Attractions Magazine, July 2006
When friends Andy Hanzlik, Guy Furman, and Scott Fritze earned their college diplomas a few years ago, they weren’t thinking about minimum wage summer jobs; they were planning for the long term. They were building the framework for a new business venture: a shrimp farm.
Fast forward a few years and many, many hard labor hours later and you have a successful, indoor shrimp farm producing plump, delicious shrimp. There are several things that set this particular business apart from other shrimp farms in the
The five-acre facility in rural Hurlock is impressive. Two buildings were built several years ago and the three men learned mainly by their own intensive research and trial and error. The results were not what they had hoped. So, rather than pack it up, they dug in their heels and reconfigured their plans and tried again. Today they have a functioning, proprietary facility capable of producing 50,000 pounds of domestic, antibiotic-free and hormone-free shrimp a year.
It’s easy to understand, after hearing the facts, why three young guys sitting over a few beers in college decided to shrimp farm after graduation. The facts speak for themselves. According to Andy, who met Scott while at
That means that the aquaculture industry is worth billions of dollars domestically. Shrimp is one of the largest imported items into this country, with oil being the largest, according to Andy. “Shrimp is a premium seafood and it’s where the market is,” said Scott. “The market is starved for a domestic producer.”
On July 1, Marvesta Shrimp Farms will be open for business, only seven months after four more buildings were added to the site. Fresh shrimp only hours old are shipped overnight to hungry shrimp lovers who ordered the shrimp online in increments of 2 ½ - 5 pounds, with larger shipments available for restaurant owners.
Shipments of White Western Pacific post larvals arrive regularly at the site where they are fed at least twice a day. The post larvals are tiny, but can be viewed with the naked eye. It takes about four months for them to reach the size of a 20 count. The indoor tanks circulate the basic brackish water in a “raceway” style, keeping it oxygenated, thus growing healthy shrimp. This technology developed over time by Guy, Andy and Scott creates no waste because each tank has its own ecosystem, making it environmentally friendly. Shrimp are in various stages of development so there are staggered harvests at one tank per month to start. In the long term they hope to create a 500,000 pounds per year facility. For now, they have achieved consistency in their product and they are focusing on selling shrimp, about a million of them a year to start.
Once Guy, Andy and Scott agreed to pursue shrimp farming, they needed to find a location. According to Guy, who has known Scott since second grade, “This site is ideal. There is no better place on the East Coast because of the existing seafood industry.” The men agreed that the town of
Marvesta was chosen as the company’s name since “marv” means ocean and “esta” stands for the goddess of home and hearth. There are currently six greenhouses located at Marvesta Shrimp Farms in Hurlock, which can be seen from Route 16.