorgeous shot by @vineyardlights. What iconic Vineyard sights get you excited for a trip out to the island? 📸: @vineyardlights
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#mv #winnetu #newengland #igersnewengland #visitnewengland #marthasvineyard #thevineyard #vineyard #edgartown #lighthouse
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What’s the first place you’re stopping when you arrive on-island this summer? I’ve Cream & Candy Bazaar in Edgartown is one of our favorites- tell us in the comments below and tap the link in our bio to learn about new experiences at the Winnetu this summer! 📸: @emilyshell .
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#mv #marthasvineyard #newengland #igersnewengland #edgartown
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We’re excited to offer Arrive & Drive rentals right from the Winnetu this year! In partnership with MV Auto Rental, we’re offering Jeep Gladiators (with Oversand permits!) plus a variety of other rental cars to get around the island. Rent from us right on-site or book a rental vehicle ahead of time and we’ll arrange to have it waiting for you at the ferry or airport upon your arrival. Tap the link in our bio and head to “Private Experiences” to learn more!
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#mv #newengland #igersnewengland #cape #marthasvineyard #thevineyard #vineyard
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We’re back open to the public starting June 12th and ready for a #TimelessSummer on Martha’s Vineyard. Head on over to the link in our bio to learn about the new experiences, amenities, and activities we’re offering this season.
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We’re also excited to announce the first winner of our #MyVintageSummer campaign! Congrats to @amoskovitz on her winning vintage photo submission. We loved this shot on the beach from her childhood - it reminds us of everything we love about summer!
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#vineyard
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Hello June, we’ve been waiting for you. We can’t wait to welcome you all back starting June 12th. Stay tuned for more.
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#newengland #igersnewengland #mv #winnetu #marthasvineyard #vacation
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Feeling grateful this weekend and can not wait to welcome you back in just a few short weeks 📸: @catboatcharters
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#MV #winnetu #newengland #igersnewengland #island #resort #edgartown #sailboat
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Here’s a little moment of #Vineyard zen to start off your week 📸: @vineyardgazette ...

Keep them coming! We’ve been receiving some amazing #MyVintageSummer submissions and we’re looking forward to seeing more. Tap the link in our bio to learn how submitting a vintage vacation photo could win you a stay with us or our sister resort @thenantucket! While you’re there, check out the other submissions in our virtual scrapbook, like this one from @amoskovitz!
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#Winnetu #mv #newengland #igersnewengland #marthasvineyard #resort #islandlife #summertime
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Love this lighthouse and this shot by @crossroadsgallery. What sights are you looking forward to in your return to the island?
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#NewEngland #igersNewEngland #Wnnetu #MarthasVineyard #Vineyard #Lighthouse #Resort #MV #IslandLife
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This red bi-plane is a familiar sight in the sky above the Winnetu. Hoping to hear its engines roar again soon. 📸: @lucydahl4 .
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#Vineyarding #Winnetu #NewEngland #igersNewEngland #MarthasVineyard #thevineyard
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