Customers are flocking to The Lob Store, a new retail arm of longtime seafood wholesaler D.C. Air & Seafood in Winter Harbor. PHOTO BY JACQUELINE WEAVER

New Winter Harbor seafood store thriving

WINTER HARBOR — No one was quite sure whether the Schoodic Peninsula was ready for a seafood store, but the first season at The Lob Store has settled that question.

The retail operation based at seafood wholesaler D.C. Air & Seafood on Newman Street opened June 1, and even the owners were taken aback by the level of interest.

“We set up to cater to increased traffic from the campground,” said D.C. Air & Seafood co-owner Dwight Rodgers. “We figured we’d sell some lobsters. We had no idea the demand for seafood would be so great.”

Helping the business along was the fact that Tibbetts Seafood Market in Steuben did not reopen this year. That also was unexpected.

The Lob Store is in a 20-foot-by-24-foot space that was added onto the original structure.

The clear glass cases, coolers and tanks have a range of seafood, all of which is either sourced locally or brought back from Boston three times a week.

One recent day the seafood available included fresh tuna, halibut, scallops, mussels, oysters, swordfish, salmon, shrimp, haddock, oysters, mussels, arctic char, squid, shrimp, crabmeat, and, of course, fresh lobster and cooked lobster with a choice of tail, knuckle and claw meat.

Customers also can pick up a “lobster kit” in a wood box with butter dipping cups and lobster pickers and crackers for serving eight diners.

The Lob Store also has hats and T-shirts for those who want to take a little of the shop home in a nonperishable form.

The manager, Lisa Gibson of Gouldsboro, said swordfish, yellow fin tuna and haddock are popular, but actually, everything is selling.

For people who are uncertain about how to cook a lobster, every purchase comes with a postcard-sized thank you card designed by Gibson that has clear directions on how to steam a lobster.

Or, she is happy to steam one on the spot for customers. The wait is slightly over 10 minutes.

Rodgers said the plan right now is to stay open year-round, but customers might be asked during the slower months to put in their orders ahead of time to reduce spoilage.

Gibson said she is staying tuned into what customers want.

The Lob Store will pack and ship seafood overnight for purchases at the shop or online.

Gibson is not sure how the word is getting out, but she is getting calls from people out of state who want to buy seafood from The Lob Store.

“I have one call from a man in Denver, Colorado, who is from Maine and is opening a restaurant in Denver, Colorado, that will have Maine seafood,” Gibson said.

The Lob Store is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Jacqueline Weaver

Jacqueline Weaver

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
Jacqueline's beat covers the eastern Hancock County towns of Lamoine through Gouldsboro as well as Steuben in Washington County. She was a reporter for the New York Times, United Press International and Reuters before moving to Maine. She also publicized medical research at Yale School of Medicine and scientific findings at Yale University for nine years.[email protected]
Jacqueline Weaver

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