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Valley shrimp are no shrimps

Published: Thu, September 30, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern


Ron Eiselstein, owner of Village Pantry in Poland, shows off fresh shrimp grown in ponds in Youngstown.


William D Lewis|The Vindicator Ron Eiselstein, owner of Village Pantry in Poland stands near a sign infront of his building advertising fresh shrimp grown in ponds in Youngstown.

How to handle fresh shrimp:

Fresh shrimp, such as that available at the Village Pantry, comes with the head, tail and antennae still attached.

  1. Cut off the antennae and snout (rostrum)

  2. If you choose not to keep the shells and head on, break the head where the tail begins and peel off the shells on the tail.

  3. Apply spices, such as a crab boil or Old Bay.

  4. Bring an inch of water or beer to a boil and then place the prawns in the water for one minute.



The shrimp in the ice box at the Village Pantry don’t look like those usually found in the frozen foods section.

About 4 to 5 inches long, the gray crustaceans still have their tails, head and antennae.

“We do not process the shrimp,” said Ron Eiselstein, shrimp farmer and owner of the Village Pantry on South Main Street.

Eiselstein grows giant Malaysian prawns in ponds on Youngstown’s far East Side and does not use any fertilizer. He began the shrimp ponds in June 2009, but this is the first time that he’s sold his product.

He has an aquaculture permit from the Ohio Department of Agriculture to sell what he raises.

Eiselstein said he was harvesting about 16,000 shrimp this season. One pound of shrimp contains about 13 prawns.

Summer is the growing season for shrimp and lasts about four months. Next June, Eiselstein will get new prawns from an in-state hatchery.

His project hasn’t been without setbacks, though. Eiselstein has been accused of violating the city’s zoning violation where his ponds are.

“I thought now the worst valued land could now be the most productive,” he said.

On June 28, Eiselstein pleaded no contest to a zoning violation, according to court records.

Another case is pending, said William D’Avignon, deputy director of the Youngstown Planning Department.

“Conditions were placed on the zoning requirements, such as safety and prevent soil erosion, and [Eiselstein] hasn’t complied with those yet. He never applied for permits for additional holes on those farms,” D’Avignon said.

Eiselstein has said he wants to work with city officials. Even with the ongoing legal proceedings, he said he enjoys growing the shrimp and plans to continue his business.

“I think we could make this an industry here,” he said.

How to Handle Fresh Shrimp

Fresh shrimp, such as that available at the Village Pantry, comes with the head, tail and antennae still attached.

  1. Cut off the antennae and snout (rostrum)
  2. If you choose not to keep the shells and head on, break the head where the tail begins and peel off the shells on the tail.
  3. Apply spices, such as a crab boil or Old Bay.
  4. Bring an inch of water or beer to a boil and then place the prawns in the water for one minute.


1YSUGRAD(134 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Here's an example of this man using the wasteland that is ytown for something constructive and you want to criticize him. To hel l with you censoredshi t!!!!

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2Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Excellent work Ron ! You have my support ! Hey, what's not to like about shrimp or a shrimp farmer ?

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3ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Which EPA law is Ron violating? I believe that you pulled that statement out of your ass. The city requirement to fence a pond is ridiculous. How many other bodies of water are fenced in the city? Why isn't McKelvey Lake fenced? Or the Mahoning River for that matter? Could it be because they couldn't come up with any other way to harass him?

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4peacelover(839 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

....people actually eat these things....?!

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5author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

They are a delicacy at The Rosetta Stone!

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6city_resident(528 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

"They are a delicacy at The Rosetta Stone!"

Maybe they'll be a delicacy at Vernon's, too?

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7igotsomethintosay(31 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Why would he want to have a business on the South Side?? People can't even go to church or to a wedding w/out being shot and killed!

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8computer_rick(137 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago


What do you do for a living censoredship? Do you run your own business? Just wondering... You seem to know a lot about tax records, EPA regulations. Maybe you could volunteer your services to entrepreneurs? Or work as a business consultant? Giving away your knowledge for free on a website, when you could be raking in the big bucks with your knowledge is a waste of your talents!

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9walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago


You are correct. The county bundles the "uncollectable" debts and sells them to a third party and which point they will attempt collection through their means. Still doesn't excuse the debt. Seems to me that this guy is a tax deadbeat that is using the Vindy to only tell one side of the story. Sounds to me like he needs to increase the price per pound of shrimp and square his debts.

That being said, he may very well be in violation of EPA laws as the laws they enforce can sometimes be ambiguous or complex. That is why consultants are needed to properly construct that type of business.

