Do you have a premium seafood product to sell? Apply here!
Thank you for your interest in applying to be featured on the Luke’s Lobster E-Commerce Platform. We are looking for a variety of partners who can provide premium seafood including farmed and wild caught, value added or processed. Our goal is to feature a wide array of products.
To apply now, fill out this form.
- Once your application is submitted, our selection committee will review it. We plan our products out about 3-6 months in advance, so if your product is seasonal, please keep that timing in mind.
- If selected, your product(s) will be sold on Luke’s e-commerce platform; the length of time depends on the seasonality of your product and how your product is selling, as well as other factors.
- If selected, we will partner with you on developing marketing materials including videos, recipes, and photography, all of which you will have access to for use in marketing your product outside of the Luke’s platform. Marketing your product to the end consumer to create demand is a significant part of what we’re trying to do.
- The application should take you approximately half an hour to complete. If you don’t know the answers to the questions, or they don’t apply to you, don’t worry! If you have specific questions, please email email@example.com
Who should apply?
Anyone who has a premium seafood product to sell - farmed, wild caught, processed, value added. If you have a product you are hoping to develop, but isn’t quite there, let us know, we might be able to help. We hope to receive applications from a wide array of suppliers, from individual fishermen to seafood companies. Generally, we’re looking for products other than lobster and crab, but if you are a lobster dealer wharf or co-op, we’d like to hear from you too.
Can I apply if I'm not set up to sell online?
You do not need to be set up to sell online. We will provide the online platform (Lukeslobster.com) to sell your product.
How will I get paid for my product?
If selected, we will agree on a product price, specs and other details, and have you submit an invoice once we receive your product. If you have special payment requirements, we are willing to work with you.
Do I have to ship my product or will Luke's do that for me?
Ideally you will deliver your product to our processing plant in Saco, but we have some flexibility and trucks running up and down the coast so this is something that we can determine on a case by case basis.
Will my product have my brand or Luke's on it?
That depends. If you have your own brand, we will sell your brand. If you have an unbranded product (for example wil d caught scallops), we might brand it but we will always want to tell the story of the individual harvester, product and place where the product came from.
About how much product will I be expected to provide?
That depends on the type of product and the time of year and how we are using your product. We will work with you to ensure you’re comfortable with the volume and the entire process.
I don’t know the answers to some of the questions asked on the application, what should I do?
If you're unsure how to answer any of the questions please email Merritt Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or do the best you can
Island Institute and Luke’s Lobster Partner to Energize Maine’s Marine Economy, Build Resilient Seafood Supply Chains and Provide Relief to Fishermen
Innovative for-profit/non-profit collaboration expands markets and product offerings through Luke’s online platform, will return financial, social, and environmental benefits to Maine’s coastal communities.
To apply now, fill out this form.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged Maine’s fishermen and coastal communities in an unprecedented way. Diminished demand for Maine’s seafood has left Maine’s marine economy at risk. The Island Institute and Luke’s Lobster have leveraged financial support from an anonymous donor to the Island Institute to build new markets for Maine’s premium seafood and to drive economic activity in coastal communities.
This project has a dual purpose: to build resilience in the seafood supply chain and to provide relief to fishermen. The joint endeavor between Luke’s Lobster and the Island Institute is a continuation of a longstanding collaboration; for years, these two entities have worked to strengthen Maine’s coastal economies, partnering with fishermen and community leaders to improve resilience along the shore.
The anonymous grant will be used to build and diversify the Luke’s Lobster e-commerce business, creating a model that others can learn from and replicate across the country. Increased demand for lobster, crab, oysters and other Maine seafood (both farmed and wild caught) will bolster demand for Maine seafood to ensure relief for Maine's fishing communities. The grant comes from the anonymous funder’s COVID response as an investment in securing a sustainable food system supply chain for the future. The pandemic has added new challenges to a complex industry, and this grant will provide long-term relief to Maine fishermen through increased demand and diversification.
