P&J Oyster Company is the oldest continually operating dealer of oysters in the United States, opening its doors in 1876. John Popich, a Croatian immigrant who settled in New Orleans, began working in the oyster business as a jack of all trades- planting, cultivating, harvesting, and distributing fresh, highly-demanded oysters to saloons and restaurants around New Orleans.
Around 1900, Popich took on partner Joseph Jurisich, a youngster whose family owned an oyster saloon in the French Quarter. A couple of years later, the two men officially established the largest oyster shucking operation in the southern United States: Popich & Jurisich, or P&J Oyster Company. In 1921, the two men purchased the oyster shucking house which to this day still houses the company’s operations at the corner of Toulouse and North Rampart Streets in the French Quarter. They also took on partner Alfred Sunseri at this time, who was able to use his connection at the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Bananas) to cultivate business and shipping contacts across the North American continent. United Railway Express picked up barrels of oysters from the French Market location and delivered them to 48 states as well as locations in Mexico and Canada. P&J was then one of the biggest shipper of gulf oysters in the U.S.
After multiple acquisitions, later Generations of the Sunseri family now own and operate the P&J Oyster Company, which is no longer also referred to as Popich and Jurisich, given the change in family ownership.