Who We Are
Meet Steve and Jardar, the two passionate partners behind Stella Mar Oyster Co. Both Steve and Jardar share the same vision: to redefine the Connecticut oyster and grow a sustainable, profitable business.
JARDAR: Jardar moved to the U.S. from Norway when he was 4 years old. Growing up, he always deeply loved fishing. At age 16, Jardar began working in a seafood market, while his Father at the time owned the second-ever salmon farming operation in North America (1986). After being in the seafood business for many years, Jardar sold the seafood store to embark on a fresh idea. Shellfish farming always seemed interesting to him, so he went through a series of shellfish lot acquisitions and began his journey in the business. When Steve eventually approached Jardar for partnership, Stella Mar was born.
STEVE: As a 14-year-old kid, Steve would spend his summer in Westport digging clams to where his dad eventually said, “you gotta stop bringing those darn clams back”. Little did he know his love for digging clams as a Midwestern boy would turn into a career in oyster farming.
After a career in the golf business, Steve wanted to get into the seafood industry so much so that he began his career working behind a fish counter for free. He did eventually get on payroll, and his job led to several media opportunities and appearances. He moved into a position focused on sustainability, which got noticed by some distinguished environmental groups. Thereafter, Steve took on a position representing the state of New York on a regional fishery management council, which is where he learned how to work with so many stakeholders and regulatory bodies. On his way to an interview for a large aquaculture business, he called Jardar out of the blue to catch up. As it turns out he turned down the job, called Jardar, and Stella Mar was born! Steve invested in Jardar and the business, wrote a business plan, and that’s been the dream ever since.
His best advice for someone getting into the oyster business? “Master Excel. Know your numbers. And get your phone insured.”