Park City, Utah: home of the world’s best lobster roll. Yeah, really. Park City’s own Freshie’s Lobster Co. pulled off a major upset when it took home a blue ribbon at the 2017 Down East Lobster Roll Festival in Portland, Maine. Freshies’ owner, Lorin Smaha, does have some East Coast ties — she grew up in New Hampshire, and her husband in Portland, Maine — but when she began selling lobster rolls at farmers markets, shipping fresh lobster across the country was a new concept.
“My last dinner before moving out West was with my family in New Hampshire, and we had a huge lobster bake,” Smaha tells us. “Lobster was always a celebration food.” The more Smaha fell in love with Park City, the more she missed lobster rolls– enough to try and make them out West.
So why exactly is the unlikely champion of lobster rolls so damn good? We break down Freshies’ “Shore to Door in 24” process, so you can follow your lobster roll’s journey from the sea to the bun.
5 a.m.: Lobster meat, caught off the coast of Portland, Maine, comes in off the boats and is processed by Freshies’ distributor, who they have been working with for 6 years. The lobster gets shelled, tested, packaged, sealed and boxed, along with freshly baked buns.
10 a.m.: The distributor’s truck, packed with lobster meat and buns, travels from Portland, Maine to the Boston airport.
4:30 p.m.: The lobster meat and buns board a Southwest Airlines flight from Boston to Salt Lake City. The airline often flies items like seafood or flowers in cargo when they have extra space. Smaha tracks the lobster’s status like you would track an incoming family or friend’s flight.
9:30 p.m.: The lobster touches down in Salt Lake City. Smaha’s friend Sam Rueben, who owns Four Seasons Concierge, picks up passengers from the airport and puts the boxes of lobster and buns in the back. Smaha used to pick them up herself, and then when she got too busy she even got the precious cargo its own Uber. Now, the transportation company makes Smaha’s life a lot easier, and they sometimes make special trips just for the Freshie’s lobster.
10:30 p.m.: The lobster arrives at Freshie’s well within the 24 hour shore to door window, where it is unpacked and broken apart into bite-sized pieces.
11 a.m.: Freshie’s opens for lunch, and the lobster arrives to its final destination: your plate!