Bringing Mariculture to Prince of Whales Island
Southeast Alaska isn’t typically known for its farms, but Greg McMillan, the owner of Keta Seafoods, LLC, hopes to transform farming in the area. Providing premier, sustainably harvested oysters to both local and global and consumers was Greg’s motivation for opening Alaskan Oyster Company, LLC. But his vision didn’t stop there. To add a personal, Alaskan-made touch to his products, Greg creates handcrafted crates out of Alaskan Red Cedar and Sitka Spruce, which conveniently fit in a flat-rate box. To help bring this dream to life, Greg came to Spruce Root for support in expanding a small mariculture oyster farm just outside of Klawock on Prince of Wales Island. Thanks to the small business funding provided by Spruce Root, Greg was able to purchase a defunct oyster farm in Yakutat and transport it to his site to expand operations. While his operations are just ramping up with an initial staff of two, he hopes to add three more employees in as many years. In a town with only 400 jobs, another five are an added benefit to Greg’s community. With the help from Spruce Root, Greg’s farm has added a new commercially-harvested food source for Southeast Alaska as well as much needed jobs in the area.
Partnership with Spruce Root
Keta Seafoods worked with Spruce Root to develop and refine their business plan, budget, and financial structure. They also received funding through Spruce Root’s business loan program.