Recognizing a demand for New England lobster rolls in Southern California, cousins Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac launched Cousins Maine Lobster as a food truck in Los Angeles in 2012.

The truck was so successful out of the gate that the cousins appeared on the hit show “Shark Tank,” where they secured an investment from Barbara Corcoran. Cousins then launched a franchise program and now has 23 trucks in 12 cities and one brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles. Four more trucks and five more brick-and-mortar locations are slated to open soon.

“After we launched our first food truck, we discovered our binary appeal; we were a haven for lobster purists, traditionalists, and New England transplants, but we also resonated with the younger foodie crowd who enjoyed our inventive takes on classic items like our lobster grilled cheese and our lobster tacos,” says Jameson Lyons, brand and project manager for Cousins Maine Lobster.

Lyons says Maine lobster is high in protein and low in fat, and that its sweet taste “lends itself to a lot of dishes people wouldn’t normally expect.” Along with the grilled cheese and tacos, that includes lobster tots, which are covered in warm lobster, pico de gallo, and a house-made cilantro lime sauce.

Menu Innovations, Story, Cousins Maine Lobster