Luke’s Lobster: Authentic Food, Authentic Mission

Luke’s Lobster’s Commitment to Sustainability and Adaptability

Some of the keys to sustaining business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic lie in flexibility, adaptability and dedication to a clear mission. Luke’s Lobster has embraced these concepts since its inception in 2009 – and is relying on them now to keep the brand thriving and available to its devoted guests.

Luke’s Lobster was founded with a vision to serve authentic Maine lobster rolls, using seafood purchased directly from certified sustainable fisheries. The company’s commitment to the environment is also authentic. In 2018 Luke’s Lobster earned its B-corp certification, solidifying its dedication as a “businesses that meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose”. The company also founded the mini-grant Keeper Fund in partnership with the The Ocean Foundation, Allagash Brewing and Bank of America. Keepers are ‘right sized’ lobsters that can be harvested for dinner and following these guidelines keep the lobster population sustainable and healthy. According to their website, grant recipients “fall into three broad categories in 2020: Water/Ecosystem Quality; Investing in the Future by Teaching Coastal Kids; and Mobilizing Volunteers to Keep Trash Out of Our Ocean”.

Although Luke’s Lobster’s sustainability mission is admirable in and of itself, it is not the sole reason the brand is so beloved by its reviewers. High ratings and consumer enthusiasm earned Luke’s Lobster the #6 spot on Fishbowl’s 2020 list of Emerging Brands. The food receives accolades for its freshness and taste, with the lobster, crab and shrimp rolls, clam chowder and lobster bisque topping the list of most mentioned items.

In the brand’s early days, co-founders Luke Holden and Ben Connif, relative new-comers to the restaurant industry, leaned in to constant refinement of their game plan as they opened their first “shacks”. Their ability to remain flexible and pivot as needed led to steady growth, with 30+ shacks opening across the US and abroad. When the majority of their shacks had to be closed for COVID-19 containment in April, the brand’s adaptability yet again led the company to a new frontier – ecommerce. Within 2 weeks of the initial closures, Luke’s Lobster launched their online storefront, facilitating delivery from their Saco, Maine seafood processing facility to guests nationwide via UPS.

COVID-19 Update: Luke’s Lobster has been taking a ‘low and slow’ approach to store re-openings offering take-out and delivery at many shacks, as well as outdoor dining their Portland location. Local guests can order online via Luke’s website, and those of us too far away to make the trip can take advantage of their online store. Treat yourself today!

Fishbowl’s Emerging Brands

Each year, Fishbowl identifies 30 brands positioned for success in the year ahead, based on the analysis of consumer feedback via social data. Many of our featured brands have gone on to become leaders in the restaurant industry. Do you have a brand in mind that you would like to nominate? Nominations are open and your input is welcomed. Complete the Emerging Brands Nomination Survey to participate and contact us with any questions.