Izzy Nelson and Joe Lane have owned Joe Lane Lobsterman since 2014, operating their business from various temporary Damariscotta locations such as the farmers market. Their business specializes in live and cooked whole lobsters, which Lane, who is a fourth-generation lobsterman, catches from his boat, the Spirit of ’76.
After taking the summer of 2016 off, the couple saw an opportunity to reopen their restaurant in a more permanent location – the former home of Skidompha Second Hand Book Shop, which had recently relocated. In order to do this, the couple needed to transform the space into a restaurant and purchase the necessary equipment for a commercial kitchen. They turned to Maine SBDC Business Advisor David Hill for assistance in obtaining financing with hopes of opening the restaurant in early summer 2017, which was a little over 2 months away.
Hill helped the pair with their loan application, business plan and financial statements. The couple and their family worked over the months to get the restaurant renovated. Nelson and Lane received the financing they needed and opened in time for the Summer season.
The building, a red barn, has special history for Lane’s family. His great-grandmother once ran an antique shop out of the building and his mother, Valerie Seibel, later sold reproductions of antiques at the same location. The restaurant now has 32 seats, and customers have the option to place an order for pickup or to eat in. The business continues to sell whole lobsters, live or cooked. They also offer lobster rolls and other seafood items.