Sunshine Foods Market

1115 Main St  St Helena, CA  94574

Open 7:30am to 8:30pm  - 7 days per week 

European Flat “Belon” - (Ostrea Edulis)
This famous oyster is originally from the Brittany coast of France.  Also known as the “Flat Oyster”, the oyster is now successfully grown in the Pacific Northwest.  This cream-colored meat oyster is grown on racks in bags and can be characterized as being salty, delicate in texture, and with an extremely metallic or spicy finish.  Their sandy-brown circular, shallow shells easily identify them.


Olympia - (Ostrea Lurida)
Indigenous to the Pacific Northwest waters, “OLY” is now farm raised in limited quantities.  It is the smallest of the commercially harvested oysters, (1-1¼ inch).  This oyster has an appealing full flavor that to many is the ultimate taste sensation.  The Olympia is a very slow growing oyster, sometimes taking 5 years to reach mature market size.


Kumamoto - (Crassostrea Sikamea)
Originally from the Kumamoto area of Kyushu, Japan, this very slow growing oyster is small in size (1½ - 2 inches) with a very deep cup.  The Kumamoto has a firm texture, rich in flavor, creamy and slightly salty.The finish is buttery-sweet, mildly fruity, with a hint of metallic flavor.  Kumamoto oysters are cultivated now successfully in CA, OR, WA and Mexico.  This oyster is popular with the novice half-shell oyster consumer.


Kusshi – (Crassostrea Gigas)
The Japanese – American dictionary defines “kusshi” as preeminent, outstanding, foremost, or leading.  The above definition was the reason this oyster was named Kusshi.  This specialty oyster was developed by a team of shellfish culture experts on beautiful Cortes Island, in the pristine British Columbia coastal waters.  The Kusshi oyster has a smooth shell and a unique round shape that is easily opened.  After opening the oyster you will find a sweet oyster meat overflowing from the shell.


Malaspina - (Crassostrea Gigas)Malaspina oysters are beach-cultured oysters.  Raised inter-tidally on British Columbia’s excellent gravel beaches in Okeover inlet, they produce an exceptionally strong, heavy shell.  British Columbia’s 16-foot tides allow the oysters to become conditioned to 8-12 hours a day out of the water.  This results in a product with a very long shelf life (10-14 days after shipping) and easily opened.  The meat is white with a dark, textured mantle.  Plump and juicy, Malaspina oysters have a clean, strong ocean flavor with a “cucumber-like” finish.


Chef Creek - (Crassostrea Gigas)
Not far from Fanny Bay, Chef Creek flows into Deep Bay in Baynes Sound on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island B. C.  This is the home of another highly cultivated oyster: the Chef Creek.  These oysters are cultivated using a combination of growing techniques.  Seed oysters are first reared in a “flupsy” (floating up-welling) system.  Then the oysters are transferred to an inter-tidal area for the hardening before shipment to market.  Like the Fanny Bay, this method produces a faster growing, slightly softer shelled, nicely cupped oyster that has a mild briny, sweet taste.


Fanny Bay - (Crassostrea Gigas)
These oysters are cultured using a combination of growing techniques and grown in one of British Columbia’s most prolific growing areas in Baynes Sound.  Fanny Bay is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island.  The oysters are started using a suspension method, then transferred to the intertidal area for hardening.  The flavor is salty, but sweet firm flesh with a fruity finish. It has a softer and moderately fluted ivory colored shell, edged with many colors, predominantly red and purple.


Nootka Sound - (Crassostrea Gigas)
This Canadian oyster is unique as it is one of the few oysters produced on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island.  Being a beach grown oyster it has a good shelf life as it naturally gets roughed up by severe storms.  The very cold Nootka Sound empties directly into the Pacific Ocean and produces an oyster with hearty robust appearance and clean fresh taste.  Its meat tends to be plump and sweet - not too salty.  A thick hard shell protects it from the constant wave action of its isolated growing area.


