In tiny Stonington Borough, Connecticut, at the spot where narrow streets give way to fishing docks and the smell of salt water becomes almost overwhelming, sits a tiny unobtrusive building. It’s here that scallop lovers from up and down the east coast come to buy Bomster Scallops directly from the family that fishes for them.
If you’re lucky you’ll be here on a day when Joe, Bill Jr. or Mike Bomster are here. The three brothers learned to fish from their grandfather and took the business over from their father who specialized in scallops: Bomster scallops. The Bomster brothers regale visitors with fishing stories, explain the process of harvesting scallops, and will give you a lecture on the prospects of future for fishing generations.
Since, 1976, the brothers have harvested sea scallops in the North Atlantic, a family livelihood that began out of a father’s necessity.
A father with three sons, it was his way to get us all on the boat and working,” Joe said of his dad.
During scallop season in the Atlantic, the brothers, and their crew spend 8 to 14 days out to sea at a time, onboard one of the family’s two 95-foot fishing trawlers. When they return to the docks at Stonington it’s with already packaged flash-frozen scallops. Now, flash frozen isn’t something that normally comes to mind when you think gourmet scallops but Joe promises the process is natural and keeps the scallops tasting sweet and delicate.
“You won’t find anything else like them,” Joe said.