I was born on the Eastern Shore in Maryland, where marshy wetlands and the sounds of waterfowl were my first introductions to the natural world. I ate my first oyster out of a Ball jar during a trip to see my grandparents on Florida's Forgetten Coast. I have no regrets.
I later went to college, studied overseas, launched into a corporate career, and found my strengths in global sales for the business travel industry.
Oysters, however, have always been the background prop in my life. After a move to Boston, I craved a creative outlet and began writing casually about oyster farms. Up until March 2023, I was wedging visits to tide flats between work meetings and airplane seats, living somewhat a double-life.
After 7 years of writing about the oyster industry, I am proud to join this community and provide others the same opportunity to go and see through powerful, authentic eco-tourism and culinary experiences. My purpose is to create awe through food and nature, and I look forward to creating those moments for others.
For the last seven years, Virginia Shaffer has acquired recognition for her contributions in promoting and sharing shellfish stories through her blog, Lady Oyster. She is an independent food writer who specializes in shellfish and New England coastal lifestyle. On her blog and through social media, Virginia showcases oyster farmers, seafood festivals, raw bar experiences, and coastal eco-tourism opportunities.
Virginia has authored website content for oyster farmers, served as press coverage for oyster festivals, and has been featured in print and media for her oyster knowledge and expertise. She’s supported events like Grand Tasting Event in Pensacola, Harvest on the Harbor: Maine Oysterfest, London Oyster Week’s program alongside Katy Davidson, and the Damariscotta Oyster Celebration, an annual oyster festival hosted by O’Maine Studios. She also joined their Judging Panel for the 2019 Chef Summit alongside Maine’s Governor, Janet Mills.
Virginia has been featured on the WVCB Boston Chronicle 5, Edible Maine, Good Grit Magazine, Post and Courier, and more. She is involved in oyster education and volunteers on the Program Advisory Committee for the Northeast Maritime Institute’s Restorative Aquaculture Program. She is an activist in the fight against climate change and serves as a Friend of the Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition, a division of The Nature Conservancy. Virginia has a B.A. in International Studies from American University in Washington, D.C., and is based in New England with her husband, Warwick, her two dogs, Tulip and Daff, her cat, Woody, and six chickens.
The Maine Family
Warwick and I are proud to take part in the Maine oyster community, which is a pioneering place for shellsifh aquaculture and eco-tourism in the United States. Alongside our friends at Maine Oyster Company, we're building experiences that introduce everyday people to the power of sea farming.