Evening Cove - (Crassostrea Gigas)
This Pacific oyster is bred and raised off Vancouver Island.  The growing area is near Deep Bay, Denman Island.  These oysters go through a number of stages before they are ready to be harvested.  They are raised in our hatchery then placed in specially made nets on beaches until they reach a certain size and maturity level.  At this point, these juvenile oysters are moved to Evening Cove to complete their growth cycle and be ready for harvesting.  This whole growing process takes about 2 full years.  The area produces an oyster that is slightly salty, firm and with a watermelon finish.


Discovery Bay – (Crassostrea Gigas) A Beach grown oyster harvested in the cold waters of Discovery Bay by Port Discovery Seafarms.  This body of water is in northern Washington and its tides drain into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Hard Shelled and easy to open, these Oysters are briny with a sea breeze finish.


Tom Farmer Hood Canal(Reach Island)- (Crassostrea Gigas)
These wild beach oysters are harvested in the southern hook of the Hood Canal by Tom Farmer.  Being a beach oyster these animals are very hardy and have a very long shelf life.  The area where the oysters are harvested has a substrate made up of small pebbles and natural gravel.  This type of condition leaves these oysters clean with only a quick rinse.  Needed before use.Tom takes pride in harvesting the best shapes for the half shell market.  The odd shaped oysters are used by the shucking plants nearby.


Steamboat Island – (Crassostrea Gigas)
These oysters are grown in the prime oyster growing area in the U.S., south Puget Sound.  The growing method for these oysters is “Rack & Bag”.  The meat yield is among the highest in the Pacific Northwest.  Sea flavor and a vegetable finish is the most common characteristics of these oysters.


Sunset Beach – (Crassostrea Gigas)
The area chosen to grow these oysters is the bend in the Hood Canal.  The beach was chosen because the beach is cobblestones and pebbles.This helps the oysters clean from silt.  The oysters are further cultured by keeping them in bags for their lives.  Ugly barnacles set on the bags not on the oyster shells.  Flavor characteristics of this oyster are salty, crisp, with a sweet melon finish.


Quilcene - (Crassostrea Gigas)
This Japanese oyster has been raised in Washington for over sixty years.  The Quilcene Bay area produces an oyster which is very delicate in texture, slightly salty and sweet cucumber like finish.  The Quilcene oyster is a beach grown oyster, in an area with very small pea gravel substrate.  This type of area produces a clean oyster that can be used after a quick rinse.  Quilcene oysters are said to be similar to the “Fine de Claire” oyster from France.


Dabob Bay (Crassostrea Gigas)
This oyster is grown in a unique offshoot of the larger channel of the Hood Canal.  As a twin inlet with Quilcene Bay,  the ecosystem produces diatoms and algae that imparts a fruity finish to the taste.  Having only one seventh the tidal flush as the rest of the Puget Sound, the surrounding water is constantly being refreshed with fresh rainwater and lowers the salinity.  This condition fills this oyster with sweeter water than other Pacific oysters in full ocean salinity.  At this time, the surrounding area is very remote and not encroached upon by human development.  As a result the ecosystem is very healthy.  Engulfed in this type ofenvironment the animal develops plump, firm meats.  Dabob oysters are beach-grown in fine pea gravel.  The rawness of the Pacific Northwest roughs up the animal and smoothes out the sharp edges that form on the oyster shells.  Good shelf-life is a common characteristic of oysters that live in rough windy gravely inter-tidal beaches.


Skookum Inlet - (Crassostrea Gigas)
These oysters are raised in the French manner (rack & bag) in Little Skookum Inlet, Puget Sound, near Olympia, WA.  The shell is strong and easy to open.  The very deep cupped oyster, the Skookum have an attractive appearance due to the high mineral content of the water.  Skookum oysters are plump, almost crunchy, and salty with a smoky-sweet flavor.


