Maine Shore Lobster Bakes
THE HISTORY OF MAINE SHORE LOBSTER BAKES, LLC
How It All Started…
Maine Shore Lobster Bakes, LLC story starts off with a Freeport High School History teacher named James “Jim” Lumsden. During his summers he pulled groups of friends together and brought them to various islands in Casco Bay to put on an authentic Lobster Bake the way the Native Americans used to do it. It all started as a relaxed themed day of fun. On one of these adventures the owner of Kodak attended the festivities, and asked if Jim would travel to Rochester, NY to put one of these lobster bakes on for the Kodak Corporation, and that was how the journey began.
Throughout Jim’s travels he made solid relationships with many important people, one of them being L.M.C. Smith. With this friendship he was fortunate enough to do a Lobster Bake for Franklin D. Roosevelt. After this once in a lifetime opportunity Franklin D. Roosevelt connected him to Ed Muskie, which started the annual Ed Muskie Lobster Bake. August 25, 1964 Ed Muskie connected Jim to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City for 3,000 people, which President Johnson attended. Through the Democratic National Convention Jim Lumsden was introduced to Ted Kennedy which turned into an annual lobster bake in Hyannis. The democratic connections continued fortunately over time so eventually Jim was invited to do a Lobster Bake for at the White House for President Jimmy Carter.
In the mid 1980’s, Maine hosted the National Governor’s conference at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth with an attendance of 5,000 people, the largest Lobster Bake handled. Throughout the time Jim stayed connected with many of his contacts, including the Smith family putting on countless Lobster Bakes for them over time. The Owner of Deering Ice Cream, Charles Stickney, hired him for many important events. Charles Payson, an incredibly wealthy person who resided in Falmouth Foreside and was known to donate buildings to various Universities, hires Jim for numerous events. One of the most memorable events was Paysons’ Birthday Party in Kentucky; the entire catering crew was given box seats to the Kentucky Derby as a gratuity. The Portland Yacht Club held the Mohegan races and hired Jim on an annual basis to do lobster bakes and events.
Taking Over the Family Business….
In 1988 Jim Lumsden retired from the Lobster Bake business. His niece, Sonya started working for the business at age 7, and continued on the Lobster Bakes tradition through weddings for family and friends, fundraisers, reunions, and various gatherings, just as Jim did.
In 2010, Sonya reintroduced Lobster Bakes to Wolfe’s Neck Farm with a trial run of 2 Lobster Bakes. In 2011 Sonya then worked with Wolfe’s Neck Farm to provide a Lobster Bake every Saturday night to campers at Recompence Shore Campground. Later she reconnected with the Maine Democratic Party to hold a Lobster Bake for 192 people during a hurricane at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. During the year of 2012, Sonya continued the Saturday night events at Wolfe’s Neck Farm; she also catered the Outdoor Adventure Challenge sponsored by Portland Rotary and Boys & Girls Club. Along with LL Bean’s 100th Anniversary, served singer Chris Isaac, and served 225 people at the annual Harvest Dance at Wolfe’s Neck Farm with the performers The Mallett Brothers Band.
Sonya has also connected with Embrace A Vet, a nonprofit organization providing resources for veterans with PTSD and TBI for multiple fundraisers. In 2013 Sonya took over full ownership of Maine Shore Lobster Bakes, LLC as the family legacy comes full circle and continues on with Weddings, Corporate Outings, Fundraisers, and so much more.
In 2015, Sonya worked with Secretary of State, John Kerry's staff along with Maine's Secretary of State's Matt Dunlap's staff to organize what many classified as a "bucket list" ending to their annual convention with a Lobster Bake on Peaks Island for 300 people. Worked with the Maine Democratic Party as they welcomed the governor of Tennessee and Hillary Clinton's staff at the annual Muskie Lobster Bake. Became the exclusive Lobster Bake caterer for the Lobsterman Triathlon raising money for the Maine Cancer Association while feeding 900+ people.
How We Do Things the Authentic Way… How we do lobster bakes is the same way Jim started it back in the beginning of his adventure. We cook the Lobster, Clams, and Corn in a bed of seaweed on a sheet of steel over a sweltering hot fire. We harvest our own seaweed along Maine’s shorelines; we use locally-harvested clams and lobsters sustainably harvested from Casco Bay. We recycle to every extent possible. We work to compost all of our food wastes and local gardeners recycle the seaweed using it in their gardens. We are minimalists for the amount of waste from every catered event. We do this while still being the lowest-priced caterer in Southern Maine for Lobster Bakes. Listening to every client and catering to their exact desires is what we love to do!