How These 2 Entrepreneurs Turned an Urban Seafood Shack Into a $60 Million Empire

Luke Holden and Ben Conniff started a small chain of simple lobster shacks. Then they started thinking much bigger.

Step into one of the 39 Luke’s Lobster locations from New York City to Taiwan and it’s easy to pretend you’re visiting a classic New England seafood shack: Diners order at simple wooden counters, sit at rough-hewn tables, and munch on a limited (and exceedingly tasty) menu of lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls and chowders, accompanied by simple bags of potato chips. But the Saco, Maine- and Brooklyn-based company’s restaurants are actually the last step in an extensive, tightly integrated seabed-to-table operation–one that nearly broke the founders, Luke Holden and Ben Conniff, when they first attempted to set it up.

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