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Demory Creek Seafood, fresh off the boat

Since 1999, when Jacob Pleiman graduated from Trenton High School he has worked in several fields. Jacob worked in construction and also did a stint in the Army. In 2003, he joined the Army Reserves, he was called up for duty in February and served in Iraq for a year, which was a life changing experience for Jacob.
Jacob grew up working in construction with his father, Bill Pleiman. So, when he came home from Iraq he went back into construction. In 2008, the construction business took a downward turn.
Then, in 2009 Jacob was growing tomatoes in a greenhouse. The tomato business went well for a short while, then prices dropped, and it was time to look for another career.
One of his father’s construction subcontractors suggested he should checkout blue crabbing and shedding soft shell crabs. That conversation sparked Jacob’s interest because Jacob had always enjoyed being on the water, and fishing. He started researching the seafood industry every chance he got. Jacob started blue crabbing in July 2011, about a year after he married Kristen O’Steen, who grew up in Alachua.
They started looking for crab licenses for sale. The state no longer issues blue crab or soft shell crab licenses. You have to purchase them from a crabber who is ready to hang his hat up. They found a blue crab license, soft shell crab license and stone crab license.
Jacob and his father, Bill formed the first company, P.P. Crabs in 2011. From 2011 to 2015, Jacob blue crabbed and shed soft shell crabs. Jacob soon found that his allergies, which had been a problem for all his life, did much better when he worked on the water.
Then in March of 2015, he and his dad started Demory Creek Seafood, LLC. They set out to grow aquaculture oysters. They went through the process to become a certified shellfish processor.
Jacob said, it has taken a lot of trial and error to master the art of growing oysters, but in the last year he has finally gotten it. He is raising perfect cup oysters on his lease on the coast north of Suwannee. Jacob feels farm raised oysters are safer and saltier. He also stated that farm raised or aquaculture might be the future of the seafood industry.
Some local oystermen talked Jacob into buying and selling their wild harvested oysters in 2015.
A few years ago when the season started rolling, Jacob was busy crabbing and his dad was working in his construction business, they found they needed an extra person. At that time Kristen joined the family business. Kristen left her job as a cardiovascular technologist working in the Department of Anesthesiology at Shands hospital.
She runs the fish house, make deliveries, take care of sales, and keeps up with a great deal of paper work required by the state. When talking about his wife Kristen, Jacob said, “She is my anchor, she keeps me and this business anchored.”
Jacob and his two man crew keep up the production of seafood. They plant and tend the farm raised oysters and clams, they crab and take care of the vats of shedding blue crabs which will in time become soft shell crabs. Seafood production is a non stop business.
In 2019, Jacob decided to farm clams. His clam lease is south of Suwannee at Cedar Key. He stated that growing clams was less labor intensive than growing oysters. He is quick to say that a bad day working on the water when its cold, windy or raining is better than a good weather day working on the land.
Jacob said, “Our children are involved in the business and that means a lot to us.” Their younger children have grown up around the fishhouse. The three young children are, Eli who is 8, Chelsea who is 2, and Kaloa who is 1. Kristen said, she would not trade the chance to stay home with her children and work in the family business for anything. Through the years the older children, Hailey who is 18 and Landon who is 16, have worked in every aspect of the business. “We work together as a family and that’s important to me,” Jacob said.
Demory Creek Seafood sells aquaculture or farm raised oysters and clams, live blue crabs, soft shell crabs, stone crabs and wild harvest oysters retail at their fishhouse in Suwannee.
If you want to try some Demory Creek clams, oysters or blue crabs you don’t have to travel further than Hitchock’s Market in Trenton. Demory Creek Seafood has been supplying live blue crabs, clams, and oysters to Hitchcocks since last year. Frank Pelaez the meat/seafood market manager said, “The seafood from Demory Creek is always the very freshest. It is nice to deal with the owners directly, and I like it that they are a family run and owned business.” Hitchcock’s Market in Trenton is the only fresh seafood market in the county.
Jacob feels good about suppling Gilchrist County with fresh seafood. Because his roots would always be in Gilchrist County.
Demory Creek also supplies another grocery store in East Gainesville with fresh seafood. They also sell seafood to a large seafood company in west Florida. Jacob hopes to supply seafood to a few more grocery stores in this area in the near future.
Demory Creek Seafood is located just pass Bill’s Fish Camp on 219th Street in Suwannee. If you would like to order fresh off the boat seafood from Demory Creek Seafood you should call 352-213-9878.