Ronnie & Viola West, Hayes, VA Email
Virginia Blue Crab Co. is a small family operated business located in Wicomico VA run by Ronnie and Viola West. Ronnie is a 3rd generation waterman who started crabbing at the age of thirteen during school breaks with his father. In 1991 he purchased his own boat, which he named Monika E after his daughter. The company expanded in 1995 when Viola opened a crab picking house. Ronnie has been at the helm while Viola runs the business on land. The Monika E and crew bring in fresh crabs from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
At the crab house, the crabs are first steamed and then picked by hand before packing in containers for sale or made up into crab cakes, crab soup, deviled crabs or the very popular drab dip. Viola, with the help of her children, nieces and other family members, began selling at the WFM in 2012. VA Blue Crab also has retail store located in front of its picking house and sells to local restaurants. While crabs are the focus of the business, Ronnie catches seasonal fish such as croakers and rockfish; grows oyster’s year round for shucking to sell in pints and in shell; they also have a shed for soft shell crabs.