Woodman’s offers its amazing seafood and lobsters to customers across all 50 states. Bonnie Scatterday, from Woodman’s of Essex, discusses how they ship fresh seafood. Listen or read more to find out how to place an order that is guaranteed fresh.

John Maher: Hi. I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Bonnie Scatterday from Woodman’s of Essex, a restaurant and catering company in Essex, Massachusetts. Today we’re talking about packing and shipping lobsters and seafood. Welcome Bonnie.

Bonnie Scatterday: Good morning.

John: So, Bonnie, what types of seafood does Woodman’s sell and ship online?

Bonnie: Woodman’s of Essex ships fresh seafood all over the country. We ship lobsters, steamers, our homemade clam chowder stock, as well as we now offer a fried clam kit, which is what we are known for.

Get a Fried Clam Kit Delivered Anywhere in the U.S.

John: Explain that a little bit, what the fried clam kit is.

Bonnie: Over a hundred years ago, Woodman’s invented the fried clam.

John: Right.

Bonnie: And we now offer a kit that you are able to fry them up like Chubby used to. We offer the shucked steamer clams. It comes with our famous seafood batter, which is gluten-free. We offer the evaporated milk, and our homemade tartar sauce. The only thing you need to supply would be the cooking oil. And you can fry them up just like Chubby used to.

John: Okay. Because fried clams, of course, you can’t fry them here at Woodman’s and then ship them to somebody and have them heat them up or something like that. It doesn’t really work out that way.

Bonnie: We tried that before.

John: Yeah.

Bonnie: But they really don’t taste as good as they would —

John: Okay.

Bonnie: — If you were able to fry them up yourself.

John: So, it comes with some instructions, and you can fry them up.

Bonnie: Yeah. We send you the fried clam story and on the back is the cooking instructions. And we also have a video, which is on the website that can show you how to do it.

Freshness is Guaranteed

John: Okay. So, how do you ensure that the lobsters and other seafood that you ship are fresh when they arrive at a customer’s door?

Bonnie: We use FedEx and we ship it express. The lobsters, steamers and the whole New England clambake that we ship, is shipped over night. The clam kit and the clam chowder kit that we offer are shipped two-day and they’re sent express. So, they arrive next day or two-day and they’re in an insulated cooler, packed with gel packs. And we also use a company called PeriShip, which guarantees fresh delivery. So, should it get hung up somewhere in a hub, they watch it and make sure it’s refrigerated and that it moves on in order to get there in a timely manner.

John: Okay. Because the lobsters, when you’re shipping them, they’re actually alive when you’re shipping them, right?

Bonnie: Yep. Everything we ship is live.

John: Yeah. Okay.

Bonnie: We don’t ship cooked.

John: Okay. All right. So even the steamers and things like that —

Bonnie: Yep.

John: Because that’s important for those to be fresh and alive when they arrive at your door.

Bonnie: Yep. And we also send instructions for cooking each of the individual items that we send in the clambake as well.

Order Live Lobsters Online

John: Okay. So, kind of walk us through a typical online lobster order and how you pack that up, and you ship it to a customer.

Bonnie: Okay. So how you would order online, you would go to woodmans.com and at the top you see a category that says shop online. And you click, and it’ll bring up a number of categories on the left side, and depending on what you’re looking to order, you would click on the item that you’re interested in. And then it will show all the different things that are included in the package, what the shipping specifications are. You put it into the cart and then you hit order and it’ll ask you a number of questions, billing information, shipping information and you get to choose your delivery date.

Now with the new website that we have, the shipping is done individually. It’s not included in the price. So, what you’re paying is for the product itself and then depending on where you live is what the shipping cost would be. And now actually, we do ship to Alaska and Hawaii.

John: Oh wow.

Bonnie: So, say you live in Alaska, it’s obviously going to cost you a bit more money to ship there —

John: Sure.

Bonnie: Than it would if you lived in New Jersey.

John: Sure. Sure.

Bonnie: So.

John: Yep. Yep.

Bonnie: Yeah.

Shipping Prices for Fresh Seafood

John: So, previously you had the shipping costs were sort of lumped into the price that you paid online. So, if you lived a little bit closer to Woodman’s, maybe you were overpaying a little bit. Maybe if you loved a little further away, like in Alaska, maybe you were underpaying a little bit, or you couldn’t even ship to Alaska and Hawaii before.

Bonnie: No. We didn’t include Alaska and Hawaii because it was so expensive.

John: Right.

Bonnie: We had to change that up because the shipping prices have gotten so expensive.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Bonnie: That we just couldn’t do that anymore. And it really, like you said, wasn’t fair. We have people who order from New Hampshire.

John: Yeah.

Bonnie: And then you have people who order in Arizona, Montana, Wisconsin. So, all over the country. Depending on where they lived, sometimes the shipping costs cost more than the package they were paying.

John: Right. Right.

Bonnie: So, it’s crazy.

Family-Owned Woodman’s Offers Great Customer Service

John: Okay. Anything else that you want people to know about Woodman’s shipping and the seafood that you ship to them?

Bonnie: Woodman’s is a family restaurant, and it’s quite a small operation. So basically, when you order something you are dealing with myself or my colleague, Lisa. And everything is done through us. So, if you call and ask questions, you’re speaking to us. When the order comes in, we process it. We pack it. We send it to you. So, it’s very personal to us.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Bonnie: We want the package to arrive to you the way you expect it. And we want you to have a great experience. And I think that that’s one of the things that sets Woodman’s aside. We’re not a huge operation. We take everything personally. We want everything to be reflective of our quality and our customer service.

John: Right. So, you give really great customer service. You have the freshest of ingredients. They’re literally alive when they’re arriving at your door. You just can’t beat that when you want to get fresh seafood.

Bonnie: Yeah.

John: Yeah.

Bonnie: Yeah.

John: All right. That’s really great information, Bonnie. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Bonnie: Oh, thank you for having me.

John: And for more information about Woodman’s shipping, visit the Woodman’s website at woodmans.com, or call Bonnie at 978-768-2537.

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