Even though Bob Wallace grew up in the town of Needham, MA it was inevitable that he would be pulled back to reside in Wellfleet someday. His grandmother was born here in 1889 and throughout his childhood his family would summer on the Cape. It's easy to live on the Cape, the difficult thing is making a living, and Bob has managed to conquor both aspects.
“I've done a lot of traveling around the world but didn’t feel I belonged anywhere until I came back to Wellfleet in 1975,” Bob states. Bob graduated with a degree in Psychology from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. He worked in Washington State and Western Massachusetts in the paper industry until his return to Cape Cod.
“When I came back to Wellfleet in 1975 there wasn’t much of an economy. Since this was where I wanted to live, I had to find some way to make a living.” A job came up as the deputy shellfish constable and Bob took the job in 1977. That job sparked an interest that has only grown. Bob was appointed the shellfish constable in 1979 and he held that position until 1982 when he jumped into the commercial aspect of the business. “I always liked the propagation aspect of the job and not so much the law enforcement part. I learned the “growing” part while working for the town. All the wardens in the state got together twice a year to compare notes on shellfish propagation.” The rest is history.
With the 10 foot tides in Wellfleet it is a natural environment for growing shellfish. Bob says, “If you look at it like a job it is way too much work. It isn’t a job it is a way of life. “ Bob doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon. According to Bob he hasn’t even started working yet. Billingsgate Shellfish started in 1982. Located on two different sites and covering 7.5 acres on the intertidal flats in Wellfleet. From modest beginnings the farm has developed into a shellfish business that requires a full time crew almost year round. You can find Billingsgate Shellfish's product all the way from Provincetown's restaurants to New York's market.