Don’t ever start a food business that you’re not insanely passionate about. Because [nothing is] going to justify the hours and the difficulty that you’re going to go through starting a food business and building a food business if you’re not super passionate about it.

Todays guest is incredibly passionate about health, sustainability, and delicious lobster! Ben Conniff is the co-founder and chief innovation officer at Lukes Lobster, an incredible chain of lobster shacks and a grocery line dedicated to producing traceable, sustainable seafood.

Twelve and a half years ago, Ben met his business partner, Luke, on Craigslist while looking for a restaurant job. Luke was working in finance, but had previously been a lobsterman and  was passionate about starting a Maine-Style lobster shack in New York. Ben was immediately all in and they opened their first restaurant only 30 days later.

Their goal for the business was simple: make amazing food, treat people well, and enjoy themselves. They did just that and more.. Ben believes it is the real story of Luke and his familys background in the lobster industry that created the high levels of trust and transparency among their consumers, and of course the delicious lobster, that led to their customers wanting more and more.

Ben and I dive into their rapid restaurant expansion and their decision to start a grocery line. We also talk about the importance of educating the consumer and why sustainability is critically important for any new business.

It is a situation where if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem, particularly if you’re in the food industry.


Listen to The Irresistible Factor’s Interview with Luke’s Lobster Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Ben Conniff. 


Here’s what you won’t want to miss from our conversation: 

  • How they navigate the volatility of the lobster industry 
  • The differences Ben has found in retail versus restaurants
  • How they educate consumers to learn about the quality of Luke’s Lobster over other brands
  • Why freezing technology is helping people get access to higher quality, healthier food
  • Their biggest challenges 

Links mentioned in this episode: 

Ben Conniff on LinkedIn 

Ben Conniff on Instagram 

Ben Conniff on Twitter 

Luke’s Lobster 

The Irresistible Factor Podcast  

Sawtooth Group 

Kristi Bridges on LinkedIn 

Kristi Bridges on Twitter