Lobsters ‘R’ Us – A family creation
My father, Lester Martell, started fishing with his brothers when he was 13 years old. Through many lean years, he diversified into many fisheries with the mainstay being lobster and snow crab. As a matter of fact, he was one of the first fishermen to start fishing snow crab in Richmond County. When raising his two sons, myself and my brother Claude, it was expected that we both help in the fisheries and as luck would have it, we both took a liking to the salt water that was instilled in our father’s blood.
The only condition our parents enforced on us was that once we finished high school, we could not continue full time in the fishing business without getting a post-secondary education in a trade that would enable us to make a living in the event that the fishing industry collapsed. I went on to become an Instrumentation Technician, working away from home with Imperial Oil until I returned to the fishing industry with my wife Muriel and two daughters at the time, Danielle and Meghan. Claude went on to become an electrician working away from home during the offseason and returning for the fishing season every year.
In 1996, the whole family was back aboard the same fishing boat, fishing alongside each other. In 1998 I purchased my own lobster license, expanding the first part of the family business. Claude then took that license and began fishing it, while I went on to fish another lobster license as well as the family snow crab license.
With the involvement of the whole family in the fishing industry, we saw the need to expand into the lobster buying business and built the first storage facility in 2004. An original 30,000lbs of space was soon expanded to 100,000lbs of space in 2006. With the start of the grading process in 2010, we were inspired to build a state of the art long term holding facility in 2011, bringing the capacity to 650,000lbs. Further expansion in 2014 brought the facility to 1,000,000lbs capacity as it currently holds today.
As the years went by, my wife and I had two more daughters, Janelle and Chelsey. Claude married Kendra from the French fishing village of Cheticamp. The early death of Claude, at age 39, had a profound impact on the family business. As the company was reorganized, Kendra began fishing a lobster license on her own. My parents, Lester and Carolyn, as well as myself and Muriel and our four girls continued to build the family business with future accomplishments in mind.
The current Lobsters ‘R’ Us success story can also be attributed to the dedicated, long-term employees that the Martell’s have come to consider family. Our people have been integral to the business growth of Lobsters ‘R’ Us. Most importantly, without the strong support of the local Fishers, the business would simply not be what it is today.
I would like to thank my wife Muriel for her continued support and for raising our four beautiful daughters. She has been a strong supporter of the business and very patient with the many hours I’ve spent away from home. I would also like to thank my sister, Alayne, for always being our greatest advocate and for offering her help whenever it was needed. Thank you to my mother, Carolyn, for the countless hours she spent sitting in a cold lobster pound, selling lobsters in the early days. Thank you to my father, Lester, for not only instilling a strong work ethic in my brother and I, but for his progressive thinking in business that allowed our family to flourish, grow, and reach our full potential.