Luke’s Lobster has launched an e-commerce platform to offer a number of Luke’s seafood products direct-to-consumer.
This addition comes amid the COVID-19 pandemic as most of Luke’s Lobster shacks nationwide have temporarily closed. In an effort to keep as many jobs as possible, and support its fishermen, Luke’s Lobster is focusing on the grocery side of its business.
“Launching an e-commerce platform was something we’ve had in the works, but had not planned to launch for many more months,” said Luke Holden, founder and CEO of Luke’s Lobster. “The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up our process and forced us to be nimble and adaptable, attributes that have always been key to our success. No one is immune to this global crisis, and we’re all in this together, taking it day by day, hour by hour.”
The goal, Holden said, was to provide a way for customers to enjoy Luke’s products at home, with a number of easy-to-prepare seafood.
Maine’s lobster-fishermen depend on companies like Luke’s, which has its own lobster processing plant in Saco, to remain strong buyers so there will be a place to sell their lobster when the season gets underway in a few months.
“Ensuring we can remain partners to our fishermen is at the core of who we are,” said Holden. “Getting this e-commerce site up and running quickly to create an attractive outlet for lobster-based products helps us, but it also is critical for the small fishing villages up and down our coast.”
In a typical season, Luke’s buys approximately 5 million pounds of lobster from co-ops and wharfs on the Maine coast.
“In the face of COVID-19, we basically had to take our strategic longer-term plan for an e-commerce launch and completely tear up the playbook to launch nearly immediately,” said Holden.
New products, like Gulf of Maine scallops, are available at the online shop; orders are being accepted all week, with shipping on Thursdays for delivery on Fridays, said Ben Conniff, Luke’s co-founder and chief marketing officer. Live lobster continues to be offered. Halibut may also be offered in season.
The e-commerce site will launch with six primary products, including Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, made with Cabot Creamery cheese. Like Luke’s Lobster, Cabot Creamery is a certified B-Corp sourcing from its 800 farmer co-op members throughout New England.
Other products featured include Luke’s Lobster Meat with Seasoning , Luke’s Lobster Bisque, Twin Lobster Tails with Lemon Garlic Marinade and Luke’s Spicy Crab & Sweet Potato Bisque. In addition to making these products available to customers through its e-commerce platform, Luke’s Lobster is ramping up its online recipes, providing customers with creative ways to prepare seafood, including a series of fun how-to videos from Luke’s family and friends (and Holden himself).