Meet the Owners of "I Got Your Crabs" in Kitty Hawk, NC
Posted on August 31, 2012 by IGYC
If you've dined in with us, you may have noticed the story on the back of our menus. It was written by a beautiful and talented family friend to showcase the story of our early beginnings. It needs little introduction so I'll let you get right to reading it. Enjoy!
"As you enjoy yourself at I Got Your Crabs Steam Bar, we would like to thank you for your continued patronage and support! Here's a little history behind how we got started:
In order to fully comprehend the importance of our owner's work and the dedication he puts behind it, you must start at the very beginning. Thirty-two years ago, Hunter Stuart was born to Watson and Kathy Stuart, a well-known and respected commercial fishing family in Currituck County, who also made their living running a hunting lodge on Bell's Island. It did not take long for the young boy to inherit the hard-working ideals of his family and the local outdoorsman, who since day one, have been his role models.
At the age of five, when most children are given bicycles with training wheels, Hunter was given a small boat, a 16-foot River Ox with a 2-horsepower Johnson motor.
The crabbing trip that started it all!
With his dad's permission, Hunter set out in his life jacket, just out front of his house, setting his three allotted crab pots. What he caught he would put into his Radio Flyer wagon and go door-to-door along his street until they were all sold. This is a testament to the hard-working example set for him and was the first, but definitely not the last, entrepreneurship endeavor for Hunter Stuart.
Within a year, Hunter was his father's right hand man, working hard before and after school and throughout his summers, saving to invest in his dream of one day running a crabbing business of his own. By the time Hunter was 12 years old, he had saved enough money to finally purchase a commercial fishing license, a 21-foot Privateer with a 90-horsepower motor, a set of 300 crab pots and buoys, and 3,000 yards of net. Hunter was now ready to fully begin his adventure as a young commercial fisherman.
While pursuing his dream outside of the classroom, Hunter conjointly graduated from Currituck County High School. By the time the school bell rang at 8:15 in the morning, when most students were struggling to make it to their first class, Hunter had already tended to his main priority and completed his first lesson of the day, beginning at 5 a.m. on the Currituck Sound. Hunter's teachers knew he had been fishing because he would often smell like his fresh catch, but he would explain to them it was the smell of money, and of his future.
Wayne Twiford, a sergeant for the Currituck County Sheriff's Department, a fellow crabber, and family friend, has known Hunter all of his life. He recalls that Hunter has always been a good kid, a hard worker, and knows the waterways of the Currituck Sound extremely well.
"He works on the water all of the time," Twiford said. "He was raised by the best and that's how he makes his living."
Through the years, Hunter's commercial fishing vessels have grown larger and multiplied in number along with his crab pots. As you can see, I Got Your Crabs Steam Bar has been in the works for several decades! It's an operation that has grown from a child pulling a wagon, to a refrigerated trailer in the Border Station's parking lot, and now to a seafood market and steam bar in Kitty Hawk! When sitting at our stainless steel bar having your crabs and oysters shucked for you, remember that this is not just a new business on the Outer Banks. Serving you the freshest, local catch in the Outer Banks is this local boy's passion, his dream, and his way of life. ~ Abby Stewart"
From all of us here at I Got Your Crabs Steam Bar: Congratulations on achieving your life-long dream, Hunter! We couldn't be more proud of your accomplishments or more honored to have been chosen to see them through with you. You're truly a success.