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Apr 29, 2019

Ep. 76: Luke Holden, CEO & Founder of Luke’s Lobster ||

On episode 76 of Sourcing Matters we welcome CEO & founder of Luke’s Lobster – Luke Holden.  Luke’s Lobster first opened its doors in the East Village of New York City in 2009. The company brings traceable, sustainable seafood to guests across the country.  They work directly with fishermen to hand pick the best seafood, and serve that straight from the source, prepared pure and simple, without the filler. They’ve systematically chosen partners who uphold our commitment to sourcing superior, sustainable ingredients and strive to support other small businesses, many of which are based in Maine or local to the cities where they maintain their Lobsters shacks.

BIO: Luke Holden grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine – a third-generation lobsterman who started learning the trade at age 13. After attending Georgetown University and beginning an investment banking career on Wall Street, Luke was remiss to find that every lobster roll available in New York was overpriced, drowning in mayo, and diluted with celery. He craved a real Maine-style roll and simply couldn’t find one.

In the 10 years since launching, Holden and his partners have worked to vertically integrate the business to insure the highest quality products with guaranteed integrity and provenance. Growing up in the industry has afforded Holden a high level of clout with with the lobsterman, harvesters and fishermen in Tenants Harbor Maine who source his product.  We learn that the experience and support that Luke’s father offered from running Maine’s largest lobster processing facility gave their team at Luke’s Lobsters the insight and knowhow to launch a processing facility in Saco.  This infrastructure  has since expedited growth to now service 30 domestic, and 11 international Shacks,  as well as their wholesale account Whole Foods.

In our 40 minute discussion we learn more about what this thought-leader is doing to protect his fishery in the warming waters of the Gulf of Maine.  We chat about full carcass utilization of the lobster, and about the economic viability of the fishery and its future crop. We discuss product differentiation, and diversifying the offerings of both their producers/ harvesters, and of his growing $30mm business.


TuneIn to hear about the future of the iconic Maine lobster.