LobsterCraft Highlights Connecticut State Sandwich

good bite

Pictured: A LobsterCraft lobster roll brings New England flavor to Florida. Photo courtesy of LobsterCraft.

In 2000, a massive lobster die-off caused financial difficulties for Captain Mike Harden, a Connecticut-based lobsterman and Coast Guard captain. Since Harden could not live from fishing alone, he had to find a solution. He tried a variety of ventures, including a dinner cruise and selling lobsters. “It was my wife’s idea to start a food truck with the small amount of lobster I still caught,” says Harden. When he opened the LobsterCraft food truck in 2012, selling delicious lobster rolls, Connecticut’s official state sandwich, he was one of the state’s first gourmet food trucks.

“The two things I’m good at are fishing and cooking,” he adds, “and we’ve been so well received that it was natural for me to move on.” Since lobsters are expensive, the best route is from a lobster roll company, the company’s vertical integration. That means the facility that cooks and serves the lobster rolls also sources the lobsters themselves rather than buying them elsewhere.

LobsterCraft grew in popularity across Connecticut, expanding from food trucks to brick-and-mortar locations, but Harden saw the potential to continue growing the business. “People in New England think lobster rolls are only available in the summer,” he says, “but in Sarasota the seasons are flipped and lobster roll sales are higher in the winter.” In April 2022, Harden opened a brick-and-mortar LobsterCraft location in St .Armand’s Circle. He also runs a LobsterCraft food truck in Sarasota that can be booked for events, farmers markets, and catering.

Twice voted best lobster roll in the country, Harden takes pride in their products. His guests’ favorite roll is the Coastal Roll, which features hot butter lobster on a toasted bun, followed by the Heat Wave Roll, a lobster topped with spicy habanero and serrano pepper butter. The Dirty Maynard, a cold lobster salad perfect for the Florida heat, is popular, as is the homemade lobster mac n cheese.

“This is the perfect lobster roll,” says Harden, careful not to reveal any of the secrets that make the product so special but careful to share it with hungry customers.

LobsterCraft, 28A S. Blvd. of Presidents, St. Armands Circle, Sarasota, 941-346-6325.

Pictured: A LobsterCraft lobster roll brings New England flavor to Florida. Photo courtesy of LobsterCraft.

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