Processor of the Month: Rosa Zirlott of Murder Point Oyster Company

Name: Rosa Zirlott Name of Business: Murder Point Oyster Company Business Address: 10870A Beverly Road Irvington, AL Business Phone Number: 251-379-4892 Website: Alabama Gulf Seafood that your business processes: Oysters Where were you born and raised? I was born in South Florida and moved to Bayou la Batre when I was 15. That is where I met my husband. How did you come to work in Alabama’s seafood industry? My husband and I both grew up in the industry. It has been a family business for years. We just recently decided to open our half-shell oyster shop last year that sells to a half-shell market. It is new for us and it’s exciting to see the interest and appreciation people have in a farm-raised oyster. What does your typical work day involve? These oysters are taken out of the water once a week. With as many oysters we have, it takes us a full day to raise all the oysters out of the water. Being out of the water kills the phylum that grows on the oysters and we spend a lot of time to make sure they are clean. We sort them in four sizes so that when they are sold they have a clean presentation and are uniform in size. What makes your company/organization stand out within Alabama’s seafood industry? It is a family-owned business. We work to create a showcase oyster that has no phylum on the outside and that is rich and buttery in taste. We named our company Murder Point Oysters because the area we grow them on is on the point of land where in 1930, one oyster farmer murdered another farmer over the lease. Our tag line is “Murder Point Oysters. Oysters worth killing for.” It is part of the story of what we are selling and we have gotten a great response from it. What is something about Alabama’s seafood industry that everyone should know? Farmed-raised oysters are really new to our area and have only been established a few years. There is a farm-grade oyster that is not competing against other oyster types. It is a whole different market with oysters being selected especially for a half-shell market. It tastes good and it looks good! I think it is great for people to find that there is such a market in Alabama now. What’s your favorite seafood dish to serve up for yourself and your family? We are a family of oyster eaters. We like them plain, raw, out of the shell. We really enjoy the flavor of the meat in the oyster. We love what we sell, and we love eating it! What are your favorite hobbies? I have four children and ten grandchildren that I love spending time with. We are all very close and being involved in their life is the most important thing. I am very much involved with my family business. I work with Organized Seafood Association of Alabama, I sit on the board of Southern Shrimp Alliance, and I work within my church. Do you own any pets? Two dogs and a cat. Auburn or Alabama? I love them both!

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