Lifelong friends Connor White and Joe Sparling grew up just blocks from each other and the Great South Bay in Blue Point.
“I always had friends with boats and we always went out digging up clams,” recalled White, who still lives in Blue Point, while Sparling has since moved to Stony Brook.
They always had a passion of fishing, so much so, that years later they decided to launch a seafood-based business together earlier this summer.
Despite growing up near the water on Long Island, it wasn’t until White went off to college in Charleston, S.C., that he really began to hone skills around fish and shellfish.
“I worked at various oyster bars, learned the ropes, and managed one,” said White.
When they started planning a business together, the friends agreed they wanted to spread their passion for oysters.
So they created a raw bar on wheels — and an engine.
They call their newly unveiled seafood truck The Walrus and The Carpenter’s Traveling Oyster Company.
(For you non-literary types, it’s a play on the popular Lewis Carroll poem.)
White, 23, is the walrus, given his skills around the water.
Sparling, 25, is the carpenter. It was Sparling who crafted the traveling raw bar’s tier drop trailer.
The two now show up at events across Long Island, like Riverhead’s Alive on 25 summer street festival. They also do private parties.
The Traveling Oyster Company has a wide selection of assorted shellfish. The partners also customize the truck for parties, with the flexibility to add hot items like clam chowder or seafood gumbo.
The main goal is to get everyone to enjoy oysters as much as the owners.
“We are really big on trying to turn everybody on to the whole oyster movement,” said White.
To do so, White created his own array of sauces that he says gets people’s attention. Some of his homemade creations include apple cider bourbon and strawberry mint rosé.
The Traveling Oyster Company has made an effort to help replenish the seas by donating thousands of oyster and clam shells to Stony Brook University’s Marine Science Department. The shells are used to help regrow oyster beds.
Their goal one day is to be a part of the Billion Oyster Project, which is an initiative to restore one billion oysters in the New York Harbor.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Top: Joe Sparling (left) and Connor White (right) selling seafood at the Alive on 25 festival in downtown Riverhead this summer. (courtesy)