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

Feeling grateful this weekend and can not wait to welcome you back in just a few short weeks 📸: @catboatcharters
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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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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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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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Take 10% off select weekly rentals with us this summer. Follow the link in our bio for more.

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This week we caught up with Ryan Smith of MV based Select Oysters. Link in bio to read our conversation with Ryan! #Winnetu #NewEngland #igersNewEngland #MV #MarthasVineyard #Vineyard #TimelessSummer ...

On this week’s Island Spotlight, we spoke with Chick Stapleton at @islandspiritkayak to learn more about the business and their involvement with Sengekontacket Pond. Link in bio to read on! .
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This week we’re talking to Lindsay Brown at the @farminstitute in Katama (our neighbors!). Link in bio to read on! ...

Thinking of sunny days and good company- share your Winnetu memory with #Winnetu and we’ll share it on our Instagram Story! 📸: @rosemary.tufankjian ...

During this difficult time, we are trying to remain positive, looking forward to brighter days. We are wishing that everyone remains healthy and safe.

To help bring some Island-life to our guests who may be missing the Vineyard, we are launching a series of conversations featuring some of our favorite Martha's Vineyard small businesses and organizations. And some, are just right outside our door. Link in bio to read on!
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We love this foggy shot by @bostonchigirl. Share your Winnetu memory with us at #Winnetu and we’ll share it to our story! 📸: @bostonchigirl #Winnetu #MV #NewEngland #igersNewEngland #MarthasVineyard ...

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Say hello to our new Winnetu firetruck! A 1953 Ford F600 pumper. We can’t wait to get it dressed up with a Winnetu logo and ride guests around in it! #Winnetu #VintageTruck #AntiqueFiretruck #MV #NewEngland #igersNewEngland #MarthasVineyard ...

During this uncharted moment, our thoughts are with our local community, our wonderful guests, and on the long summer days ahead of us 📸: @bekah_cherise .
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We’re excited to offer our guests complimentary fudge making classes with our friends over at @murdicksfudgemv this season. Check out the Spring section of our new website for more info! .
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Sound the alarm! We were named #1 hotel on Martha’s Vineyard by @usnews! Follow the link in our bio to learn why they call us the island’s “sought-after vacation haven”! .
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We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Colin Coyle to Executive Chef at the Winnetu! . You could say that Colin was born in a kitchen, as his father has been a professional chef for his entire life. However, officially Colin got his start in the culinary-arts in Florida at The Dye Preserve Country Club in 2012 and progressed to have more and more responsibility in better and better kitchens throughout South Florida – usually holding down multiple culinary jobs to get as much exposure to various cuisines, techniques and flavor profiles as possible. No stranger to the Vineyard, Colin has been at the very busy and highly acclaimed Red Cat Kitchen in Oak Bluffs as the Sous Chef, for Restaurateur Ben Deforest, the last 4 summers. ...

All calm and bright in the new year | 📸: @vineyardlights .
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Thanks for an amazing season everyone! We’ll see you all on South Beach in 2020!
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You’re almost out of time to join us for @mvfoodandwine festival! If you change your mind, we’ll throw in a bottle of wine and cheese plate! Call us up and mention WINEFEST19! .
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@mvfoodandwine is just around the corner. Head to the link in our bio for the lowdown on what we’ll be up to throughout the weekend! ...