Cousins Maine Lobster clawed into the Shark Tank in October of 2012. Cousins Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac pitched their seafood company that originally began as a food truck in Los Angeles, serving fresh lobsters overnighted from Maine.
Since getting a deal with Barbara, their trucks can now be found in 10 regions nationwide and they’ve even opened a restaurant in West Hollywood. Sales have also seen a dramatic increase. They went from $250,000 in annual sales in 2012 to $15 million in 2015.
As their business is revisited on Beyond the Tank, we spoke to Tselikis, who told us about…
Their ‘Beyond the Tank’ Episode
We will be covering the launch of our new restaurant, our first brick and mortar in West Hollywood, California. We discuss the planning of the new restaurant, design and opening. We also check in on our franchisee system, which has exploded in 2015, with the opening of 10 new cities throughout the country and 14 new trucks, making it a total of 18 trucks throughout the country.
The Challenges to Opening a Restaurant
They included the long term lease, the build out, staffing, service and choice of location. For us, it was about investing money to create a Maine lobster shack experience, expand our menu, and provide consistency of top-notch product and service every day to every customer.
Their West Hollywood Community
West Hollywood is an amazing community that supports small businesses, spreads great stories and food via word of mouth. It is a closely knit community that parallels the family aspect of our business.
The Future for the Cousins
We will continue to expand our food trucks in the best markets throughout the country, but only with the perfect entrepreneurs (owner/operators). We care more about the local owners/entrepreneurs, than we do the physical market, because the perfect entrepreneurs will make it work no matter what.