“From Marsh to Market”
In 1989, Mark Clemons started Everglades Adventures, a hunting operation in South Florida. The company obtained access to thousands of acres of alligator habitat and began offering alligator hunts on private lands in 2000. Shortly after, we expanded operations into public water hunts, such as Lake Okeechobee and the Florida Everglades.
With all our successful alligator hunts, we struggled to find a licensed, permitted facility to process the alligators for our clients and in 2013 we decided to start a sister company and solve this problem ourselves: Alligators Inc.
Once we finished our processing facility and Alligators Inc was up and running, we decided to process alligators for others as well as our Everglades Adventures Clients. We then transitioned into purchasing alligators from public water hunters as well as private lands hunters, and into the sale of our processed meat to local restaurants and seafood distributors.
Due to our access to large areas of alligator habitat, we were approached by individuals seeking alligator eggs for their farms here in Florida. Naturally, we began assisting in the collection of alligator eggs and selling them into the local alligator industry.
At this point, we started thinking, could someone start with a wild alligator egg and take it all the way to a finished product, being completely vertical and all in-house? We conducted research and discovered this had been tried several times but proven unsuccessful.
After a couple of years of learning the egg collection process we decided to start our own farm and begin incubating, hatching, and raising our own alligators. At this point, Mark Clemons brought in an investment partner, and we purchased a four-hundred and fifteen acre abandoned shrimp farm, converting it into a modern-day alligator farm and started Alligators International, LLC.
The process of growing out alligators to harvest size (approximately five and a half feet) became the new focus. The alligators grown on the farm had a higher survival rate from hatching (97% on the farm versus 1% in the wild) and produced tender meat and beautiful skins to be utilized for luxury items such as purses, clutches, handbags, belts, and other small leather goods.
We began sending our raw, salted skins from the farm and from wild alligators we purchased to a Florida-based Tannery for them to be tanned and turned into a white crust-stage skin (before it is dyed and finished).
Once we accumulated enough wild and farm-raised skins in inventory of all different sizes, we shifted focus to starting a Florida-based luxury brand for alligator products, and in 2021 the concept of Mark-Arthur LLC. began.
We constructed a 10,500 square foot zero-discharge dye and finish facility on our farm and began utilizing our own crusted skins, dyed, and finished in our facility for our own product line: Mark-Arthur. This project took six years from the start of the farm to the completion of the dye and finish facility.
The focus then moved to the manufacturing side of the production of high-end luxury alligator products…
As originally envisioned, we would maintain all operations as Florida-based, creating a completely vertically integrated system where we produce the eggs, the alligators, the meat, the skins, all the way up to purses and other luxury alligator skin products, maintaining our highest standards of quality throughout the complete process.
Every step of the way, I imagined more efficient and more effective ways of utilizing our unique resources; resulting in a luxurious product which I am so proud of, and so glad to share with everyone who loves luxury accessories and the uniqueness of alligators.
Today, we have built the only completely vertically integrated company creating alligator products handling all processes from egg to finished luxury product in the world. We refer to this as:
“From Marsh to Market”
-Mark Clemons, Owner and Founder