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oysters

Locally Sourced & SUSTAINABLE

 

Located in Port Republic, New Jersey, Maxwell Shellfish is the work of six generations of baymen & baywomen.

Maxwell Shellfish is a sixth generation wholesale and retail market that cultivates, buys and sells oysters, clams and other seafood. Owned and operated by John Maxwell, his wife Kimberly and their daughters, Gretchen & Bridgitte. Our ancestors the Maxwell’s, Adams, Allen’s and Dayton’s have been harvesting clams and growing oysters since the 1830’s on the waters of New Jersey. They’ve been coastal traders, baymen, fishermen and boat builders in South Jersey for over 150 years. Our oyster boats - the Capt. Curtis Maxwell and the Capt. Joe Dayton - are named after John's Grandfathers. 

We are located in Port Republic at Nacote Creek, a tributary of the Mullica River. Our clams and oysters come from the Mullica River and Great Bay at the confluence of Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean Counties.

Though primarily a wholesaler to markets on the east coast and local restaurants we now have a retail market where you can buy a variety of local clams, oysters, scallops, shrimp, crabs and fish.

Our goal at Maxwell Shellfish is to grow our business in an environmentally sound way in harmony with nature to preserve the culture and heritage of the bay.

 

Phone

609.652.8589

Location

22 Wilson Avenue

Port Republic,

New Jersey 08241

 

MEET THE FAMILY

John J. Maxwell   Working on the bay since he was 7 years old, John took the helm at Maxwell Shellfish in 1981 at 24 years of age. His work on the bay took him from Oysters to Clams and back again. He was co-founder and first president of the New Jersey Shellfisheries Association and currently serves as Chairman of the Atlantic Coast Shellfish Council and on the Marine Fisheries Council.  In 2014 he received the Hurley Conklin Award for a lifetime of achievement in the Barnegat Bay tradition.    Nicknames:  DAD!   Specialties Include:  Being the Boss & Bossing everyone around   Famous Quote:  “This is the life you’ve chosen” or “Don’t worry about me, I’ve landed an airplane”

John J. Maxwell

Working on the bay since he was 7 years old, John took the helm at Maxwell Shellfish in 1981 at 24 years of age. His work on the bay took him from Oysters to Clams and back again. He was co-founder and first president of the New Jersey Shellfisheries Association and currently serves as Chairman of the Atlantic Coast Shellfish Council and on the Marine Fisheries Council. In 2014 he received the Hurley Conklin Award for a lifetime of achievement in the Barnegat Bay tradition.

Nicknames: DAD!

Specialties Include: Being the Boss & Bossing everyone around

Famous Quote: “This is the life you’ve chosen” or “Don’t worry about me, I’ve landed an airplane”

Kimberly Maxwell   Kim’s influence on the business is particularly evident in the Fish Market which she brought into existence in 2007. Our famous Crabcakes, Chowders and Clam Pies show off her take on old family recipes.   Nicknames:  Ma!, Kim Kim, Kimmy   Specialties Include:  Cleaning Up After Everyone & Crabcakes   Famous Quote:  “Here’s how I would do it”

Kimberly Maxwell

Kim’s influence on the business is particularly evident in the Fish Market which she brought into existence in 2007. Our famous Crabcakes, Chowders and Clam Pies show off her take on old family recipes.

Nicknames: Ma!, Kim Kim, Kimmy

Specialties Include: Cleaning Up After Everyone & Crabcakes

Famous Quote: “Here’s how I would do it”

Donald Maxwell   At 92 years old, Poppop has slept more years than his granddaughters have been alive. On the upside, all that time sleeping was well spent dreaming of oysters. A local history aficionado,  Don received the Hurley Conklin Award in 1996 .   Nicknames:  Poppop   Specialties Include:  Blowing Cigar Smoke In Your Face at 8am; Greasin’ the Gears, Culling   Famous Quote:  “This is all because of me”

Donald Maxwell

At 92 years old, Poppop has slept more years than his granddaughters have been alive. On the upside, all that time sleeping was well spent dreaming of oysters. A local history aficionado, Don received the Hurley Conklin Award in 1996.

Nicknames: Poppop

Specialties Include: Blowing Cigar Smoke In Your Face at 8am; Greasin’ the Gears, Culling

Famous Quote: “This is all because of me”

 
Gretchen Maxwell   The eldest of the Maxwell girls joined the family business in 2017.   Nicknames:  Sissy   Specialties include:  Marketing & Anchor Pulling   Famous Quote:  “Hey, can we just talk about work real quick?“

Gretchen Maxwell

The eldest of the Maxwell girls joined the family business in 2017.

Nicknames: Sissy

Specialties include: Marketing & Anchor Pulling

Famous Quote: “Hey, can we just talk about work real quick?“

Bridgitte Maxwell Bliss   Full time oyster lover since 2013, Bridgitte touches everything you eat   Nicknames:  Little Bridgey, Oyster Queen   Specialties Include:  Being the lynchpin in this whole operation   Famous Quote:  “I don’t feel good about this”

Bridgitte Maxwell Bliss

Full time oyster lover since 2013, Bridgitte touches everything you eat

Nicknames: Little Bridgey, Oyster Queen

Specialties Include: Being the lynchpin in this whole operation

Famous Quote: “I don’t feel good about this”

Nick Bliss   As Bridgitte’s husband and light of her life, Nick is our go-to guy when it’s all hands on deck.   Nicknames:  Little Nicky, The Puzzler   Specialties Include:  Marrying Bridgitte, Planting, Hanging Bistro Lights, Getting the rope out of the wheel   Famous Quote:  “I have a real job”

Nick Bliss

As Bridgitte’s husband and light of her life, Nick is our go-to guy when it’s all hands on deck.

Nicknames: Little Nicky, The Puzzler

Specialties Include: Marrying Bridgitte, Planting, Hanging Bistro Lights, Getting the rope out of the wheel

Famous Quote: “I have a real job”

Fish market

FALL 2019 HOURS:

Thurs - Sat 11am to 6pm | Sunday 11am to 4pm

Looking to make Graveling Point oysters your way? You're in luck! Our Fish Market is the only place to buy our oysters retail!

Looking to make Graveling Point oysters your way? You're in luck! Our Fish Market is the only place to buy our oysters retail!

fresh For Your Table

We love seafood and are committed to finding the freshest South Jersey has to offer. We harvest our own clams and oysters and while we try to keep our fish local there's just some things that are worth the overnight flight - Salmon we are looking at you - providing our customers (and us!) with the freshest product available.

Have something specific in mind? Let us know! More often than not we're able to find exactly what you're looking for.  

 

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WHAT WE OFFER

We carry a limited amount of quality seafood to guarantee the freshest for your table including:

  • Local Clams

  • Local Graveling Point & Crab Island Oysters

  • Local Flounder

  • Local Tuna

  • Local Scallops

  • Organic Alaskan Salmon

  • Alaskan Halibut

  • Icelandic Nordic Cod

  • Gulf Shrimp

  • And More!

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prepared foods

In a hurry? We've got you covered! We make your dinner right here in the shop so that all you have to do is bake or heat! Try our Homemade Clam Pies, Chowders, Crab Imperial, Salmon Cakes, Stuffed Local Flounder, and of course, our Famous Crabcakes and more! 

oysters

 All of our oysters are Wild Harvest, meaning that we broadcast and bottom-plant on Graveling Point and Crab Island. This allows our oysters to grow quickly with maximum exposure to the rich and dynamic flavors offered to them in these marine environments. We use an iron dredge to harvest our oysters from the bottom of these tidal estuaries. 

 
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GRAVELING POINTS

Our most popular oyster, Graveling Points have a fresh, light taste with a thick and hearty shell. This variety has been grown in a reef bed of oyster shells and are generally plump. Graveling Point oysters are 15 to 24 months old by the time they are harvested. 

 
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CRAB ISLANDS

Grown across the bay and closer to the Atlantic Ocean, our Crab Islands have a slightly saltier and richer taste. These oysters are characterized by having a longer, thinner shell and are grown on the firm, sandy bottom of their dwelling. Crab Island Oysters are usually plump all year round, due to their close proximity to the Little Egg Harbor inlet. This variety also grows faster and as a result, they are generally only 12 to 18 months old by the time they are harvested.

He Was A Very Valiant Man
Who First Adventured on Eating Oysters

- James I of England

CONTACT US

Whether you're looking to rent a boat slip, buy oysters for your restaurant, or have a question about our retail market - we'd love to hear from you!

 

LOCATION

22 Wilson Avenue
Port Republic, NJ, 08241
United States

609.652.8589

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"Old Stock, New Generation," Jenn Hall, Edible Jersey

"Old Stock, New Generation," Jenn Hall, Edible Jersey

2014 Hurley Conklin Award Winner

John Joseph Maxwell started on the water as a young boy in 1963 – and the last summer he had off was 1962. “I’m a fifth-generation bayman,” he said. “Goes back a long time; it’s in the blood.”

As he good-naturedly tells it, at age seven his family tied a rope onto him, put him on a boat, and his fate was sealed. “Man, you could get arrested for something like that now!” he said with a laugh.

“I got the bay bug really bad as a kid. I used to sit around in a box and pretend it was a boat.” He would daydream about being out on the water, duck hunting or trapping while pouring over the pages of Field & Stream and Sports Afield. Before long, by age 11, he was pulling oysters with his grandfather Curtis aboard the A.D. 2, a Navy Admiral’s Launch converted to a dredge boat.

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