Bolduans Bay Oysters officially changed hands on December 4, and with more resources available and a broader support network, the business is set to grow rapidly under the new owners.
At ground level the management and workers remain the same, with Jarrad Poke remaining at the hilt of the production side of the business for Bolduans Bay Oysters while Cassie Plaza is excited to develop a new brand for Circular Head, as Manager of Tarkine Fresh Oysters.
Since the changeover, seven new employees have been put on already, with new owners Tasmanian Oyster Company intent on upping production and boosting brand confidence.
Manager Jarrad Poke, who’s job has changed in title but not in description, is excited for what the future holds.
“The most important change is that we will have access to more resources,” Jarrad said.
“We’ve previously been an organically growing company,” former owner Jon Poke said.
“[The sale] gives us the resources to do the developments we need without needing to wait for the funds to be there,” Jarrad explained.
Jon has been involved in oyster farming for 45 years, and having sold the business to retire, he remains passionate about the industry, confident that he has left it in capable hands.
Having undergone more than one million dollars worth of development in the last 18 months, the business is developing steadily, and will continue to do so under the TOC.
“It’s a very exciting industry and there’s a lot more to do,” Jon said.
He will remain on the board and a major shareholder in retirement.
“There are also plenty of opportunities for some of the other employees,” Jarrad said.
As the TOC manage a total of seven oyster farms, staff can potentially seek a transfer if moving away from the district to work on a different premises.
The farm is also looking to become certified fully organic, to further drive export as the brand continues to expand.
The TOC are the first oyster company in Australia to look into laser etching, which would essentially stamp a brand into each shell as proof of quality.
“That way people can be sure of the brand,” Jon said.
“It’s going to be top of the market.”