DISCOVER: WHO WE ARE

Life is a journey...  Our journey has been a true sea change!

 

We began our story in corporate IT, recruitment, white collar, an inner city living lifestyle. We left it behind for oyster farming, tourism and food production, blue collar, and isolated, remote country living!

Ken and I decided to move our young family to Kangaroo Island so that we could raise them as ‘free-range kids’, giving them a childhood of freedom and safety.  We sold our IT Recruitment company, Choice IT, in 2005 and moved to Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island.  

A year later, we started looking for a business investment on the island.  We wanted a business that met our core values, including minimal impact on the environment, and contributing to our community. 

 

There were some oyster farms on the market on KI at the time, so we did our research and found that not only are oyster farms great for the environment, they also provide a sustainable food source for people. It ticked the boxes of our core values. 

 

Farming and fishing the sea has long been in both my and Ken's family. Saltwater farming seemed a fitting adventure for us!

With a steep learning curve and some harsh lessons learned about farming, we have created a year-round, sustainable business on Kangaroo Island. 

 

Our girls grew up with the freedom and security similar to that which we enjoyed back in our childhood, and the Dudley Peninsula will always be a place for them to call home.

 

~ Amanda Rowe, July 2018

Kenny and Jess shucking oysters 2010

Still looking for our pot of gold at American River

 

DISCOVER: OUR FARMGATE

The Oyster Farm Shop is situated across the road from our working farm on Kangaroo Island.  Our oysters are graded and packed for sale in the sheds on American River wharf.

 

Watch the crew bring in boat loads of freshly harvested oysters ready for grading or sales most week days!

Visitors can also see fresh oysters being shucked in our processing facility at the rear of our farm shop most mornings when in season.  These shucked oysters are retailed through the farmgate and set aside for local caterers and restaurants.

Local Produce Tasting Menu

The concept of our farmgate has grown from simply selling wholeshell oysters at the shed door to providing a kocal produce tasting menu based on our farmgate products, fresh from the ocean as well as other iconic aquaculture and sustainable seafood from the Kangaroo Island region.

Our products

The Oyster Farm Shop is where we show off not only products from our farm but also iconic aquaculture and sustainable seafood products from the Kangaroo Island region including:

Pacific Oysters 

KI Native Angasi oysters

Kangaroo Island Abalone & Abalini

Wild/Farmed Marron

King George Whiting

Southern Calamari and more...

 

History of Our Farm Shop

Historically the farm had operated harvests and sales to wholesale customers mostly off island during the Pacific Oyster Season April- November.  Then the farm would stop selling and close during the summer months when the pacific oysters went to spawn.

When we bought the farm in 2008, we decided to restock part of the farm with Summer Oysters or spawnless so that we had product over the summer months for visitors to the island to enjoy.  It takes 18 months to 2 years for oysters to grow to the first saleable size and we started this in 2010.

In July 2010, our farm was hit by a ‘1 in 30 year storm’ the locals called it from the NE which wiped out some of our aging infrastructure and, in a year where we had filled the farm to its capacity, we lost 50% of our stock. So it was even more important for us to be able to sell directly to the customer as we did not have the quantities to ship wholesale pallet loads off island due to the storm.

In Oct 2010 we opened a farmgate called The Oyster Farm Shop.  The building the shop is in had been empty for 8-9 years.  So we bought it and put a sign out.  With the help of some local entrepreneurs who utilised the premises and sold our wholeshell oysters for us we slowly started to build up the retail side of our business. 

Slowly over the years our products have grown in reputation and The Oyster Farm Shop is now a ‘must visit’ foodie experience with oysters coming in fresh off the boat and shucked on the premises. We now produce a range of smoked products including oysters, mussels and fish and were the first outlet on the island to retail Kangaroo Island Abalone products.  We were also the first business to introduce use of the electronic pager system for menu orders and, in 2017 we introduced electronic menu screens.  We have more very exciting plans for the next couple of years….so stay tuned!

              

 

 

DISCOVER: OUR VALUES

We run our business based on our core business values, which are consistent with Brand Kangaroo Island goals of discovering "the things that really matter in life":

  • Authenticity

  • Connected to Unspoilt Nature

  • Personal Relationships 

  • Seclusion (Island)

  • Peaceful/Restored

 

Environment

  • If the business is closed down and all infrastructure was removed, the environment would return to its natural state (quickly) as if never there.

  • No permanent impact on biodiversity, species etc. and environment (ie no depletion of limited resources, no permanent extinction of any biodiversity).

  • To have a positive impact and  contribute to the reversing of any other man-made impact to environment.  Plant trees, regenerate or help native species to retain the natural order.

  • Complete usage of produce, aim for zero wastage.

Social/Cultural

 

  • We value our team of staff and their contributions to our business.

  • We are fair to our employees and do not exploit our staff. 

  • We offer opportunities to develop and train our staff to learn new skills or provide personal development. 

  • We enable our team to share in our successes and give them a sense of belonging and pride in what they do. 

  • We aim to provide a safe and secure environment for our staff to work.

  • We employ local staff where possible and make positive contributions to our local community.

Financial

  • Set, meet and review financial targets for business to be financially sustainable.

  • Meet owners, and staff, financial requirements (within our guidelines, ethos, policies, etc).

