For the month of December, we continue our “Shop Local” series to shine the spotlight on local craftspeople who make things by hand. It’s important to shop local and to support the innovators and entrepreneurs who keep the creative economy alive in the Midcoast. So each week, until Dec. 25, we will bring you this series until you can’t take it anymore. Ready. Set. Go.
Gourmet Maine Lobster Crackers
Real Maine lobster baked in a delicious cracker
The Back Story
In 2012, Pat Havener and her husband, Friendship lobsterman Greg Havener, were trying to brainstorm ways to make up lost income from the plummeting price of lobster.
Pat got an idea one day after her niece’s dogs were scrambling to lick up the remnants of a lobster feed, so she took some of Greg’s catch and put it into a food processor to make gourmet dog biscuits out of them, calling them “Lobster Treats for Salty Dogs.”
Turns out, they were not only a hit at the Rockland Farmer’s Market, but they were a product that people wanted for themselves, not just a treat for their dogs.
“We were cooking lobster for the biscuits one day and Greg held up this beautiful claw and said, ‘You’re giving this to dogs?’ and I said, ‘Yes, dear I am.’ And he said ‘You need to make crackers for people.’”
Soon, after experimenting with the right ratio of lobster (which is about one small lobster for three boxes of crackers), Pat came up with a product that was light, crispy, and definitely had a lobster flavor.
The crackers, which are the only type of its kind in the U.S., were named “Best New Product—Specialty Food” in spring of 2015 at the at\ the New England Made Giftware Specialty Food Show and in 2016, they were featured on WMTW Channel 8 with Steve Minich’s “Made in Maine.”
Greg and their son Andy lobster fish even in winter, weather permitting. Because of the distance to get out to his traps, Andy leaves at 3 a.m. and often doesn’t return until 6 p.m., hauling 400 traps during that time.
Where to find it/price range
You can buy a box ($10) on their website or at upcoming craft shows such as Sweetgrass Farm & Winery Holiday Open House December 8 and 9.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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