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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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ORAL HISTORY

Jody Houck


Cypress Point Oysters

Jody Houck was born in 1961 and raised in Bedford, Ohio. When she was six years old, her family moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Houck’s father, Dallas, worked for Florida Power, and he was also a master diver. To augment his income as a lineman, he would dive for lobster. Growing up, Jody and her brother spent much time on the beach and along the Indian River. They would often go diving with their father. Houck graduated from Florida State with a bachelor’s degree and from Florida Institute of Technology with a master’s degree. She eventually became an engineer and worked on government projects in Alexandria, Virginia.

Jody and her husband, Dewey, decided to retire early and move to Gadsden County, Florida to be closer to their family. Growing up along the Indian River, Jody had seen the effects of environmental pollution throughout her life. Jody wanted to farm fish. With more research, she realized that oyster farming was a more sustainable aquaculture practice. The Houcks obtained an oyster farm lease in Oyster Bay and began farming in 2019. In May 2021, they bought the Spring Creek restaurant and marina from Leo Lovel, its longtime owner. Jody and Dewey are committed to rebuilding the community ethic of Spring Creek. They farm oysters under their label, Cypress Creek Oyster Company, and sell their oysters to purveyors throughout the South.

Date of interview:
2021-05-17

Interviewer:
Annemarie Anderson

Photographer:
Annemarie Anderson

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