The Haward family have two restaurants on Mersea Island; The Company Shed in West Mersea and Mehalah’s in East Mersea. Richard’s wife, Heather, opened The Company Shed (now run by Richard and Heather's daughter, Caroline) in the 1980’s. It initially started off as a fishmongers, but grew into a restaurant where you can take your own alcohol and bread. Heather opened Mehalah’s in 2013. It differs from the Shed as you cannot take your own alcohol and they specialise in Game and Seafood. Heather's ethos and approach has always been to "keep it simple," and her restaurant, Mehalah's, in East Mersea, continues in that simple desire she first found when opening The Company Shed.
Richard Haward’s Oysters is a growing business and in the process of expanding and improving their operations in all areas from sea to plate. As well as the retail unit at Borough Market, oysters are also exported around the globe to places such as Taiwan, Barcelona, Dubai and Brussels. Here at Richard Haward’s Oysters you can mail order your oysters and they are available for next day delivery.
The Mersea oysters are sent into some of the top restaurants in London including:
HIDE Restaurant (Piccadilly) which has a Michelin Star, the Head Chef being Ollie Dabbous.
Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone, whose Head Chef, Nuno Mendes, has a Michelin star.
Wiltons Restaurant in St James.
The Garrick Club in the West-End. Caviar House.
The oldest seafood restaurant in Brighton, English’s Restaurant.
Richard Haward’s Oysters are extremely proud to sell oysters to these establishments and this provides another motivation to produce the best oysters possible and maintain our fantastic reputation.
As well as providing our customers with the best oysters, Richard Haward’s Oysters is also working with the University of Essex and ENORI (The Essex Native Oyster Restoration Initiative) which is a collaboration between oystermen, government, conservationists and academia. Richard is also part of the Tollesbury and Mersea Native Oyster Fishery Company and has been on the board for many years. They are supporting the ENORI project and as Richard Haward’s Oysters have got 14 acres of oysterbeds, it is vital to the project’s success. It is designed to restore the declining stocks of native oysters in the Blackwater estuary. Due to harsh winters in the 1960’s, the native oyster neared extinction owing to their fragility and overfishing. It also has to compete for the nutrients from gigas (more commonly known as the rock oyster), which are much stronger. But the work we are doing at Richard Haward's Oysters, alongside others, is ensuring that the native oyster goes from strength to strength.
Richard has always supported the local oystermen and fishermen so being part of this project is something that the business is very proud to be involved in and as native oyster stocks rise, this creates new potential employment and educates others on all things oysters.