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10Silence_Dogood(1677 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Next time you might wan't to do your homework before dogging out someone. Most of all someone that knows what the he!! they are talking about.

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11Nimby(1 comment)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey Ron, still playing the same old scams.

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12Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I still support Ron's shrimp raising venture ! He has excellent tastes !

Youngstown real estate is a no win situation no matter who is involved . Ron is not alone in having some worthless properties . look at the tax lists and you will see plenty of others . It is high time to divest them and learn from the experience . In the meantime keep raising those tasty shrimp !

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13GhostofVolneyRogers(12 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Thumbs up to the Vindicator for promotion of aquaculture and reusing vacant land in the city. Thumbs down to promotion of Ron Eiselstein the individual. Business and politics aside, he simply is not a good person. Many people in the community will attest to this.

By the way: be advised that Ron posts under multiple names on vindy.com. On this particular thread, he is youngstownshrimp as well as ytownsteelman. He could be others as well. One or both of these posters (i.e. Ron) will likely deny but don't be fooled.

This is the type of person we are dealing with.

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14Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

If the city can allow those crack houses to stay in business that siphon off rents from landlords I see little harm to support Ron in dumping off his worthless holdings .

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15cambridge(4158 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Stan....Are you saying that if a person is a serial bad investor and habitually walks away from his tax and other responsibilities that the rest of the tax payers should suffer the consequences?

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16Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

cambridge :

Why not ? We tax the crap out of them if they are successful . We must take the good with the bad . BTW we don't tax the earnings of crack houses . They are tax free but we do pay for the resulting fallout .

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17cambridge(4158 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

The reality of "Stan the Man Unusual".

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18GhostofVolneyRogers(12 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm starting to think that "Stan" might also be Ron as well...

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19Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

GhostofVolneyRogers :

"I'm starting to think that "Stan" might also be Ron as well..."

If I indeed was Ron I wouldn't be selling those few shrimp but I would be eating them ! :)

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20GhostofVolneyRogers(12 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

You've got it, censoredship. If you are a half reasonable businessperson and decent human being in this community, more or less, this place will welcome you with open arms.

This guy is a manipulative scavenger feeding off of a wounded community leaving behind a worse place in which he found it…hiding behind a pantry store, a few prawn and a cry that he’s a constantly the victim of anything or anyone that doesn’t buy into his bs.…from city hall to the church hall. Always looking for what he can get away with, he is a spin-master and a jerk of a human being.

The chickens are coming home to roost in this message thread and it’s a good thing for this community.

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21redvert(2240 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I guess I have to ask this question, if this guy has this many outstanding delinquencies and violations on the books, why is he being issued new permits for anything?

When building a house you must follow set procedures and be inspected along the way or your build gets shut down. Are local laws and ordinances so weak that no ongoing inspections take place? If so I guess it would be dumb to ask why? I can understand if a person has a good track record but it doesn't sound like this is the case here.

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22fitnessbuff(57 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

is he still harvesting timber?

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23fatfrank(11 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Support the guy!! He's doing something. He's trying something. He is a champion.

So what if he does have back taxes? The politicians and tax regimes are corrupt and fixed against us, and I'll bet everyone who complains about it has lied at some time on their taxes, or transferred a used car and lied about the amounts, or done some such thing.

Just a bunch of Youngstown nay saying bigots.

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24Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

What is really sucking down the tax dollars are far too many on the city and county payroll who are very capable of signing their paychecks but nothing more . Fast buck Charlie came up with a plan to sell off tax liens to investors . The suckers buying these tax liens and foreclosing are getting a heap of problems for their money . The city and county expect them to make silk from these sows ears . So now we have problems ? Who could have ever imagined that ?

In the past those who were capable of bringing major industry into Youngstown were greated with a lot of open palms to be greased . We have the same mentality today . Their major concern is themselves and not the city or the county . What does thrive in the area with little or no impedement ? DRUGS ! CRACK COCAINE ! HEROIN ! MARIJUANA ! Yep, crack houses have no tax on their earnings and raids are rare .

So now poor old Ron is getting bashed over the head for raising shrimp in the city ? It isn't surprising .

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25ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I was quite suprised to see that Ron is using my screen name to post under on the Vindy forum.

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26fitnessbuff(57 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

why so many court cases against this man? Seems like he is trying to revitalize the city and repair old homes for low income renters. But what is the timber charge that were in Vindy?

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27GhostofVolneyRogers(12 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago


Ron, give it up. It's pathetic. All one has to do is identify your IP address or review the history of the comments.

