Blackjack Point Oyster Company

"Our mission is to cultivate the finest oysters while contributing to the enhancement of local bays and ecosystems, fostering sustainability and environmental well-being."

One might say that saltwater runs through the veins of Blackjack Point Oyster Company’s owner, AJ Minns. In 1980 AJ’s family moved to Rockport when his father began a career as a commercial fisherman, first crabbing and shrimping in the local bays and eventually snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. At age 8 during breaks from school, AJ began working with his father as a “deckhand”. Living in Rockport and working with his father instilled a love for the water in him at an early age. AJ often daydreamed of buying a boat and following in his father’s footsteps but soon it became clear to him that commercial fishing in Texas had become unsustainable and would not be a promising career.

After graduating from Rockport-Fulton High School, AJ served in the United States Navy. After his service, he immediately returned to Rockport to acquire his USCG license and began working on different types of boats in the area. AJ eventually settled into a 25-year career as a captain in the marine transportation industry. Though he loved the work, being away from home half the time kept his eyes open to other opportunities.

As the son of a commercial fisherman and a second-generation waterman when the Cultivated Oyster Mariculture industry opened in Texas it offered AJ that chance to “return to his roots” and to work in the same bay system where he worked with his father. Oyster farming has given AJ the opportunity to fulfill the dreams of his youth in a responsible, sustainable way.

Blackjack Point Oyster Company was created in April of 2022 and began the long process to receive a Cultivated Oyster Mariculture permit from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Blackjack Point Oyster Company received their final permit in April of 2023 making them the fourth permitted oyster farm in Texas and planted the first batch of baby oysters just two months later. Blackjack Point Oyster Company started harvesting oysters in mid-December of 2023 and now are currently being served at restaurants in Rockport and throughout the state.

Blackjack Point Oyster Company has a 4-acre lease on the northern end of Aransas Bay, an area locals will tell you has been producing quality oysters for decades. The main difference is that farmed oysters are grown in floating cages barely below the surface of the water, so they (filter feeding bivalves) do not have to sift through bottom silt and sediment for their food. This creates a cleaner tasting oyster that is more pleasing to the palate. Blackjack Point Oyster Company utilizes the same systems and  husbandry practices used on the east coast that result in cocktail sized single oysters with deeper cups and complex tastes that any oyster connoisseur will appreciate.

Blackjack Point Oyster Company is family owned and operated by AJ and his wife Debbie.  AJ’s nephew has worked along his side since the first oysters were planted in Aransas Bay, continuing the tradition for a third generation of local watermen.