Pickering Pass – (Crassostrea Gigas)
At the base of the Olympic Mountains lies the body of water that these oysters are grown in.  This body of water is sandwiched between the Olympic peninsula and Harstine Island in south Puget Sound.  Even though there are many acres of intertidal area here only one company produces oysters here.  This company chooses to use the French method of growing oysters, ”rack & bag”.  This produces an attractive shell with a high meat yield.  Taste this oyster for its briny taste and vegetable finish.


Oysterville Select - ( Crassostrea Gigas )
These oysters are grown in the Willapa Bay along the Long Beach Peninsula near the farthest north town of Historic Oysterville.  Lack of industry and a small population surrounding Willapa Bay has kept this bay the cleanest estuary in the continental US.  The Oysterville plant is the only fisheries building inWashington State on the National Registry of Historic Places (Placed there on April 26, 1976).  Being close to the Pacific Ocean, the Oysterville beds are provided with excellent food so the oysters grow to a rich marketable size.  When the oysters are ready for harvest (18-24 months), these beach oysters are picked by hand at low tide.  Picking them by hand keeps the oysters free of sand and grit and assures good shapes for the half shell market.  Life as an oyster here at Oysterville is tough.  Much varying weather conditions constantly pound this area.Ice, rain, and severe wind storms cause drastic water temperature changes.  These changes causes the food variety and quantity to change constantly.  Because of these different growing conditions, Oysterville oysters obtain a rich and complex flavor found nowhere else.


Elkhorn - ( Crassostrea Gigas )
A Pacific oyster harvested from the farmed beds in the Willapa Bay near the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge in Washington by Steve Shotwell.  This oyster is especially well suited for the “Half Shell” market due to their appearance and flavor.  Arriving from the very cold waters that are bathed with unrestricted Pacific Ocean’s Japanese current, these oysters have the characteristic clean, green tinged shell, rounded cups and beach warn fluted appearance.  Because of the healthy ecosystem of these beds, each oyster is packed with firm, crisp, briny, crunchy meat that finishes with a clean, melon-like flavor.  Elkhorn oysters are best from October until July.  Availability is excellent during this time as the Pacific Northwest rarely ices over.


Pearl Point - (Crassostrea Gigas)
Pearl Point oysters are harvested from racks in Netarts Bay on the Oregon Coast near Tillamook.  Netarts Bay is a shallow, sandy-bottomed bay with higher than average salinity.  Two small, pristine mountain streams feed this Bay.  This combination of salinity and water purity produces an oyster with a pleasing flavor and a cantaloupe finish.  Harvesting is unique in the industry, as these oysters are not harvested at low tide but are harvested with SCUBA gear.  This oyster is one of the Pacific oysters originally from Japan.


Marin Bay - (Crassostrea Gigas)
Marin Oyster Co. grows the finest miyagi oysters available on the West Coast.  Located on the north end of Tomales Bay, California, our growing area is just a mile away from the open Pacific.  Cold oceanic waters flood through the farm nourishing the oysters as they mature in “ floating bags” (cages).  The tumbling action of choppy water polishes the oysters and induces the development of extraordinary deep-cupped shells.  These oysters are beautiful to look at and exquisite to eat.  The meats are full and plump, firm (non-spawning triploid seed stock), sweet with complex flavors.  Melon and fruits, as well as the fresh sea breeze can be tasted in these oysters.


Malpeque – (Crassostrea Virginica)
A summer oyster found naturally in the cold clean water of Malpeque Bay, Prince Edward Island, Canada.  It is a famous oyster in Europe, where it has won many awards for its flavor and texture.  The Malpeque has a very delicate texture, they almost dissolve in your mouth.  Because the water is so cold in Malpeque Bay, this oyster is extremely salty.  The meat has a very crisp, lettuce like flavor with a clean finish.  These oysters are not affected by pollution, nor do they contain the dangerous viruses associated with other Eastern and Gulf oysters from warmer waters.


Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn