Doug loved to fish. Dan loved to farm. Both loved living and working along the coast of Brunswick.
As Brunswick’s Marine Warden, Dan had been looking for ways to improve local shellfish populations and degraded near shore ecosystems. Doug had been looking for new ventures on the water and ways to give back to the community. They both wanted their sons to grow up loving the coast of Maine as much as they do and to have opportunities to stay here and make a living. They were also both committed to protecting the valuable marine resources they knew and loved.
Dan started experimenting with shellfish farming as a way to replenish the locally harvested populations that had been hit hard with changes in water conditions and predation by invasive species like the green crab. Doug was serving on Brunswick’s Rivers and Coastal Waters Commission and was blown away by how quickly he could grow oysters in just a few bags off his dock.
From the very beginning, Mere Point Oyster Company has been a local business committed to the community. The seed comes from hatcheries lobated on the coast of Maine and the seafood retailers and suppliers they work with are all based in Maine too. It’s all part of their mission to support working waterfronts along the coast by providing new sustainable opportunities for coastal residents and younger generations.
Oysters seemed like the perfect species to work with. They provide amazing environmental benefits to the marine ecosystem. A single oyster filters as much as 50 gallons of seawater a day, making the water cleaner and clearer so that other marine species can thrive. Also, they don’t take up much space! You can grow around 10,000 oysters in just 400 square feet. Oyster gear provides an excellent habitat for numerous marine species. In a busy waterfront area, it’s important to fit into the bigger picture.
In 2015, Doug and Dan officially formed Mere Point Oyster Company (MPOC). They chose to site their farms where they live – in the clear, deep waters of Maquoit and Mere Point Bays. These bays are some of Maine’s most ecologically significant areas because of the rich marine life they support.
They started with 10,000 oysters the first year and added another 10,000 only 1 year later in 2016.
In 2017, they added another 250,000 oysters to the bay. This allowed them the ability to sell oysters to the public via local restaurants and inns for the very first time.
In 2018 MPOC opened a booth at the Brunswick Farmer’s Market at Crystal Springs Farm and has been a part of it every year since. As the oyster crop continues to grow, you will find MPOC oysters at a variety of markets and restaurants nation wide. Go ahead, ask for Mere Points by name, we are kind of a big deal.
Meet Our Families
Doug has always loved fishing. His family has been on Mere Point for nearly 90 years, but he was the first fisherman. At 8 years old he took his parents’ Boston whaler out lobstering around the Point and to fish for mackerel, stripers, Pollack. He fished for anything he could catch and took anyone he could rustle up as crew – his mom even sterned for him when he hauled traps.
Pretty soon, he was fishing up and down the East Coast and had his own tuna boat by the time he was 24. Somewhere in there he went away to college and then found himself in New York City working for the Associated Press. But, he missed the coast of Maine.
When an opportunity came up to return to Maine and take over as the fourth generation owner of the family newspaper, The Times Record, he made the move. Now, Doug is back on the water and shares his love of fishing with wife Nicole and two sons, Tyler and Cameron.
Tyler and Cam started fishing with their dad when they were boys. They even hauled lobster traps together each summer to earn money for school. Cam is studying at Montana State University at Bozeman until he graduates this year. Then he will return to the farm and continue his role as Operations Manager. Tyler is a graduate of Colorado University Boulder and is now our Sales Manager.
Dan made his way to Maine in 1989 after he enlisted in the United States Navy. Serving in Europe and other parts of the world, as well as, living along the Maine Coast for the last 23 years, Dan has instilled a profound amount of respect and passion for Maine’s pristine coastal areas. You might know Dan better as the Marine Resource Officer and Harbormaster in Brunswick, Maine. He founded the Maine Shellfish Warden Association, which has active roles on the statewide shellfish advisory panels. Serving as the Brunswick Harbor Master, Dan advocated and helped develop Brunswick’s coastal waters management plan, including management of the wild shellfisheries. Currently, Dan hold the position as the Brunswick Marine Resource Manager.
Dan is also the guy knee deep in mud helping local High School students plant and seed Maquoit Bay with soft shell clams. And, he keeps a close eye on the health of the wild shellfish in the area as an associate scientist at a local consulting company as well as at his own small environmental monitoring firm.
Derek and Jesse have tagged along with their dad ever since they can remember. Over the years the two boys would work side by side with dad, helping with local conservation, reservation, and shellfish propagation projects. When they were old enough, they both got student shellfish licenses and began digging for clams in local waters. Jesse attended the University of Maine Sea Grant aquaculture training and Derek attended Roger Williams University with a focus on legal studies and a minor in Marine Biology. Derek is our Farm Manager and Jesse is his right hand man. Both boys work year round, rain or shine, engineering and constructing oyster gear, as well as tending the oysters on the farm.
Helping with the Marketing of Mere Point Oyster Company, Bill is a proud partner of Dan and Doug’s. Having joined the team in early 2018. Bill brings passion, humor and leadership to the team.
Bill brings 35+ years of business experience, so he knows the challenges and rewards of growing a small business. For the first half of his career he worked at Johnson and Johnson, Boston Scientific and Procter and Gamble. Most recently, having served as CEO of several medical start-up companies, Bill has a wide range of experience in global commercialization, market development, branding and all facets of sales and marketing activities.
Bill loves to be on the waters of Casco Bay and has done so for the last 40+ years. Bill’s wife, Heather, grew up in Falmouth Foreside Maine and her family had a summer cottage at Mere Point. Bill and Heather purchased the property back in the early 2000’s and spend a considerable amount of time there throughout the year. Bill and Heather have three children. All three live and work in the Boston area and spend a significant amount of time in Maine as well.
With Bill’s commercial background and his love of the waters of Maine, Bill looks forward to a long and enjoyable journey with MPOC.