Today we’d like to introduce you to Jarvis Green.
Jarvis, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I owed a friend of mine a favor. In 2012 he asked me for my help with his shrimp company in Louisiana. I did a 6 month internship with them and learned the business from the ground up. As I learned the business I began selling shrimp in the New England area.
My real story goes back to my childhood. I grew up with my parents and 4 siblings. Life was tough and my mom was always pushing me to strive to be my best. Whether it was on the football field or the classroom. We had to take on our own responsibilities; chores, homework, etc…
The first time I stepped on the football field I got knocked down and I quit. After my coach threatened to tell my parents and my brothers, I got back out on the field and I never quit again. I learned that it’s ok to fail, but never ok to quit.
The only time I look down is to tie my shoe. I always try to overcome any adversity that I may face.
The lessons I learned growing up, help me achieve success playing football and graduating from LSU and then moving on to a 9 year career with the Patriots, which included 2 Super Bowl Rings.
While playing professional football I was already preparing for life after football. I took on internships during the offseason, so that I would be able to receive an education on proper business practices.
Once I learned the shrimp business from my friend, I went out on my own and became a wholesale shrimp distributor. In 2017 I went on QVC with the Oceans 97 brand. Within less a year Stop & Shop and Giant began selling Oceans 97 in 700 stores. In September of 2018 we will be available in Walmart throughout Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I never expect anything that I do to be smooth. There will always be challenges. Making the switch from playing football to selling shrimp was a challenge. Very different career. Initially I felt like a fish out of water. New experiences can be very threatening. But I can also relate it to football. When you are uncomfortable you have the opportunity to grow. You have the pressure on you to get it done. The lessons that I learned as a child are part of my drive. I am determined and I will never give up. These lessons keep me going.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Oceans 97 story. Tell us more about the business.
We specialize in wild caught domestic gulf shrimp. We have a wholesale and retail business. The retail business which includes various sauces that we created with peeled and deveined shrimp. On the wholesale side we have raw shrimp and cooked shrimp. Both are domestic any way you like it. We also have a specialty side.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck. Work hard and be determined and you will succeed. You may fail time and time again, but if you continue to work for it you can achieve anything. You should be able to learn from your failures.