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The Founders of Cousins Maine Lobster Grow By Treating Everyone Like Cousins

They look for franchisees that feel like they could be family.

This story appears in the June 2022 issue of Start Up.

Family comes first at Cousins Maine Lobster — where the team actually is family, or just wants everyone to feel like family.

Courtesy of Cousins Maine Lobster

The began a decade ago, when Jim Tselikis, who was living in , went to visit his cousin Sabin Lomac in to catch up. "When we were reminiscing," Tselikis says, "we realized that every time we were with our family, we would have lobster — live lobster, lobster rolls, lobster mac and cheese." Tselikis was in sales and had no prior food or experience. Lomac had worked in more than 20 restaurants but was in real estate at the time. Nevertheless, they started to imagine a in which they'd bring their cherished experience to people across the nation.

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