“I grew up in and around New York City, but my mother had a love affair with Maine ever since she was a little kid. She went to sleepaway camp every summer as a NYC kid and it was a blissful experience for her. As kids, we also spent a lot of summers coming up and exploring different parts of Maine.
Having lived in London and New York, my wife and I felt it was time to leave big cities behind when we decided to have children. Maine just felt like the best place to live and start a business. As the co-founder of Ocean’s Balance, I manage most of the strategic and business aspects of the operation.
Throughout my career, I’ve learned that success comes from continually overcoming challenges, being responsive to customers, creating efficiencies and sweating the details.
Our goal as a business is to make seaweed more of a pantry staple as opposed to being considered an exotic ingredient. We really want people to use it in everyday food, such as pasta sauce, spices or snacks as well as we sell it as an ingredient to human and pet food manufacturers.
We’re basically sea farmers who process seaweed. Along the Gulf of Maine’s rocky coast, you’ll find seaweed growing on our farms and in the wild.
We actually partner with fishermen and fisherwomen to help them start kelp farms, which grow countercyclical to the fishing season — this helps them to diversify their income. They have all the equipment needed, and use seaweed from our nursery.
What I love about this business model is that it plays a role in creating a sustainable ecosystem in a sensitive region.
Warming ocean waters cause lobster and many other fish stocks to migrate to new breeding grounds, which puts the livelihood of our coastal and island communities in jeopardy. Seaweed farming is a sustainable way to mitigate that risk.
An estimated 70% of our earth is covered in ocean, but it only contributes to 2% of the world’s food supply. With huge amounts of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, seaweed felt to me like an overlooked and untapped resource.
It became an interesting opportunity for a business that I’m so incredibly happy I decided to venture on. I love knowing that the work we do has a positive impact on our local communities and beyond.”
— Mitchell Lench, CEO of Ocean’s Balance
For more information about Ocean’s Balance, visit their website: oceansbalance.com