Lending Successful

Climate Resilient Oyster Farm Equipment

by Grayson Bay Oyster Company
Climate Resilient Oyster Farm Equipment

Grayson Bay Oyster Company is bolstering its operation to meet rising demand and increase resiliency during extreme weather events.

Project Summary
  • Location: Pensacola, FL
  • Products: Aquaculture
  • Loan Term: 60 months
  • Interest Rate: 7.50% APR
  • Repayments Begin: 9 months after disbursement
$62,100
100% of $62,100

Funded on 04/06/2022

Overview

Grayson Bay Oyster Company is a tide-to-table oyster farm located on a 5-acre water column along Florida’s Emerald Coast in Pensacola Bay. Owned and operated by Brandon and Natalie Smith, the family-run farm grows high-quality oysters for communities across the Southeast while working to improve water quality and educate others about sustainable aquaculture practices. 

Grayson Bay oysters are hand-raised on the water’s surface and harvested using off-bottom floating equipment, allowing them to provide fresh oysters with a clean and crisp flavor year-round. Their oyster beds enhance the biodiversity and health of the bay’s ecosystem, serving as a nursery for juvenile fish and crabs. With growing demand, Grayson Bay oysters can be found in some of the best restaurants from New Orleans to Miami.   


Use of Funds

Grayson Bay Oyster Company is expanding its business to a full-time operation that is better prepared for extreme weather events. Left with damages from Hurricane Sally in 2020, they are currently in the process of transitioning to more resilient gear and making modifications to protect their oysters during future storms. Their loan from Steward will allow them to purchase additional floating oyster cages and lines, build-out equipment storage and processing capacity, and make necessary retrofits to their boats. 


Regenerative & Sustainable Practices

Oysters require no additional feed or supplements and sequester carbon in their shells, making them one of the most regenerative seafood species to grow and consume. Grayson Bay is a strong proponent of sustainable aquaculture with practices that include:

  • Hand-raising oysters on the water surface, where they clean the water and filter out excess nitrogen.

  • Ensuring ample habitat for juvenile fish and crabs bolsters the marine ecosystem.

  • Educating the public on sustainable aquaculture practices, expanding training, and creating job opportunities to grow the local seafood economy.
  • April 06, 2022

    Thank You!

    We wanted to personally thank all of you for lending to our family farm to allow us to purchase more resilient gear to grow our sustainable family oyster farm. The success of this project means so much to us and we are amazed at the support of you and Steward. We already have an order in for 68 cages and will be placing another order shortly to move our farm forward. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to follow our story and progress made possible by you.

    Thank you
    The Smith Family at Grayson Bay Oyster Co.

Oyster Cages--$51,600: This includes the purchase of resilient oyster gear including oyster cages and accessories.

Storage Area--$8,500: This includes building out an equipment storage and processing space, equipped with a shipping container, fencing, and walk-in cooler. 

Boat Retrofits--$2,000: This includes boat modifications to allow for efficient lifting and flipping new oyster cages. 

Total Budget: $62,100


This loan will be made to Grayson Bay Oyster Company LLC, a Florida limited liability company, which grows and sells oysters.

This loan will be used to purchase equipment and build out a storage area. 

The total loan amount is $62,100 which will assist Grayson Bay Oyster Company in growing and expanding their business.

This loan is set at a 7.5% interest rate, with a 60 month term, and fully amortized monthly payments beginning 9 months after funds are disbursed.


Borrower Loan Agreement Download
Lender Participation Agreement Download

Become a Steward Lender

Join a growing community of sustainably-minded lenders reaping the rewards from responsible farming