John (age 27) and Brendan (26) Ready both fell in love with catching lobsters when they were seven and went out with their Uncle Ted to check his lobster traps near Cape Elizabeth, ME. They bought their first boat when they were nine and started running their own traps on weekends and during the summer.
When they went away to college in MA most of their friends told them, “There’s no opportunity in Maine or there’s no real business in Maine. They always hit us the wrong way because we always wanted to come back to Maine and grow something and really be able to share it,” John Ready told the Maine Biz magazine in a 2007 article.
They returned home in 2004 and set up Ready Seafood, a wholesale lobster and seafood distribution business, that is today doing over $10 million in business. They are another example of the Millennial Entrepreneurs that I’m continuing to study and collect their stories around the USA. It would be a good story if I stopped here but the Ready brothers are like a lot of Millennials who are taking their business to a new level.
Last year they launched “Catch a Piece of Maine” to directly bridge the gap between lobstermen and the consumer without going through the many levels of distribution. For $2,995 a customer can buy a Maine lobster trap that will be fished by the Ready brothers or one of the six other lobstermen who work with them. All of the lobsters caught in the trap throughout the season which runs from May through December, are credited to their account and they can get a shipment of lobsters at any time they wish. With a typical trap bringing in 75 lobsters per year (and customers are guaranteed at least 40/year) a customer gets to harvest their own lobsters. Each shipment also comes with a pound of steamers, a pound of mussels and all of the other necessities (from butter to bibs) for a bona fide Maine lobster dinner. They also get a DVD about Maine lobsters and a photo of who will be tending your lobster trap.
Based upon the reception of the women in my office, I think that the picture idea will help them in the sales. My guess is that I could probably get quite a few orders if I could get them to personally deliver their catch.
Millennial Entrepreneurs—You gotta love how they are transforming how to conduct business. They are going to change the USA for the better!