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Inspired by the seemingly endless combinations of tastes and smells that work together to create some of the most sought after seafood on the Southern Oregon Coast, Owner Kristi Daniels knows that like the other 6 days she spends here, she will be energized when she walks into the Hungry Clam at 6AM and begins preparing for the next 10 to 12 hours where she will spend it doing what she loves to do the most, “giving my customers the best seafood that money can buy”.  Asked if she always had such a strong commitment for “being the best”, she just chuckled and said: “I’ve always thought I could do anything that I set my mind to and make it successful through determination, honesty, and hard work”.  Then adds, “Here’s how it went”:

“Roy and I lived in Redding, California where he owned a business – hauling wood chips from Redding to buyers all over the state - and I worked as a supervisor at Home Depot.  Over the years, we spent many weekends in Brookings because we fell in love with the Southern Oregon Coast and strangely enough, we almost always ate at the Hungry Clam.  Then on our wedding anniversary weekend, we celebrated at the HC and were shocked to see a ‘For Sale’ sign in the window.  When we talked to the owner about her decision, she informed us that if she could not sell it, she would just ‘Close It down’!  For some reason, Roy and I were terribly saddened at the thought of loosing such a meaningful place that we’d grown to love.  We headed back to Redding and could not shake our disappointment and then a month or so later, Roy said: ‘Why don’t we just buy it?’ 

This was all I needed to hear!  We set the wheels in motion, headed back to Brookings, signed the paperwork, found a place to live, returned to Redding for my furnishings and Roy moved me into a place that I knew I’d see very little of for the next 6 months.

I spent 30 days, 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week watching the owner and her children, (who had worked in the restaurant since she opened it), do everything and believe me, I don’t think I missed a single move that they made.  When that month was over, the owner left – I kept three of the children on as my assistants and I’ve never looked back – I went Solo!  I think a big part of my energy came from the fact that we’d bitten off something that neither of us had ever done.  Our experience in the restaurant business was pure and simple:  we ate at one! 

Roy would come over on weekends to do maintenance and change oil in the fryers while I cooked and mixed with my customers’.  I can honestly say that I’ve never regretted our decision and as odd as it may sound, all I have to do is walk through this door at 6AM and I can hardly wait for the first customer to walk through the door.” 

Kristi reminisces about all the encouraging comments she has gotten from her customers (since the first day she went solo), and says that she has always loved being able to please people with kindness and a real empathy for them as individuals. This caring attitude was what stimulated the formation of a Motto that she – to this day – upholds:  “No Unhappy Customer Ever Leaves the Hungry Clam”.  My customers know that if there is something that is not right, I fix it.  I’ve given people a “complimentary” meal if something that we served was not done exactly right and over the years, I’ve treated some of my regular Brookings customers to “this one is on me tonight” and I still enjoy the look of surprise and a “thank you” smile that crosses their lips.  I guess I’ve just always been a people pleaser and can’t imagine that that will ever change.