Every entrepreneur that joins Shark Tank hopes to strike a fair bargain with one of the sharks. 56% of optimistic entrepreneurs leave with a deal, with food & beverage accounting for 20% of those transactions. Cousins Maine Lobster, a new culinary enterprise founded by Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis, entered the tank in 2016.
Lomac and Tselikis are true cousins who started Cousins Maine Lobster with a single food truck in 2012. Lomac and Tselikis moved to Los Angeles from Maine and missed their familiar surroundings. Fresh Maine lobster was their favourite cuisine. Because they couldn’t locate their childhood lobster roll, the two decided to reproduce it and sell it to other Angelenos. Their first truck offered fresh Maine lobster heaped high in a split top bun, topped with melted butter.
Everything Started With A Truck
In 2012, the first Cousins Maine Lobster truck launched in Los Angeles. Because the Los Angeles food truck culture was thriving, the cousins decided to try their luck with a food truck. Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis had no idea what was in store for them on their first night.
A queue of 60 people snaked around the block, eager to sample real Maine lobster rolls. The rolls were so popular that Shark Tank producers were drawn to the truck. The cousins were approached by producers who wanted them to pitch to the Sharks. Before deciding to appear, Loma and Tselikis turned down the producer twice.
When the cousins went on the show, the truck had only been in operation for a few months and had already made $150k in sales. The cousins demanded $55,000 in exchange for a 5% interest.
Barbara Corcoran eventually bit the hook and offered $55,000 for 15% equity. Cousins Maine Lobster won Best LA Food Truck in 2012 after Corcoran’s assistance. Between 2017 and 2018, the cousins expanded to three additional vehicles that roamed the streets of Los Angeles.
The Cousins Maine Lobster Empire Continues To Grow
Cousins Maine Lobster will have 42 trucks and 7 brick-and-mortar locations by March 2022. Cousins has a $29 million yearly income as of May 2022.
Cousins Maine Lobster has a thriving franchise business as well. A potential franchise pays between $250k and $350k to purchase and operate a truck, according to Shark Tank Blog. Furthermore, the Cousins are paid a royalty charge of 8% of the revenue. Franchisees are well-trained, even accompanying lobstermen on boats to practice.
Cousins Maine Lobster, in addition to franchising, will transport lobsters and meal packages right to your door. Customers may get entire lobsters, crabs, lobster mac and cheese, clam chowder, lobster ravioli, and lobster pot pie from the Cousins Maine Lobster website.
Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis, the creators, plunged into new terrain in 2021. The cousins co-hosted “Food Truck Rehab” a new Food Network show. The cousins come to the aid of struggling food truck operators, helping them redesign their menus, vehicles, and social media. Cousins Maine Lobster’s continuous prosperity appears to have no limitations.