Diversity isn’t just in the selection of seafood we carry in our store, but also in the people that visit our store. Each year we have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. It is something we always look forward to. Here in Maine, we are fortunate to live in a place that is so darn awesome that it is considered a year round destination for tourists, although we see most of the diversity in the summer.
The many cruise ships that dock here is just one of the ways tourists find their way to Portland, Maine. We hear stories of long plane rides, road trips and even train vacations! No matter what mode of travel they used, all the stories are interesting and all of their faces light up when they walk through the door. The first words a tourist will say to you when you approach them in the store is “we have nothing like this where I’m from.” And of course, right there, that’s the conversation starter. We go next with, oh really, where are you from? Canada, Germany, Japan, England, Denmark, Scotland, Italy, France and Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Toledo, Dallas, St Louis….the list is endless.
We get a lot of “oohs” and “ahhs” when people look in the lobster tanks. For some and maybe most, it’s the first time they have seen a lobster up close and personal. We love to give them a quick lesson in lobster, and answer their many questions. “Can they bite? How old is this lobster? What does soft shell-hard shell mean? How big do they grow? How are they caught?” and on and on…..It’s especially fun when we have a lobster of a different color or one with three claws!! We love when people take an interest in what we do, and when we can educate someone, they will be a better consumer.
There are so many funny stories and I will leave you with one: I detected a heavy accent from a gentleman as he asked his son to try a smoked fish sample. I mentioned his accent and asked him where he was from. He was surprised that I noticed and said he was from Germany. Then he laughed and told me that the previous night he was buying a bottle of wine and the cashier asked him for an ID. He wondered if they asked because of his accent. I assured him it was because of his age and he was quite pleased, big smile, because he was 54. And as he started to walk away, I told him if anyone else asked him about his accent, just tell them he is from Downeast Maine and he would be all set. He repeated East Down Maine?….ayah!😊