Cousins Maine Lobster sells 38,000 lobster rolls in first year — adding second truck and celebrating at Sycamore

Cousins Maine Lobster sells 38,000 lobster rolls in first year — adding second truck and celebrating at Sycamore
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Cousins Maine Lobster — yes, of “Shark Tank” fame — blew past year-one sales projections and is adding a second truck in Charlotte.

“Sales certainly did outweigh the projections,” owner Caroline Papp told the Agenda. “We always thought Charlotte could support a second truck, but it became clear after about three months that we definitely needed one. Our second truck has 25 percent more cooking capacity, which will allow them to serve more customers.”

In just a year, Cousins Maine Lobster food truck has sold more than 38,000 lobster rolls. “Charlotte has become one of CML’s biggest markets yet,” explained Caroline. Oh, and they’ve also sold over 5,000 whoopie pies.

“Over 50 percent of our customers have dined with us before and many drive over 30 minutes to see us. It’s very humbling.”

Anniversary party: The second truck will be unveiled at their Cousins Maine Lobster’s 1st Anniversary Party held at Sycamore on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. “We’ll have both our trucks serving at the event, offering double the amount of product.” 3,900 people have expressed interest in this event on Facebook. Attendees should expect live music from The HWY and Falcon Heart — and Sabin Lomac, one of the founding cousins of Cousins Maine Lobster, will be at Sycamore celebrating.


How it happened: After meeting Cousins Maine Lobster founders Sabin and Jim in Los Angeles, Chris and Caroline Papp decided to purchase a franchise. Their Cousins Maine Lobster food truck hit the streets of Charlotte in April 2018 and was the franchise’s 20th. It was immediately greeted with long lines of eager lobster-loving customers.

Find it: View Cousins Maine Lobster’s schedule on the main website.

Agenda related guide: 12 best food trucks in Charlotte – and what to order from each


Caroline and Chris also saw our city’s popular food truck scene and wanted to get into that market. “We knew it would be popular given the product but had no idea the lines would get as long as they are so soon,” Caroline said. “After our soft opening week we were totally blown away.”

Cousins Maine Lobster offers 8 different ways to eat it.

“Cousins Maine Lobster has extremely high-quality product that wasn’t available in this market,” Caroline told me. “You get to taste three different textures and tastes because we serve tail, claw and knuckle.”

The three most popular Cousins Maine Lobster items so far are the Connecticut lobster roll, Maine lobster roll and the Instagram-worthy lobster tots.

Charlotte lobster lovers, here’s at their lobster dishes (full menu):

  • Maine Lobster Roll ($16.95)
  • Connecticut Lobster Roll ($16.95)
  • Lobster Tacos (3 for $14.50)
  • Lobster Tots ($14.50)
  • Lobster Quesadilla ($14.50)
  • Lobster Grilled Cheese ($14.50)
  • Maine Lobster Tail & Tots ($14.95)
  • Lobster Bisque ($6/$8)
Cousins Maine Lobster

Maine Lobster Roll (chilled with mayo, $16.95), Connecticut Lobster Roll (served warm with butter and lemon, $16.95). 

Cousins Maine Lobster

Lobster Tacos (Maine lobster, cabbage, pico de gallo, cilantro lime sauce, $14.50).


Lobster tots (tater tots served with warmed Maine lobster, cilantro lime sauce, pico de gallo, $14.50)

Lobster Quesadilla (Maine lobster, cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro lime sauce, $14.50)


Lobster Grilled Cheese (Maine lobster, pepper jack and cheddar cheese, served on a buttered Texas style toast, $14.50) 

Maine Lobster Tail & Tots (4-5 oz. lobster tail with drawn butter and tater tots, $14.95).

New England Clam Chowder (Maine clams, salt pork, light cream, onions and potatoes, $6-8) and Lobster Bisque (Maine lobster, Spanish sherry, light cream and white pepper, $6-8). All photos including cover photos via Facebook

The Charlotte lobster craze is real. I wish I had bought the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck, but alas, I’ll just have to enjoy my lobster tots and watch in awe as Caroline and Chris try their best to keep up with Charlotte’s lobster demand.

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