“Our response to the pandemic is focused on minimizing potentially catastrophic community and economic disruptions,” explained Rob Snyder, President of the Island Institute. “Down the peninsulas and out on the islands we have upwards of 60 percent to 70 percent self-employment. Our responsibility to support these communities includes teaching small businesses how to leverage technology to stay in touch with customers. The lessons we learn from our partnership with Luke’s Lobster will be instrumental in strengthening Maine’s coastal economies, and can be used as a model nationally to build resiliency in fishing communities through private/non-profit partnerships.”
Luke’s Lobster launched its e-commerce platform within days of having to close all 26 of its national shacks and its 11 international shacks in a nimble pivot to keep buying from fishermen and bringing seafood to consumers. Initially the direct-to-consumer platform offered its existing seafood inventory but quickly added seasonal seafood products with short harvest windows such as Gulf of Maine dayboat scallops and fresh halibut. The success of Luke’s Lobster’s online platform will be enhanced through this project, bringing additional Maine seafood products to consumers.
Beyond the financial benefit to fishermen and industry businesses, this funding will generate a broader environmental and social impact. Embedded into the funding criteria are impact goals that Luke’s Lobster and the Island Institute must meet. These goals include expanding the number of products and species available through Lukeslobster.com, providing technical assistance on energy efficiency and water quality improvement projects to fishing wharves, and B Corp training for businesses considering certification. Enhanced revenue will also re-energize Luke’s Lobster’s Keeper Fund, its philanthropic initiative for coastal community and environmental projects that had to put grantees on hold when Luke’s shacks closed at the outset of the pandemic.
Driving demand for Maine’s premium seafood requires demystifying seafood for the American consumer. A considerable part of this funding will be used to create content aimed at educating consumers about the ease and health benefits of preparing seafood at home, as well as telling stories of Maine’s fishermen, aquaculturists and coastal communities. Connecting consumers to the source of their seafood is an important element of this project. The content production and educational campaign will help ensure Maine’s premium seafood stays top of mind with consumers looking for a sustainable, traceable and healthy protein.
Maine businesses, harvesters or fishermen interested in offering their products on the Luke’s Lobster website can email Merritt Carey at Merritt@Lukeslobster.com. All applicants will be considered through an objective process which includes review by a selection committee made up of two members from Luke’s Lobster, two members from the Island Institute and a member from the community at large. All Maine seafood-related businesses are encouraged to apply, regardless of size.
“This is exactly the type of win-win opportunity we look for,” said Luke Holden, Founder and CEO of Luke’s Lobster. “There have been many bumps in the road in 2020 for Luke’s Lobster and the Maine seafood community, but this gives a much needed shot in the arm and helps us leap forward rather than falling behind in our mission to bolster coastal economies and have an enduring social and environmental impact. We can’t wait to get more Maine seafood to consumers around the country.”
To apply, fill out this form.
About Luke’s Lobster
Founded in 2009, Luke’s Lobster is a seafood company and restaurant group dedicated to producing the best tasting seafood, transparently sourced from fishermen committed to sustainability. Luke’s Lobster’s Saco, Maine-based processing facility buys lobster, crab and other seafood directly from fishermen and works collaboratively with them to return more value to the shore. In 2018, Luke’s Lobster became a certified B Corporation, memorializing its long-standing commitment to sustainability and its stakeholders. Founded by Cape Elizabeth native Luke Holden, who hails from a fishing family, Luke’s Lobster has 25 shacks nationally including its flagship location in Portland, Maine. Luke’s launched several consumer packaged good (CPG) products in 2018 at Whole Foods Market and was named the Whole Foods Market Supplier of the year. In 2020, Luke’s launched an e-commerce platform amid the COVID-19 pandemic, to continue offering guests the best-tasting sustainably sourced seafood in the world. In addition to its famed lobster and crab products, the e-commerce store offers seasonal seafood such as Maine dayboat scallops and halibut as well as unique gifts, such as a teachers appreciation bundle featuring lobster rolls and apple pie made with Maine apples.
About The Island Institute
Island Institute is a 37-year-old nonprofit organization, based in Rockland, Maine, that works to sustain Maine’s island and coastal communities and is committed to a just, resilient, and vibrant future for the coast of Maine. We work in partnership with resilient leaders to support thriving communities and to confront a changing world. For more information, visit http://www.islandinstitute.org.