  • Create a product or service that has a financial value that people want or need and are prepared to pay for ie feel have got value for money with an open pricing structure.

  • Make a positive contribution to the local economy.

  • Support community projects that align with our values.

 

We proudly donate to:

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DISCOVER:

OUR CREDENTIALS

Our Credentials

  • South Australia Shellfish Quality Assurance Certification FSA 20/139

  • South Australia Oyster Growers Association Member

  • South Australia Oyster Research Council and SA Oyster Growers Association Board Member

  • Bay Representative for Kangaroo Island

  • Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Association Member

  • Kangaroo Island Brand Alliance Member

  • Business Kangaroo Island Member

  • Liquor License No 50627446

  • Fish Processing License No FO0737

  • ABN 52 741 247 809

Our Award Winning Produce & Service

  • 2018 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

  • 2017 Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Award Winner – Best Value Added Product

  • 2017 Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Award Finalist – Best Farmgate Experience

  • 2017 SA Regional Showcase Award Finalist

  • 2017 Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

  • 2015 SA Regional Awards Finalist – Primary Producer

  • 2014 SA Regional Awards Finalist - Business

 

We purchased the oyster farm in April 2008 with no previous farming experience seeing an opportunity for our business background, marketing, administrative and quality management skills to turn the farm into a financially sustainable business. And so, the Kangaroo Island Shellfish story began.

It was a steep learning curve and not without the obligatory farming disaster to set us back. From storms, to Government regulation nightmares, blood, sweat and tears, threats of disease, seed shortages and a devastated industry. Kangaroo Island is a volatile place to farm and run a business, however because of the isolation of doing business on an island you are forced to develop innovative methods and equipment using what you have at hand.  We are always learning and improving the way we farm and striving for efficiencies.

We have embraced both horizontal and vertical diversification with the introduction of Spawnless Oysters and the Native Angasi Oyster into the farm.  We have opened an exclusive farmgate, The Oyster Farm Shop, to sell direct to the public.

Our oysters are branded as Kangaroo Island Premium Oysters, which are recognised Australia wide, and over the years we have been proudly supplying our wholesale customers based in Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne.  We also supply to local restaurants and caterers who choose to use a local oyster on their menu and of course to our farmgate.

Our farm uses two different farming techniques; Intertidal (similar to that used on Eyre Peninsula) and Subtidal (similar to that used in Tasmania).  The farm was set up this way as our tides are high in winter, so we use the subtidal stock more in winter as we can’t access the intertidal at that time of year. Our products are; Coastal Creams (intertidal) and Deep Water Premiums (subtidal) and Kangaroo Island Natives (Angasi).

It has been quite an adventure, but we love the feel of that first wave as it breaks over the bow of the boat and slaps us in the face – it makes you remember you are alive!

You know you are doing something right when someone like Chef Sean Connelly says ....                                                           

 

DISCOVER:

KI, AMERICAN RIVER

where are the best tasting oysters in the world?

Kangaroo Island is the third largest island off the coast of Australia.

It is separated from the mainland by 17kms of water in back stairs passage.

To get to the island you need to travel by ferry (ex Cape Jervis) or by plane (ex Adelaide).

American River is located about 20 minute drive from Penneshaw, where the ferry docks, and 20 minutes drive from Kingscote, the main town on the island.

There is a range of accommodation available in American River including camping/caravan sites, self-contained holiday homes and motel accommodation.

American River History

Our pretty little town was named after a group of Americans who sailed into Pelican Lagoon in 1803-04 and built a 30 ton vessel named Independence using local pine trees.  A replica of the Independence is being built on the wharf by a group of local enthusiasts and is worth a visit.

American River has a history based around the sea with ketches trading between American River and Port Adelaide shipping salt gypsum, superphosphate and tons of mallee wood.

American River was well known for its prolific fishing in particular large catches of whiting.  Around 1890 a fish canning industry began operating halfway between American River and Ballast Head (Birth of American River 1802 and events to 1978 C A Thomas) it ran for about two years and employed approximately 40 men.  “The tinned fish was boiled in shallow, cast iron pans, with a small vent, left open for four hours, then sealed and boiled for a further four hours.”  It closed down as they didn’t have any way of keeping the excess fish.  After the cannery closed, a small group of Chinese settled in American River with a plan to salt fish.  This venture didn’t last long either.

The SA Crayfish industry was founded in American River and it was also home to the one and only railway on Kangaroo Island which carted salt from Muston!

So we think our little Oyster Farm Shop is the ideal venture to follow in the tradition of this fishing village.

Things to do in American River

  • Relax with friends and enjoy local produce and locally made beverages at our Farm Shop.

  • Take one of the many marked walking trails in American River (ask for a brochure).

  • Play a game of tennis or shoot some hoops on our courts

  • Birdwatchers paradise keep a look out for the rare Glossy Black Cockatoo.

  • Throw a line in off the jetty and see what takes your bait.

  • Drive to Pennington Bay and experience our Island’s rugged southern coastline.

  • Hire a kayak and paddle up into Pelican Lagoon.

  • Check out The Rig Shed where they are building a replica of The Independence

  • Drive to Redbanks beach and watch the colours from the sunset on the cliffs.

 

ADDRESS

44 Tangara Drive

American River, South Australia

admin@kishellfish.com.au

PHONE: (08) 8553 7122

CONTACT

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