Luke’s Lobster featured in New York Times

Published on
August 30, 2016

Luke’s Lobster, the highly successful restaurant chain that recently completed an effort to vertically integrate its business via an ownership stake of a co-op of Maine lobstermen, was featured in The New York Times on Wednesday, 24 August.

The article, “A Restaurant’s Sales Pitch: Know Your Lobster,” tells the origin story of Luke’s Lobster, which was founded by Cape Elizabeth, Maine-native Luke Holden in 2009.

Holden, 32, opened his first Luke’s Lobster restaurant after he was unable to find an authentic Maine lobster roll anywhere in New York City, where he was working as an investment banker. Along with his business partner, Ben Conniff, Holden now owns 19 restaurants, two food trucks and a lobster tail cart, as well as five shacks in Japan, the Times reported. The business recorded USD 20.9 million (EUR 18.7 million) in sales in 2015 and expects totals of USD 25 million (EUR 22.4 million) for 2016 and USD 42 million (EUR 37.5 million) in 2018.

Early on in the venture, Holden identified the benefits of vertical integration to the business, the article reported. In 2012, the founders built a processing plant, Cape Seafood in Saco, Maine, and this year, they bought a stake in a lobstermen’s co-op in Tenants Harbor, Maine – allowing the company have control over its lobster “from ocean to table.”

The Times revealed that Luke’s Lobster recently received an investment from Quilvest Private Equity, and reported the company may consider a future sale or initial public stock offering.

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