PUBLISHED: 11:25 10 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 20 February 2013
The Company Shed, Mersea Island
IN 1792 William Haward sailed to deliver oysters to Billingsgate Market and his relatives have never looked back. Today Richard Haward and his son, Bram, grow oysters in the shallow creeks leading from the River Blackwater to the west of Mersea Island.
Along with local fishermen, they land their catch for Richard's wife, Heather, and daughter, Caz, at The Company Shed, to sell to the masses who gather there daily for the very freshest Colchester native and gigas (rock) oysters, plus a great selection of other fresh fish and seafood including local cockles, giant delicious prawns, roll-mop herrings, smoked mackerel, Mediterranean crevettes plus Norfolk and green lipped mussels.
Originally, it was the Romans who first discovered the wild natives (oysters not locals) and declared them, 'the only good thing to come out of Britain'
or so they say. At this idyllic spot on the island the tidal waters of the sea
stretch out their salty fingers to the fresh river waters and provide an ideal fattening ground for these much sought-after delicacies. Richard specialises in the cultivation and supply of this gourmet product to restaurants, including his
own West Mersea Fish and Seafood Bar and The Company Shed, both run by wife Heather, and also restaurants and connoisseurs right around the UK and beyond.
The internet has brought many products to our doorsteps with the touch of a button and Richard's oysters are no exception. You can order your fresh Colchester natives or gigas online via his website and sit back and wait for delivery.
Heather and Caz run The Company Shed on the Coast Road. It really was once the company shed and its Spartan surroundings with plain wooden tables and a concrete floor have become its trade mark. Bring your own wine (with no corkage fee), flask of coffee and bread, oh and be prepared to chalk your name on the board and wait outside for your table - yes they really are that popular.
The Company Shed
129 Coast Road, Mersea
Colchester C05 8PA