@fitnessbuff: Ron has done more harm than good when it comes to revitalizing the city. There are so many court cases against this man because he has gotten in way over his head in attempting to bottom feed off of this community by purchasing more property than he could adequately manage. He then also began purchasing a great number of land parcels...and doesn't pay his taxes of the majority of them. The above is a summary.

The irony is that he complaints that Youngstown is full of entitled people who want handouts...yet he pays no taxes for his business endeavors and expects assistance / admiration from everyone to include the city (permits, zoning, etc). He's walking, talking hypocrite.

The bottomline is that Ron is in more debt that you can shake a prawn at which is why he'll say and do anything to create the illusion that he is a "victim" and that government picks on the "producers" like himself. Most nearly anyone that doesn't buy his BS is the enemy. What he doesn't realize that the people who hold this opinion of him are actually the people attempting to do something about turning this community around in a honest manner - community leaders, faith-based leaders, community organizations, business persons, university officials, etc.

He has no following other than new people who he meets and attempts to manipulate (which he's very good at). Eventually, people begin to ask questions about him to other people which they then quickly realize he's just a low level conman always looking to see what he can get away with a past that speaks for itself.

Many people in the community - from the Mayor to church leaders to business leaders to the dirctor of the public library system - will tell you the same. How much does it take for a pattern of concensus opinion to be established? He likes to make a lot of noise but that's about it. It's just ashame that he's the individual who is involved with urban aquaculture because it's a good idea. Hopefully, the idea will be more fully developed by someone who is not such a jerk of a human being and possesses so much baggage on so many levels.

Oh, by the way: the company in which is involved with the shrimp prawn sites is listed under the business name Jazzland LLC...the sites are also tax delinquent with liens.

FYI: Eiselstein = Firepearl, Caraga, and Jazzland.

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28Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The vibrant business of selling drugs in the city doesn't even begin to get criticized on the scale that Ron's shrimp raising does .

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29GhostofVolneyRogers(12 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Well, lombardo (or possibly Ron...who knows, he uses multiple names in order to make it appear multiple people agree with him on these threads and other websites), you would certainly be in the vast minority in your opinion of Ron. Mr. Eiselstein has made his own bed. He can blame everyone around him for his frustration but he needs only to look in the mirror. Besides his sleazy, bottom feeding business approaches and his failure to pay his debts (like every other business person or taxpayer), his general approach in the way he deals with people is not helpful or productive. He takes pleasure in manipulating and agitating people and the criticism he receives is more than well deserved.

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30cambridge(4158 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Enjoy your meeting with Kasich. Birds of a feather.....

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31Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

John Kasich is one smart bird . . ..

John Kasich for Governor of Ohio

The Official Website of John Kasich/Mary Taylor for Ohio -- Join John and Mary's movement to bring jobs and prosperity back to Ohio.

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32Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

On election day no votes for John Kasich will be turned down . : )

As we toil for capitalism and that all important paycheck we anticipate total enjoyment from the fruits of our labors . Then the liberals tell us that we should be taxed more because less are working . Is it so wrong to generate jobs so that more who are working will then increase the monies via a larger tax base ? This wouldn't be politically incorrect by any chance would it ? Elect John Kasich and let's put more of the liberals to work so they can be corrupted and become capitalists !

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33Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

lombardo :

"The slumlords with their slum rental units have destroyed Youngstown:"

What has destroyed Youngstown are the hoodrats who haven't worked for generations and our tax dollars paying them to do it . There is no profit in being a slumlord due to these deadbeats destroying your property and stiffing you on the rent . Let's build new public housing for them rent free with free utilities . This way Mr. Landlord wont be stealing their much needed drug money for rent .

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34GhostofVolneyRogers(12 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago


Not sure where you are going with the Phil Kidd comment. It's pretty widely known that Phil Kidd and MVOC are of the same opinion of Ron Eiselstein that you are (as are most people who have been around here long enough). I think you should comb that site a bit further. You're likely to find some pretty heated exchanges with a lot similar information that you have provided about Ron. If memory serves me correctly, the thread you referencing had to do with the north side arsons. I'm pretty sure that was when Phil and the north side group began to learn more about Ron. I'd look it up myself but it's late and I don't have the time or interest. The point remains: Ron is a manipulative jerk. Avoid if at all possible.

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35Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago


Oh those nasty landlords !


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36One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

UticaShale - another of Eiselstein's alias'.

How many people live inside your head Ron? It's gotta be getting crowded in there by now.

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