The early days of Cousins Maine Lobster are very similar to those of Apple or Facebook, in that they were founded by men in California. In 2011, as Father Winter deposited snow on Boston, Jim made the trek out to Los Angeles to visit Sabin, for some vitamin D and to reconnect with Sabin. Over an afternoon of playing NHL ‘94, a game they began playing in Maine when it was released and still played on a daily basis in the CML offices 20 years later, the Cousins discussed business opportunities.
They talked childhood, huge pots boiling in the backyard, running around with buttery ears of corn (pronounced “Kahn”) and picnic tables built for 8 seating 10 messy, bibbed kids elbows deep in a steaming hot lobster. They talked about the burgeoning Food Truck industry that was taking over the LA food scene, bringing delicious, unconventional cuisines to the masses cheaply and efficiently. After surveying the landscape, they realized that LA was missing those tasty Maine traditions they fawned over. They decided to pool their savings and launch a food truck that celebrated Maine and served the bounty of their state the only way they knew it: fresh.
The beginning was chaotic and confusing, yet promising and exciting. In 2012 when we opened, we had one truck, a small staff and very little restaurant experience. Thankfully, we had passion and an amazing product. From day one, we experienced lines of 50 to 60 people, which we were grateful for and humbled by.
Our one little truck produced amazing sales during its first few months, providing a real opportunity that we had to acknowledge. With very little means, we built one truck, hired a small staff and created a culture and brand that customers gravitated to. The result was increased demand, more sales and a potential to expand our business. But before we had the chance to scale and put another truck on the road, we appeared on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank
WHAT MAKES COUSINS MAINE LOBSTER SO SPECIAL?
We’re real cousins with a passion for the sweet, delicious Maine lobster we grew up eating. We started selling lobster rolls out of a single truck in the spring of 2012. After a lot of hard work (and a good amount of fun) we now have a fleet of trucks and several franchise commitments throughout the United States.
Our commitment to quality food and great customer service has led to our being featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, The Chew, the Katie Couric show, CNBC, FOX, and QVC! We’ve been named the LA Hot List’s #1 Food Truck in LA two years in a row and Tasting Table named us the “Best Lobster Roll on the West Coast” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. Our passion, our nationally recognized brand, our customer loyalty and our awesome lobster rolls make us special. If you’re looking to own your own business and are ready to start selling the #1 lobster rolls in America, sign up here to join our family.