Friday, April 5, 2013

3 Topics to Watch

I have three topics to share today: (1) our trip to another trade show, (2) some interesting lobster news, and (3) a sneak peak at what to expect from Sunday's update.

Another Trade Show
Wednesday, we (David, my mom, and I) took the day off and went to the Maine Restaurant and Lodging Expo in Portland and this is what I learned.

1. Do not eat before you go to a hospitality expo. There are so many tasty snacks to try. Here is a short list of what I can remember eating:

  • Gourmet mushrooms from Vermont (I don't actually eat mushrooms due to my opposition to their texture, but David and the Fish Queen loved them);
  • Multiple types of cheese from Pineland Farms in New Gloucester (if you aren't familiar with them, check them out. They are an awesome local company);
  • Beer from Allagash (my favorite Maine brewery);
  • Various types of soups including a haddock chowder and a shrimp and corn chowder;
  • A breakfast pizza with egg and sausage;
  • A tasty imported brew from the Czech Republic;
  • Sandwich samples loaded up with different meats and cheeses;
  • Ice cream;
  • Pastries in every shape and size;
  • Crab cakes;
  • Various fried things;
  • Haddock tacos;
  • We even walked away with full sized baklava samples in to-go boxes. 
2. There is a lot of bad pizza in the world. 

3. While excellent for the restaurant side of Gurnet Trading Co., this expo was not terribly beneficial for the online shipping part of the business. The Fish Queen did well in getting ideas for her side of the business but I was not very productive, even if it was fun and yummy. Unfortunately, there were not a lot of value added products that would make a nice adder to a box of lobsters.

4. Commercial vacuum sealers are not available in Maine. Of the many commercial equipment distributors at the show, none of them carried vacuum sealers. Keep this in mind, this will not be the last you hear of this topic on this blog. 

Lobster News
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has certified the Maine lobster fishery as sustainable. 

So little is actually known about the ocean, its fish stocks, and its ability to recover from over fishing. There is a lot of debate out there about sustainability certifications and their accuracy. The process is new and not yet proven. It is all well and fine to do the research, develop the plans and say an industry is sustainable, but the real test will be 20 years from now when our kids can still make a living as lobstermen.    

While many people question what sustainability even means, I view this certification as positive for two reasons. One, it will help me market and sell my products. But most importantly, any discussion about sustainability and environmental protection opens up a dialogue, brings awareness to consumers and helps them become more involved in the decisions they make. Regardless of whether or not the label turns out to be accurate 20 years from now, it will make people pause for a moment to think about what they are buying and how that relates to their personal values and interests. 

Expect to see more on certified sustainability from me in the future; but, for now, this is all I have on the topic.   

Sneak Peak
The Fish Queen recently purchased an underwater Point of View (POV) video camera, like those cameras snow boarders are strapping to their heads so we can see their epic fails posted on YouTube. 

Well, last week the Fish King took it for a test drive on his last scallop dive of the season to show you what scallop diving is all about. Here are some clips from the video he shot. You might want to take some Dramamine if you have a tendency to get seasick.   

While we were impressed with the image quality, the videography left something to be desired. Lesson Learned: Do not a send a commercial scallop diver to take pictures while he his working. The scallops will always be priority one, if he even remembers shot quality at all. 

Saturday, I will be diving with my dad and taking video of him. This will allow him to focus on scallops, while I will focus on the video. Hopefully on Sunday, I will post some interesting footage and a full review of the camera. 

Also, David and I just purchased our first DSLR camera and he will be taking topside photos. So keep your fingers crossed for good weather on Saturday.