Meet Your Mussel Grower, Paul Simpson

Sonia - December 4, 2019

I first met Paul, the founder of Saltspring Island Mussels at his home on Salt Spring Island in December 2018 while visiting longtime members Gary and Radha who just happen to be Paul’s next door neighbours. Paul was a gracious host, inviting me into his kitchen where we talked for hours about fishing and the broken seafood industry. Paul told me how, after many years of working in that broken industry, he decided to go off on his own and start his own company. I was so impressed by how Paul grew his mussel farm from just a tiny operation to now supplying restaurants across Canada, all while staying true to the values of community, environmental conservation, and living wages that we hold so dear. He credits his amazing and talented team for all this success and is very forthcoming about all the trials and tribulations of getting to where they are now.

We love mussels and Paul’s are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. He raises the seed mussels on his property on Salt Spring Island and then the baby mussels are transferred to their plots in the sea in Desolation Sound. Mussels, like all shellfish, are amazing creatures that restore marine ecosystems rather than depleting them. And they are one of the few examples of marine-based aquaculture that we can truly get behind. I know how difficult it can be to source good, traceable local mussels and, even though Paul’s operation is a little different from many of our small scale fishing families, we feel they are a good fit for Skipper Otto since they share our values so strongly, provide a fantastic, local, hyper-traceable seafood species that’s otherwise tough to find, and because they are powerful community builders and fantastic employers. And you won’t get mussels fresher than this! Paul’s team harvests our mussels just two days before our fresh mussel pick-ups at Fishermen’s Wharf!

As for recipes, all it takes is a pot and a savoury broth to steam the mussels in. Steam for 6-8 minutes (and if they don’t open they are still great to eat! It is a myth that mussels that don’t open are dead!) Recipes for mussels abound online but a simple white wine, garlic and butter broth is one of our favourites!

Sonia - December 4, 2019


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Meet Your Mussel Grower, Paul Simpson

Sonia - December 4, 2019

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