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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.

ORAL HISTORY

Melanie Cooper Covell


The Wheelhouse Raw Bar

Melanie Cooper Covell is the seventh generation to call Apalachicola home. Born in 1968, she and her four siblings grew up working at their parents’ business, Cooper’s Seafood. Melanie has been shucking oysters since she was fifteen years old. The family business closed in 1994, when Melanie’s father, Fred Cooper, passed away. But she continued to shuck. And she painted houses too. In 2004 Melanie married Larry Covell. Together, they opened the Wheelhouse Raw Bar in downtown Apalachicola. Melanie’s brother, Joey, is the cook. His mullet dip is unrivaled. But the Wheelhouse is as well-known for community outreach. Melanie and her family host a food drive every Monday. When the bay is closed, they are also known to hold fundraising events to support oystermen in the area. Melanie has a passion for people and for the place where she lives. Here, Melanie’s children—the eighth generation—swim in the same water and play in the same wilderness that she enjoyed as a kid.

Date of interview:
2006-03-25 00:00

Interviewer:
Amy Evans

Photographer:
Amy Evans

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