Blount Fine Foods is deeply rooted in the New England seafood industry. The first family members came to work the Narragansett oyster beds just after the Civil War. In 1880s Eddie B. Blount started an oyster packing firm in West Barrington, Rhode Island. In the early 20th century, Byron Blount, Eddie’s son carried on that business while his brother Willis Blount opened an ice packing plant nearby. Francis “Nelson” Blount grew up working for his father’s ice works. During World War II he built the business selling ice to the Army camps that sprang up nearby. Then, restless under his father’s wing, Nelson bought the 101-year-old Narragansett Oyster Company located on the Warren, Rhode Island waterfront. Pollution and weather had devastated the oyster beds so Nelson Blount began supplying ocean quahogs—”black clams” recently discovered in large beds off of nearby Point Judith—to the military. In the postwar years the newly incorporated Blount Seafood Corporation shifted back to the more popular quahogs pulled by tongers from Narragansett Bay. Assisted by his uncle Byron and brother Luther, Nelson developed new machinery and built up his customer base. Although Blount marketed a variety of seafood under its own “Whitecap” and “Point Judith” labels, by the late 1940s the bulk of the business was in bay quahogs and the largest customer by far was Campbell Soup Company.