It was a real nail biter, only meeting its Kickstarter goal in the final three hours, but Dean Tarulli’s Out East Oysters will come to fruition!
The East Hampton oyster farm’s Kickstarter campaign concluded last week, on December 13, with $12,045 in funding—just slightly above the $12,000 needed—and now the real work begins.
“From here I move on to ordering my equipment, refurbishing my boat, and building all the cages,” Tarulli says, explaining his plan to begin farming. Suffolk County granted the marine biologist and entrepreneur 10-acres in Napeague Bay six months ago through a Suffolk County aquaculture lease program, which hands out just 100 acres per year via a lottery system.
“I am also going to try and get more local restaurants to participate in my shell collection program,” Tarulli adds, referring to a deal to collect shells from local restaurants in order to make various oyster-themed items. Tarulli made oyster shell wind chimes, jewelry, dishes and more as rewards for his Kickstarter contributors, but one of the two participating restaurants backed out because saving the shells became too difficult.
“Since the candles, jewelry, and chimes were such a hit I am also going to be creating a Etsy shop for the farm,” Tarulli says. “The oyster craft [Kickstarter] rewards should be in the mail by Monday and the T-shirts will be sent out some time in January.”
Those who contributed enough to receive actual oysters from the farm will have to be a bit more patient. “Private cage oyster rewards will be completely up to the oysters,” Tarulli says. “They could have some ready by fall 2017 or they might have to wait until summer 2018.”
Of course the first step is getting his farm underway and producing.
“If the rest of my funding comes thru as planned I will be putting oysters in the water in spring 2017.”
Take a look at the Out East Oysters Kickstarter here.