Down in Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina, along the Wando Dock on Shem Creek, you’ll find a shrimping trawler named Miss Paula and a young captain, Vasa Tarvin, who takes her out during the season to pull in hundreds of pounds-on a good day. The resulting family business, is Tarvin Seafood, which also includes his mom, Cindy, and dad, Taylor, who run the business side of things, and siblings and various other family members who pitch in whenever they’re around the dock.
With all that fresh-market shrimp, the Tarvins not only sell from the dock when the fishing day is done but also run a Community Supported Fishery—like a CSA but for shrimp. You order and pre-pay for the shrimp at a set price and get a share weekly or bi-weekly during the two seasons.
Tarvin’s vintage wooden trawler has a namesake in his former teacher Paula Urbano, who introduced the then 12-year-old boy to shrimp boat captain Wayne Magwood on a marine science field trip. So taken was Tarvin with life on a shrimper that he began working for Captain Magwood on his boat, Winds of Fortune, until he became a captain in his own right, of Miss Paula, in 2011.