November 22, 2021
“My mother and father started the Clambake Seafood Restaurant back in 1962 as a small, seasonal take-out business in an effort to make a little side money. My brother and I have been working here since we were 7 years old. We would rake, pick up garbage, shuck corn, clean steamers, you name it — we did anything that was needed of us to keep things running smoothly.
Our mother passed away in 1990, and my brother and I began running the business before dad passed in 2004. So it’s been about 25 years we’ve held these ownership positions. Next year, we’ll be celebrating 60 years of being open, and it’s really cool to think how far we’ve come. It’s still family-owned after all these years.
We’ve been lucky with business. When the pandemic hit, we didn’t find it super challenging to run operations as usual. We’ve always been set-up to do take-out anyway, we just had to slightly reinvent the system we already had in place. Instead of letting people come inside, customers would order their take-out ahead of time and we’d give them a call or text to let them know their food was ready for pick-up.
We had to add some more phone lines and online ordering options to expedite the amount of calls we had coming in during that time. We also had to go back to using a lot of paper and plastic goods we had done away with over the years. But overall, I’d say things went on as usual and it was an easy turnover for us. We learned a lot through that process, particularly how to be more efficient with our workflow. Having the chance to reflect on our process allowed us to see that some of the ways we were doing things were time consuming. It helped us to become better business owners.
We’re also so grateful for our community. To us, they are an extension of our family. We want to be the place where families, friends and neighbors can get together for good food. We’re all about helping each other out, and believe in helping others as much as we can.
Saco Biddeford Savings Institution has been great to us also. We opened our first bank accounts there as kids, and we’d put in 25 cents a week. Here we are, 60 years later, still with the bank and still working in our community. It feels great knowing we support our locals and our locals support us. We can’t thank the community enough for their kindness and for nominating us for this award.” - Kevin Thurlow, Co-Owner of Clambake Seafood Restaurant