What does a turkey farm have to do with gift boxes and local non-profits? A tradition of island entrepreneurship on Martha's Vineyard, that's what.

Back in the 1920s, a Portuguese immigrant named Joseph Bettencourt arrived on Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Thomasia, who had been raised on the island and had family here. He found work doing odd jobs and gardening for summer residents down on Water Street in Edgartown. After some years, Joe's employer, Oscar Burke, settled on the ill-regarded idea to set up a turkey farm on Martha's Vineyard. He asked Joe to make it happen. 

And did he ever. Twenty years and thousands of turkeys later, Joe and Thomasia managed to buy the operation from Mr. Burke. When they retired, the farm changed hands and eventually closed, but the house and freezer building can still be seen on Vineyard Haven - Edgartown Road.

Joseph and Thomasia Bettencourt were my grandparents. When I founded a business that celebrates local products, businesses, and non-profits I couldn't think of a better way to honor that tradition than by naming my company after their farm. Our logo was inspired by theirs and celebrates the original artisan turkeys they made famous.

-- Susan Ciatto,  founder of Tisbury Turkey

Artisan News

Of course, we're nothing without the artists and artisans whose work fills our boxes and celebrates our campaigns. We are so grateful for their continued support and generous spirit.

News and highlights from the artist and maker community of Martha's Vineyard: