Katlyn Graham: Hello! I’m Katlyn Graham, here with Steve Woodman, the co‑CEO and owner of Woodman’s. Welcome, Steve!
Steve Woodman: Welcome, Katlyn!
Katlyn: Thanks for joining us today! We’re discussing one of your specialties: lobsters! I know you guys go through a lot of lobsters, a very popular item at Woodman’s. Where do all these lobsters come from?
Steve: A lot of lobsters come from locally. From the shores of Massachusetts, right from Manchester, Gloucester, or right around from where we are, but we also have lobsters that come down from Maine. Wherever the good quality is, wherever they’re being caught, we bring them in.
Katlyn: So it varies a little bit. You have lobster fishermen who do go out off the coast of Mass?
Steve: That’s right. There are Mass fishermen that go out and lobster. We buy most of our lobsters, actually, from dealers. They’ll sell to dealers in Gloucester in Manchester, actually a dealer in Essex or Ipswich, and then we have dealers up in Maine that we buy from.
Katlyn: OK. Now, I’ve seen the lobsters in the tanks out front at Woodman’s. You guys keep them in the water until you’re ready to cook them. That’s quite a sight to see them all in the tank there. How do you prepare the lobsters?
Steve: The lobsters, when you have it at Woodman’s, especially in the summer and as the summer is coming, and actually Mother’s Day is coming up…We have the lobsters in the tank, like you say. We have these big kettles out front. As the crowds start coming, we throw the lobsters in, and we cook them right out there in boiling water. When they’re done, we have these nets, and we go and reach them and take them out and put them on a table.
People are standing waiting for their lobster, and these hot lobsters just coming right out of the water are put on the table in front of them, and they’ll say, “I want that one. I want that one,” depending on what size they’re looking for. They could be anywhere from a pound to a quarter up to five, six pounds, if they want them.
Katlyn: Oh god.
Steve: They’ll say, “I’ll take that one,” then our guys out front that are waiting on them. We have cutting boards out there, so we’ll take those lobsters, and we’ll crack them for you. We’ll crack the shells; we’ll crack the knuckles and split the tail open for you and give you the butter, the lemon, and everything that you need right there.
You don’t need these nutcrackers to try to figure how to get into the lobster. It’s already broken apart for you, and it makes it easy for you to go in and eat that lobster and take the meat out.
Katlyn: Oh, definitely makes it easier. I have been one of those people trying to get the lobster open and not really knowing what I’m doing.
You give your lobsters to your customers all ready to eat?
Steve: That’s right. They’re all ready to eat. They’re all cracked open from our guys. With a knife, they just split those claws open and makes it really easy just to tear them apart. The meat drops out, and you just have to take it and dip it in the butter that we have, put a little lemon on it and eat it down.
Katlyn: Mmmm. That sounds simple enough. Wow! The lobsters look green in the tank and then you drop them in the water and they turn…
Steve: They turn red.
Steve: That’s right.
Katlyn: Is it true that they scream when you drop them in the water? I’ve heard that before.
Steve: [laughs] No, I’ve never heard a lobster scream. No.
Katlyn: OK. That’s just a rumor, then.
Steve: That’s right.
Katlyn: Anything else you’d like people to know about lobsters?
Steve: Lobsters are just a great food. I love lobster.
I have a story of one of my sons when he was young. He loved lobster, but we wouldn’t give him lobster all the time because lobsters are expensive, whatever. You just have it once in awhile on special occasions or whatever, we’d tell him. We were talking one time about junk food, and he comes up and says, “I know what’s junk food.”
I say, “What do you think junk food is?”
He says, “Lobster.” He says, “You never let me have it as much as I want.”
Katlyn: He had come to think that lobster was junk food.
Steve: Yeah. “No, it’s not junk food, but you’ve got to eat something else besides lobster.”
Katlyn: Yes, special occasion type food, isn’t it?
Well, thank you so much, Steve, for explaining all that. It is the season for lobsters, isn’t it?
Steve: Yes, it is. It’s getting that season. The sun is coming out, and the crowds will start coming. You can grab your hot fresh lobsters right at Woodman’s.
Katlyn: Right out front.
Steve: Seven days a week.
Katlyn: Great! Well, thank you so much, Steve!
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