December 31, 2014

Top 10 Reasons Consociate Loves Tommy Leggett (and oysters)

Tommy Leggett

If you’ve paid any attention to the Consociate Facebook page or our Instagram feed lately, you’ve likely seen us commenting on and enjoying oysters. There’s no doubt about it. We love them. A lot. And for a whole host of reasons…which we’ve narrowed down to this top 10 list.

  1. The venerable Tommy Leggett. Nearly every oyster we eat comes from Tommy Leggett of Chessie Seafood and Aquafarms. His farm is less than a half mile from the very site General Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown to General George Washington in 1781 ending the American Revolution, and only five miles downstream from the site where Captain John Smith’s life was saved in 1608 by Pocahontas, the daughter of Powhatan, Chief of the powerful Algonquin Confederacy of Native Americans that dominated Virginia prior to the European settlement of North America. Historically, the York River contained oyster reefs that the first colonists to Virginia used as a vital food source. Today, oysters aren’t as plentiful, but Tommy is working hard, and using innovative farming techniques, to help bring back this incredible species not only for us all to enjoy, but to also save the Bay’s waters. More on that later! And seriously…how can you not LOVE these recent pictures of Tommy above by Sara Harris Photography at Waypoint Seafood and Grill?

oysters

  1. Buck a Shuck. Our friends at Waypoint Seafood and Grill are equal oyster lovers. So much so that every Thursday they feature this incredible species as a bar special, offering them for $1 an oyster. The best part? Every Thursday Tommy Leggett delivers the freshest oysters to Waypoint and then saddles up to the bar himself to enjoy his harvest and talk with anyone who wants to know more about oysters.
  1. PEACE LOVE OYSTERS. It’s true. Oysters are considered an aphrodisiac for its consumers. Oysters also show a lot of love to the Chesapeake Bay by filtering out the gunky stuff, cleaning the waters that surround the hometown of Consociate that are many of our playgrounds in the summer. Paddle boarding, beaching and boating, anyone? PEACE LOVE OYSTERS means so much more, though. It’s the best selling t-shirt design of our friends at Be the Bay. Be the Bay sells casual apparel that features life on the Chesapeake Bay and donates a portion of its profits to Bay restoration projects. In 2012 and 2013 those donations went to programs to help continuing building up the health of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay. Talk about peace and love. Note to self…must get Tommy Leggett one of these t-shirts!
  1. So many recipes. So little time. We’ve roasted them (thanks, Phillips Energy, for always providing the propane we need for our grills). We’ve added them to cornbread dressing (thank you, Chef Kyle, from Waypoint Seafood and Grill, for that amazing recipe), and we’ve shucked them and just downed them raw. Check out these many ways to prepare oysters, thanks to Tommy Leggett. And yes…you can put them in the microwave.
  1. Pearls. Need we say more, ladies?
  1. The economy. Tommy Leggett is not alone. He’s among a group of elite men and women who have made their living on the water. Oyster populations have dwindled in recent decades, but as they make a comeback, so can the watermen who have, in the Tidewater, Virginia region, been labeled as endangered as the species they once harvested. Our friends at Chesapeake Marine Training Institute work to train fishermen, professional mariners and recreational boaters to be safe on the water…and we’re hoping that as oysters and other water species, like the blue crab, make stronger comebacks, so will many jobs.
  1. Like terroir, which describes the way the land will alter the taste of a grape for wine, the water alters the taste of an oyster. The saltier the water, the saltier the oyster. It’s that simple. And Merroir, an oyster tasting spot on the banks of the Rappahannock River, capitalizes on this phenomenon. It’s a favorite spot of Consociate. Picnic tables overlooking the water. Fresh oysters. Cold beer. What could be better?

inn at warner hall

  1. The boathouse at the Inn at Warner Hall. This plantation on the banks of the Severn River is now one of the premier bed and breakfasts on the East Coast. Wander down from the manor house to its boat house and sit awhile. Walk out onto the dock at low tide and look down and you’ll see the wild oysters growing, well, wildly. This spot, where the stars at night seem as bright as the sun and the quiet and stillness of the meadow fields leading to the water create the utmost relaxation needed for creative juices to flow, is quite simply one of our favorite spots on earth.
  1. Severn…the Consociate office dog. No…she doesn’t eat oysters. But she does swim. A lot. Oysters clean the water that Severn loves so much and for that reason…we love oysters.
  2. The Urbanna Oyster Festival. The oyster, as you might imagine, is the star of the show and this festival is the star of our fall events. Urbanna, located a short drive from the Consociate offices, is home to many businesses we love – Lowe Tide boutique and Bethpage Campground, to name a few.
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Gift Ideas From People We Love

The shopping days for this holiday season may have passed, but if there’s one thing we learned it’s that our friends at Consociate have some of the most unique gift ideas…gift ideas that can carry you through all holidays. Whether it’s something special for an Easter basket, Valentine’s Day or a special birthday, consider visiting some of these incredible small businesses this year.

