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Luke Holden

Like many Mainers, Luke Holden grew up in and around lobster – coming from three generations of lobstermen and building his own lobster boat in high school. From a young age, Luke had an appreciation for high-quality seafood and his father’s hard work in the industry.  

“My dad started working on the waterfront as a kid – unloading crates of lobster and fish,” said Luke. “He worked as a sternman and actually became the first licensed lobster processor in Maine. He definitely has the work ethic of a lobsterman, and that was instilled in me and my brothers from a young age.” 

After fishing throughout high school, Luke went off to college and began exploring what would be next for him. Seeing the stress of the industry firsthand, Luke’s mom pushed her son toward a more traditional career. 

“After college, I worked on Wall Street but quickly realized it wasn’t for me,” said Luke. “Call it homesickness or a love of Maine Lobster, but I really wanted a taste of home in New York. I realized there weren’t really any options available in Manhattan that were affordable and fresh. That’s when I came up with the idea.” 

With his co-founder Ben Conniff and the help of his dad, Luke started Luke’s Lobster, a traditional Maine Lobster shack in the heart of NYC. The small restaurant focused on providing high-quality, sustainable lobster rolls that were affordable.  

“I remember on our opening day, my dad was right there by my side making lobster rolls,” said Luke. “I’ve always looked up to him – and still do – but to be able to work alongside him and learn from him over all these years is something I’ll never take for granted.”  

Through a hard work ethic and scrappiness, Luke’s Lobster became a big success – eventually allowing Luke and Ben to open more locations. Today, Luke’s Lobster locations can be found everywhere from Singapore to Maine, and they even have Luke’s Lobster products available in grocery stores.  

As the brand has expanded, Luke hired on his two younger brothers, with his brother Michael working as the director of development and his brother Bryan serving as president. 

“I’m not sure if my mom was too happy to have all of her sons join the lobster industry after seeing how hard my dad worked,” said Luke jokingly. “But I know Luke’s Lobster wouldn’t be what it is today without them. Having the support and counsel of my whole family throughout this crazy journey is a privilege I will be forever grateful for.”   

For Luke, lobster and family are two things that always pair well together. His time at home is reserved for his wife and three daughters, and they love going out together as a family to haul traps and partake in the Holden family tradition. 

What is your favorite way to eat Maine Lobster?  

“Call me biased, but the best way to enjoy Maine Lobster is chilled, on a buttered, griddled and split-top bun with a swipe of mayo, a drizzle of lemon butter and a sprinkle of my secret seasoning.”  

What is the best part of living in Maine?  

“Access to all four seasons and some of the most beautiful natural settings: the rocky coast of Downeast Maine, the great North Woods and snowy Western Maine Mountains.”  

What makes you proud to go to work every day?  

“The people I work alongside. We have an all-star team, from our general managers across the country to our lobster pickers at the processing facility. I am proud to work with all of them every day.”   

What is special to you about Maine Lobster or the Maine Lobster fishery?  

“Maine lobstermen are the original sustainability officers. They care deeply about the future of the fishery and work very hard to protect it for generations to come. You don’t see that in every fishery.”  

Meet The People Behind the Fishery

A diverse group of people passionate about Maine and the lobster industry.