Zippels Smoky Bay Oysters – The Company
Gary, Ashley and Bruce Zippel made the transition to Oyster farming in 1993, and were soon producing one of the most sought-after oysters in the business. With a collective background in wheat and sheep farming, their oyster farm is a product of meticulous experimentation and study. The deep water sub tidal system—a rarity in the oyster industry—is combined with a gentle, manual approach to sorting and grading. This places as little stress as possible on the oysters, allowing them to grow plump and happy in a spacious environment.
The Zippel brothers have not only built a highly-reputable company; they’ve become trusted names in the science of growing good oysters. They’ve held several notable chairs in the industry, including the Oyster Growers’ Association, and have also been instrumental in next-generation oyster breeding research
Zippel’s Smoky Bay Oysters are characterized by plump white meat and vibrant ocean flavour. The quality is evident at a glance: These oysters are large, well-shaped and highly-uniform. After enjoying the sweet and salty taste, people often want to know more. Where do oysters like this come from, and how is such a high level of quality achieved?
The secret involves pristine growing conditions, selective breeding, and a blend of old and new farming technologies. The three brothers behind Zippel’s—Gary, Ashley and Bruce—come from a long tradition of working the land. Steering clear of the overly-mechanised approach, they still insist on sorting and grading every oyster by hand. The company handles its oysters with utmost care throughout the growth and maturation process, and is one of the only farmers to make use of a deep water sub tidal system. Because of these techniques, the final product is fatter, healthier and tastier.
From ocean to plate
Zippels start with Tasmanian oyster seeds that are selectively bred for shape, size and quality of meat. These are carefully raised in a pristine setting north of Smoky Bay. The company uses a rotation of eight different sites in this area, keeping lower stock-densities than conventional oyster farmers, and sorting all product manually.
The oysters are subject to French-style underwater grading, and are handled an average of 6-8 times during the two-year growth process. These methods contribute to the uniform shape and overall health the product.
When the growth and meat condition of the oysters have reached the highest standard, they are handled for the final time and sent off in old-style hessian bags. This helps retain moisture, keeps the oysters cool and alive, and is also a biodegradable solution.
Zippels Oysters from Smoky Bay are renowned throughout the world for their sensational “Sweet Ocean” taste.