Ben “Moody” Harney Jr.

Years of Participation

Ben “Moody” Harney is the founder of Mother Shuckers, the Only Oyster Cart in Brooklyn. Fascinated by the story of Thomas Downing, “the Oyster King of New York,” the son of freed slaves who peddled oysters on Wall Street in the late 1800s, and went on to open one of the most successful oyster restaurants of his time, Harney envisioned operating his own oyster cart. Ben believes the oyster could regain its place as an everyman’s food. Mother Shuckers along with more than 75 purveyors in New York City, donate all the shells to the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative to restore a billion oysters to the New York Harbor by 2035. Recycling the shells rebuilds the reefs so that new oyster populations can grow—as well as improving the water quality and stimulating a return of sea life.