One Hundred Years

A lifetime for a lucky person, but no more than an afternoon nap for a cedar tree growing in the understory. Enough time for a river, traveling from forest to ocean, to change the shape of a beach. About half as long as people of European descent have lived in this particular corner of the world, but just a blink when weighed against the thousands of years humans have made their home here.

To an oyster, however, a century is an eternity. And it is also a long, long time for a business to keep itself together—especially a closely held, family-run business like ours.

This year, Hama Hama Company turns 100 years old.

Over the past century we’ve changed a lot, but grown very little. In fact, we’ve pulled a Benjamin Button: when we began, we had 10,000 acres, several hundred employees, and a railroad. Today, after a few hiccups and more than a few learning opportunities, we are, by any modern measure, small.

And we’re pretty sure small is beautiful. Our size reflects our current values, which are rooted in family and our love of this place, and not in growth at any cost.

We’re proud to have spent a century selling real, essential things.

Oysters and trees. Food and shelter. Hama Hama Company consists of two separate businesses: an oyster company, and a logging company. We are still family owned and operated, and our work is inextricably bound to our way of life here. Our common ancestors, Harry and Helena Robbins, gifted their children and grandchildren a life lived in the outdoors, a stubborn love of honest work, and a way of doing business that does its best to honor all the people involved in it. Some of the decisions they made may not hold up to our modern scrutiny, but we are eternally grateful for the beautiful land and the thoughtful systems of governance that they left us.

Over the course of 2022 we’ll be taking some time to look back—and to look ahead.

We’ll focus on a few human stories that get left out of our standard company history. (If you’re burning to know what happened to the railroad, we won’t leave you in suspense: we sold it as scrap iron to get through the Depression.) We’ll also bring in voices from outside our organization to help us speculate about the future of natural resource management and our role in it. And, most importantly: we’re gonna do our darndest to have fun and spread all the joy this particular moment warrants. Welcome to birthday year.

Thank you for being here with us.