Warner Hall

Homey, delightful and grand—just a couple of words frequently used to describe the historic Inn at Warner Hall. Anyone receiving a Warner Hall gift certificate will be treated to the perfect weekend getaway, indulging in cozy rooms, amazing food, fun events and special packages. Located in Gloucester, Va., the Inn is located on a waterfront plantation that was created in 1642 by George Washington’s great-great grandfather. It’s a beautifully restored mansion and one of the most elegant and historic on the East Coast. To purchase a gift certificate, visit www.warnerhall.com or, for more information, call 804.695.9565.

Waypoint Seafood and Grill

Perfect for the foodie in your life, and fit for a queen, Waypoint is a must-try. Chef and Restaurateur, Hans J. Schadler, CEC, AAC, is world-renowned with training and experience from Germany to the United States. After all, he was responsible for coordinating all meal function during the Queen of England’s visitation to the Williamsburg Inn in 2007. Waypoint is located in Williamsburg, Va. Contact 757.220.2228 or visit http://www.waypointgrill.com for any further questions or information.

Be the Bay

Not sure what to get your water loving, Chesapeake Bay dwelling friends? Be the Bay sells apparel for kids, women and men in a variety of colors and designs. If you’re really not sure, a gift certificate is easily attainable through the Be the Bay website, in denominations of $10, $25, $50 or $100. After giving the gift of a shopping trip on www.BeTheBay.com, your friend can choose from a variety of apparel depicting some of the Bay’s most iconic features.

Kelsick Specialty Market

If you’re looking for the perfect hostess gift or something for the food, wine and beer lover in your life, try Kelsick Specialty Market on Gloucester Main Street, offering a variety of fine wines, gourmet foods and elegant gifts. Kelsick Market is an independent retailer that offers a wide assortment of gourmet products and ingredients, kitchen accessories and prepared foods. In the rush of Christmas shopping, stop in to browse and even pick up a fresh, homemade meal for dinner. Learn more at http://www.kelsickmarket.com.

Split Enz Salon

The way to a woman’s heart? Maybe a little pampering. Split Enz salon offers hair, nail and massage services, as well as trained and friendly stylists whose passion is having their clients leave their shop feeling refreshed, confident and beautiful. Split Enz takes a “Total Look” approach, consulting each client on their lifestyle, body type, personality and hair characteristics to customize their current trend look. Check out products and services online at http://splitenzsalon.com.

funny little dog Apparel

funny little dog is a clothing company dedicated to our four-legged friends. Since 2004, the company has been designing shirts, sweatshirts and gifts for people who are inspired by their furry companions everyday. It’s the quirky things that pets do that are the best inspiration for designs. People who love their pet more than anything, would only be complete if they’re rocking funny little dog apparel. Take a peek at the online store here: http://www.funnylittledog.com/catalog/app_store.cfm.

Yolanda’s

Yolanda’s is a woman’s apparel boutique that specializes in distinctive clothing, accessories and jewelry that can be for work and play, and clothing that will add the essential and imaginative pieces to any wardrobe. For the women in your life, they’re bound to love pieces from a boutique that offers the latest trends. Plus, if you happen to be a guy out of your element while you’re shopping, Yolanda’s provides an easy shopping experience that begins with a warm “hello” and ends with a sincere “thank you so much!” Learn more Yolanda’s boutique at http://www.yolandasonmain.com

Wilton Cottage & Garden

Wilton Cottage & Garden has the perfect assortment of unique gifts for people you love. From beauty products, to apparel to home décor, Wilton has smaller pieces perfect for hostess gifts, or really great pieces for all of your family members. The store carries high-quality brands that for great feature or accent pieces in your home The Table at Wilton, a gourmet catering company, is another great choice for the holidays with its personalized menus and sweet treats to fit your taste buds. For more information on both Wilton and The Table, check out http://www.thewiltonhome.com.

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