An inside look at the new Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck in Birmingham

Cousins Maine Feature
John Haskins, manager at Cousins Maine Lobster in Birmingham. Photo via Cecilia Wood for Bham Now

Alabamians will no longer have to dream of traveling to the state of Maine to dine on its most well known delicacy – lobster. Beginning this week, Alabama’s first Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck takes up permanent residence in the Magic City.

Their food truck’s first stop? Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 4PM to 9PM at Avondale Brewing Company.

A Entrepreneurial  Story 

Cousin Maine Lobster
Cousins Maine Lobster in Birmingham. Photo via Cecilia Wood for Bham Now

Honestly, I’m outright giddy about the arrival of Cousins Maine Lobster Food Truck to our community. So much so, on Sunday evening before the opening, I met up with Chris Papp, the Cousins Maine Lobster Franchise owner in Birmingham. 

Chris gave me the story behind Cousins Maine Lobster and how he settled on Birmingham as his first franchise in Alabama.

“The founders of Cousins Maine Lobster are two cousins, hence the name. They hailed from Maine obviously,” Chris began.

He proceeded to tell me that the idea to create a Maine lobster food truck came when Jimmy Tselikis was visiting his cousin Sabin Lomac in Los Angeles. It was during that visit, they hatched the idea of creating an authentic Maine lobster food truck in Los Angeles. 

It was a hit in LA. The cousins knew they were on to something, so they took their idea to the next level. This time in front of a national television audience – Shark Tank.

Once they were on the show, they got an investment from super-investor and judge Barbara Corcoran for $55,000 for 15%. They decided to franchise. As a result, Cousins Maine Lobsters is one of the few food truck franchises in the country. 

This is where Chris comes in.

Cousins Maine Lobster
Chris Papp, Birmingham Cousins Maine Lobster franchise owner. Photo Cousins Maine Lobster

“A couple years later they (Shark Tank) did an update show (on Cousins Maine Lobster). In Charlotte, where I’m from, I watched this particular show. We have so many transplants here  and we can’t get lobster here either!  I figured I would bring it to Charlotte.”

Chris went through the franchising process and soon opened up in the Charlotte market.  Seeking additional markets, he found Birmingham. 

“I’ve been here a couple of times. I really like the city, the people, the foodie culture. I decided, why don’t I go to Birmingham?”

What Should You Expect From Cousins Maine Lobster

Photo via Cousins Maine Lobster

Cousins Maine Lobster is the full package. Here is what you should expect when you visit their food truck per Chris.

“Expect a great experience from the customer service. You will get the finest Maine lobster in the world. We serve it a couple of different ways—we have our Connecticut roll which is warm lobster served with a lemon butter on top or the Maine roll, which is traditional, served cold with a little mayonnaise served on a toasted split top bun from New England. Everything comes from Maine. So the lobster comes from Maine. The rolls come from Maine. We also for dessert serve traditional whoopie pies.”

Besides the lobster rolls, other items include:

  • Lobster Grilled Cheese
  • Lobster Tots 
  • Lobster Tacos
  • Lobster Bisque

Sustainable Lobster

One other bonus: The lobster is wild-caught, sustainably harvested, 100% premium lobster from Maine. Cousins Maine Lobster ain’t the kind you pass by in a tank at your local grocery store; it’s sourced from a partner wharf. Not to mention, it’s caught by hometown Lobstermen. So rest assured, you know where your lobster has been.

“This is the best quality of lobster you’re going to get. We don’t put anything in it. There’s no fish or crab, only authentic Maine lobster sustainably harvested. We’re really proud of what we sell. Everybody will love it.”

Where to Find Cousins Maine Lobster

John Haskins, manager at Cousins Maine Lobster in Birmingham. Photo via Cecilia Wood for Bham Now

The food truck will move around daily, so it is important to follow Cousins Maine Lobster on their Facebook page. They also cater and are always looking for good people to work for them. Call them at: 205-281-1589  or email –

Meanwhile, who wants to join me at Avondale Brewing Company on April 27th?

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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