Chessie Seafood and Aqua Farms

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We grow oysters at the mouth of the salty York River, about 20 miles from the Atlantic, and only a mile or so from Yorktown

Tours By Appointment. Please give us several days advanced notice. See information on scheduling a private tour below.
The Oyster Farm is operational year round and oysters are harvested daily for delivering and shipping.

Professional Distinction: Demonstrations, Exhibition, Tours, Wholesale Production

About Chessie Seafood and Aqua Farms:

We have been growing oysters in the York River since 1995 and we recently received the 2016 Virginia Chef’s Association “Fresh Award” in recognition of our commitment to fostering responsible and sustainable food traditions.

We only harvest to order, ie, we do not harvest oysters and then find someone to sell them to. For any given days sale, oysters are harvested in the AM, refrigerated and chilled to 45 F before shipment and then delivered in the PM the same day. It takes 2 hours or less (round trip dock to dock) to harvest, depending on the harvest quantity. Our York River Oysters are deep cupped, moderately salty with a sweet buttery finish and have a uniform size and shape. York River Oysters are the perfect mix of salt that satisfies the salt lovers palate while allowing the consumer to actually taste the oyster. Half of our York River Oysters are sold to local Williamsburg Restaurants while the remainder are sold nation wide by way of a local distributor.

We also ship oysters to individuals via USP. Oysters are harvested in the AM and shipped in the PM. They are shipped in insulated boxes with frozen gel packs. We generally do not ship via UPS in the summer months unless the customer wants to pay for a next day air shipment or if the shipment can be delivered using next day UPS ground service. Please contact us for orders or more details at


Please call several days in advance. $45/per adult, $10/child 12 or under. Add $5/adult to pair a locally brewed beer or wine with an oyster sample while on the farm. Participants will learn about oyster farming on a short boat ride to the farm aboard a 21’ Carolina Skiff and actually do a little light farm work to get a taste of what is involved. I am a US Coast Guard Licensed Captain and have worked the waters of the Chesapeake Bay since 1981. I have lived within a couple blocks of a Virginia Tributary of the Bay my entire life.

Who Are We?

The Chesapeake Bay Serpent, Chessie, brings the legendary taste of York River shellfish fresh to the market. Oysters that were demanded by British royalty during colonial days are now provided by Chessie Seafood and Aquafarms. Owner and grower Tommy Leggett works to raise oyster seed in the salty waters of the York River until they reach market size, which gives the oyster a unique and desired taste that locals of the Chesapeake Bay crave.

Where do York River Oysters Grow?

Our farm is less than 1/2 mile away from the site of General Lord Cornwallis surrender at Yorktown to General George Washington in 1781 ending the American Revolution. Only 5 miles upstream is the site where Captain John Smith’s life was saved in 1608 by Pocahontas, the daughter of Powhatan, Chief of the powerful Algonquin Confederacy of Native Americans that dominated Virginia prior to the European settlement of North America. Historically, the York River contained oyster reefs that the first colonists to Virginia used as a vital food source.

Finding and Ordering

York River Oysters can be found at the following local restaurants in Williamsburg VA:

  • Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill: $1 dollar York River Oysters Monday-Sunday 1130AM-7pm
  • Waypoint Seafood and Grill: Offered Daily ( Closed Monday), $1 York River Oysters Thurs 4-7PM at the Bar

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Tommy Leggett




9576 Ban Rd
Hayes, VA 23072


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