Katie and Thom Werner grew up 6.7 miles apart – 12 miles if you drive into town to take the ferry between Peaks Island and Portland. Living just outside of Portland, both experienced similar childhoods: winters spent on the ice, summers on the water and more time spent with their close-knit families than either of them can count.
With their idyllic upbringings, it’s no wonder the two decided to start their family in Maine after they got married. The couple bought a home in Cape Elizabeth, Thom’s hometown, and they’ve been there ever since.
“I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else,” said Thom. “Our family is here. My favorite memories are here. I want our kids to experience all of the magic of Maine.”
With Thom continuing his family’s legacy as a lobsterman, Katie working at Maine Health and their two children off to grade school, the two had built the life they’d always imagined. But when a “for sale” sign went up at a Peaks Island restaurant, they saw an opportunity for something more – something they could pass down to their kids.
“The Peaks Island House Restaurant was a signature spot,” said Katie. “I’d worked there growing up. I knew how special it was and how pretty the sunsets could be on Casco Bay. When the Wrights were looking to sell it, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity. It meant so much to us.”
Katie and Thom bought the restaurant and quickly got to work renovating the entire space – adding in a new bar and landscaping to capitalize on the sunset.
The Island Lobster Co. opened in 2020. With its spot right along the water, Thom unloads nearly all of the restaurant’s lobster directly from his boat.
“It’s incredible to be able to serve food that’s truly sea to table,” said Katie. “We host lobster bakes – a staple of both our childhoods – right along the water. We hope this restaurant is able to give families incredible memories over the years. It’s already given ours enough to last a lifetime.”
What is your favorite way to eat Maine Lobster?
“I change all the time. Lately I’ve been splitting tails, skewering them and putting them on my wood grill with garlic butter and parmesan.” – Thom Werner
What is the best part of living in Maine?
“I enjoy the seasons, the ocean, the geography – it’s a beautiful place. I’ve always lived here so I don’t know anything else, but I’m always excited to go home after I go away on vacation.” – Thom Werner
What makes you proud to go to work every day?
“You never know what to expect, which is exciting. I love being on the water and fishing. I love getting to the restaurant early when it’s quiet and beautiful.” – Thom Werner
What is special to you about Maine Lobster or the Maine Lobster fishery?
“The industry has been around for generations. It is unique, owner-operator and made up of thousands of small independent businesses. In all the time that’s passed, I’m proud that we’ve kept it that way.” – Thom Werner
Meet The People Behind the Fishery
A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.