The La Nina conditions this year have brought challenges which Sue McIntyre of Broadwater Oysters called "a bit of a yoyo" with Pambula Lake variously open and closed over the last few weeks.
But after 25 years in business and never a Christmas missed, Ms McIntyre remains confident there will be Pambula Lake oysters available for our Christmas tables.
"For Pambula and Merimbula this is typical of any wet year, so supply can be stretched but in 25 years we haven't had a year where we haven't had oysters at Christmas," Ms McIntyre said.
"It increases the stress but we're getting used to stress around Christmas," she said in reference to the bushfires and then COVID, both of which saw visitors suddenly forced to leave the area.
Despite the recent wet weather, the business has had the benefit of small windows for harvesting, allowing it to keep up supply, Ms McIntyre said.
Broadwater Oysters supplies businesses from Narooma down to Lakes Entrance and has been able to keep servicing the local restaurants and those who drive to the shop by Pambula Lake.
Too much rain can close oyster beds for harvesting until water quality and shellfish pass strict NSW government testing and it's been about taking advantage of those opportunities between heavy rain events when the lake was open for harvesting.
As any real estate agent will tell you - it's all about location.
"At Pambula Lake we've got a good tidal exchange and so fresh water coming out of our catchments has the potential to flow through quite quickly," Ms McIntyre said.
Normally they would be selling to the Sydney market during the winter but COVID has made an impact on this trade.
Instead the oysters have been growing in the lake and now with the water temperature is increasing, Ms McIntyre said they are fattening up.
"We're looking forward to the summer season, we've got lots of stock on hand. We've already started noticing a big influx of visitors to the area," she said.
And with the development of the outside seating area and outdoor sales counter, Broadwater Oysters is hoping to seat more visitors and make takeaway orders smoother.
They have also teamed up with Longstocking Brewery, Breakfast Creek Wine and North of Eden Gin to produce unopened oyster gift packs for that tide to table experience at home, providing a mail order service.
Over the summer period, Ms McIntyre said they were catering for those in a family or group who don't eat oysters, or anyone who wants to supplement their oysters, by offering regional tasting plates.
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