If you’re looking for that gift with a “wow!” factor keep reading this article. Amongst the many things businesses pull together for the holiday season- Christmas albums, special edition DVDs, all-inclusive travel deals- it seems amazing that a new company from Maine is outdoing them all.
Catch a Piece of Maine was founded by two brothers,‚ Brendan and‚ John Ready,‚ who after being raised in the lobstering community decided to get their own boat and start catching lobsters‚ after high school. Fortunately for them, their parents encouraged a higher education. After going to universities in Boston and getting degrees in business, they put their newfound knowledge to work.‚
They founded a company, Ready Inc., and created a new way to sell lobsters by offering ownership of a lobsterman’s trap to get 13 lobster baskets direct from the fisher for a year.‚
“We are a community supported fishing model that is relevant for the Maine lobster industry. In the past 50 years there has been very little change and what we can offer is the quality product with the experiential value,” explained John Ready.
Each basket includes four pound-and-a half lobsters, pound of steamer clams, pound of mussels and four servings of typical Maine desserts like blueberry brownies or whoopee-pies. ‚ The shipments also bring a photo and story of the lobsterman who works the trap; a map of where the trap is located; a personalized note from the lobsterman telling how the fishing went; next day delivery, classic lobster-printed white bibs and, last but not least, a call form the lobsterman himself the night of delivery to ensure costumers are happy with their bounty.‚
‚ Aside from canceling third parties, trap holders establish a relationship with those who run their trap and learn what the real lobstering life is about.‚ It may sound like too much razzle-dazzle but this personal treatment is what sets the Ready brothers apart, selling more than two million pounds of lobster annually.
“We have customers who really look forward to receiving their call the night of their delivery. They have dinners on that day and its not strange to be put on speakerphone to join the party, people love being involved, they like to know they form a part of what we do,” said Ready.
Their business model has helped create a feeling of togetherness amongst the lobstermen, something that Ready said is not often found. Not only that, it is creating jobs in an ailing industry and encouraging consumers to continue buying the clawed crustacean. The yearlong share costs $3,000 but there are other options that have become as big sellers as the yearly “subscription.”
“We are here to please you, I just had a call from a woman who said, “ËœI love lobster tails, send me 20 by this date’ and we did. Our consumers like experiential gifts so we have an array of smaller custom made options to never say “Ëœno’ and give them the same experience,” Ready said.
One of those options is the $250 “Lobster Share” pack. ‚ It includes the same four hard shell lobsters, steamer clams, ‚ mussels and Maine made desserts and personalized messages as the shareholders monthly basket does. It also comes with the popular call from the lobsterman‚ who caught your delicious dinner.‚
If you don’ know whether or not a person likes lobsters, the business on-line store also offers Catch a Piece of Maine gear gift certificates and a colorful 2009 calendar filed with Maine scenery and lobstermen’s photos.
In a time when the lobster industry is in decline this company has grown at an amazing rate. The difference being in that the brothers use their salesman skills effectively to help revitalize the lobstering community and make a profit along the way.‚
“We grew up in this lifestyle, because catching and selling lobsters really is a lifestyle. When we see the men that we looked up to as children struggling to pay bills or make things work we’re not only concerned with making a business successful, we’re concerned for our family,” Ready shared.‚ “This is what other people see too and by getting even a small piece of it they know their gift will be unique and that our community will keep going.”
Whether your holiday list is on a budget or not, the custom packages and apparel from these Mainers are special options to consider. Because, if you think about it, who else can boast after New Years that the “lobsterman called, wanting to make sure you got your lobsters alright” at the office?
Get your own piece of Main by sending an email to [email protected] with your contact information by January 1st to win the lobstermen’s 2009 calendar!