Tahoe Lobster Company Goes International - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Tahoe Lobster Company Goes International

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It is a beautifully calm day on Lake Tahoe as Ben Caldwell and his dad Sonny launch their boat from Cave Rock. They are headed for their first set of crawfish traps about 20 minutes away.

"This is the greatest cubicle anyone could ever work in," says Ben with a smile. He and his dad sold an 18 foot boat to buy a 23 footer and joined forces with Fred Jackson and the Tahoe Lobster Company. "We love to fish and this is great!"

These days you'll find Fred on the water less and less and more and more he's focusing on the marketing end of the business, which is paying off nicely.

"I love being out on the boats," Jackson says. "But what I found was that I just didn't have the market for the crawfish we were catching. So I'm creating a bigger market." And that he has. Not only has be expanded the number of boats on the water with two subcontracting boats like Ben and Sonny, but he's opened a store front and warehouse in Minden. He's purchased a refrigerated truck and next week they'll make their first international shipment...to the U.K.

"There is a huge market for these in the UK and in China," Jackson says. "That will be our ticket. After jumping through all of these hoops we've finally found our market and this will be a huge 'go' now."

Fred and his wife Stephanie started the Tahoe Lobster Company three years ago as a way to clean up the predators from the lake and help improve clarity, and a way to make money from the delicacy. He's jumped through a lot of bureaucratic hoops to make it happen. Now he's seen that stepping back and letting other fishermen take the reins of actual fishing while he concentrates on the marketing is the answer.

"Sometimes you have to give ideas you know will work a chance to work," Jackson says. "I know that Ben and Sonny here want to grow with me and they are the perfect addition to the company for now."

So far the take on the Lake has been about 200-300 pounds in a week. They plan to kick that up over the next few weeks and ship out close to 2,500 pounds to the U.K.

"We are so ready for this," Ben says.

"And this is just telling us we are moving in the right direction," Jackson says. "I knew this was a good idea and I can really see it working!"

In just a few weeks they hope to be selling crawfish from their storefront in Minden and eventually they'll be bringing in shrimp and seafood from the Bay Area to sell here as well.

"We have the truck and it will be running down twice a week so why not load it back up on the way back?" Jackson says.

 Their first international shipment goes out next week. You can learn more about their operation and watch their progress on their website at www.tahoelobstercompany.com 
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