SHELTON — Taylor Shellfish Farms has purchased the Ekone Oyster Company in Bay Center on Willapa Bay.
The purchase from Ekone owners Nick and Joanne Jambor includes the farm’s property, equipment, nursery and processing facilities, a smokehouse and 350 acres of Willapa Bay tidelands.
Taylor Shellfish representatives said they plan to continue use of the Ekone brand and products.
The Jambors will continue to oversee the business and employees in the months ahead to ensure a smooth transition, Taylor representatives said.
The sale was completed last week and Taylor Shellfish will officially take over operations March 1.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
“The Ekone Oyster Company operates an excellent business and its brand is well regarded for its quality products,” said Bill Taylor, chief executive officer of Taylor Shellfish Farms. “Its variety of smoked products are unique and have a strong following. We see growth opportunities for the business and Taylor Shellfish will benefit from the increased capacity of the Ekone processing facilities. With continued growth of the business, we believe we will be adding jobs in addition to the existing employee team.”
Ekone Oyster Company was founded in 1982 by the Jambors. Ekone started by producing and selling smoked oysters. Products and production expanded over the years and today the company has about 50 employees.
“We are very proud of the company and the team that has been built over the years,” said Nick Jambor. “As Joanne and I come closer to retirement, we wanted to find a way to ensure a transition for the business that supports our team and continue to operate the business consistent with our values. We have great respect for Taylor Shellfish and its commitment to quality products, responsible business and a commitment to pursuing sustainability in its operations.”
Taylor Shellfish Farms is a fifth-generation, family-owned shellfish farm based in Shelton.
The company produces Manila clams, Mediterranean mussels, geoduck and a variety of live, shucked and frozen oysters for local, national and international markets. Taylor employs 550 and operates on 11,000 acres of tidelands along Puget Sound, the Washington Coast and British Columbia.
The company operates hatchery and nursery facilities in Hawaii and California, a shellfish distribution business in Hong Kong and three oyster bars in Seattle.
The company also owns and operates the Fanny Bay Oysters farm on Vancouver Island, plus a seafood shop and oyster bar in British Columbia.
Taylor is active in culinary, philanthropic and community efforts, as well as conservation and policy issues that include water quality, ocean acidification and habitat restoration.