Central Coast Oyster Festival

The Challenges

The first annual Central Coast Oyster Festival was launched as a fundraising and promotional opportunity for Options Family of Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities achieve their goals, dreams and rightful place as full citizens of their communities. The challenge was launching a new food and wine experience in an event-cluttered environment and at an untried location, the Morro Bay Golf Course.

The Solutions

Parker Sanpei was retained to conceptualize and promote the event in tandem with the organization. The strategies included: creative design elements for branding and the event itself; chefs paired with award-winning local wine, beer, and spirits; an oyster shucking contest; live entertainment, and an enticing “Aphrodisiac Lounge.” A series of creative press releases featuring the various aspects of the event engaged a broad range of media who then shared the event with their audiences.


This generated pre-event features in the San Francisco Chronicle, Yahoo.com, Sacramento Bee, Santa Barbara Independent, Tasting Panel Magazine, Tasting Room with Tom Leykis, 805 Living, Gayot.com, The Tribune, New Times, KSBY, KCBX and others. Parker Sanpei also partnered with local hoteliers to craft special promotion packages to drive additional consumer awareness. The agency also concurrently represented the City of Morro Bay to host a dozen journalists for two days during the event, which resulted in features about the Oyster Festival and the City of Morro Bay in Touring and Tasting Magazine, JustLuxe.com, LA City Guide, Desert Sun, Whole Life Times Magazine, Thrillist.com, Monterey County Weekly, Cuisinest.com & VinoLasVegas, Travel Boy and LA Examiner.com. The media outreach created 125,904,720 impressions before and after the sold-out Central Coast Oyster Festival.