Lobstering has been a part of Merritt Wotton’s life since he was 10 years old on his father’s boat. Now, at 23, not only does Merritt own his own boat, he is also the manager of a lobster bake catering business and a food trailer.
Merritt, of New Harbor, co-owns Wotton’s Lobster Wharf LLC with his parents, Donald and Rebecca Wotton, and his two younger brothers, Mitchell, 22, and Miles, 13.
After graduating from Lincoln Academy in 2012, Merritt attended the University of Maine at Orono, where he studied mechanical engineering technology. During his breaks from school, he continued to lobster with his family and on his own boat, Overtime. He also worked at Seacoast Catering, where he first got the idea to begin his own business.
The business essentially “cuts out all the middlemen,”
Merritt said, ensuring that customers get the best price. The cost for a lobster bake depends on the number of people served, he said.
Each meal catered by Wotton’s Lobster Wharf includes fresh lobster, clams, mussels, corn, potatoes, onions, and eggs. Merritt catches all the seafood, either on his boat or with his father on his father’s boat, Red Lady II. The produce is local as well.
In the beginning of 2016, Merritt expanded his business by investing in a mobile kitchen, which he can bring to events like the Old Port Festival in Portland and Olde Bristol Days. This summer, Wotton’s Lobster Wharf became one of the regular food vendors in rotation at Split Rock Distilling in Newcastle.
The food trailer menu includes a $14 lobster roll and a $14 Maine shrimp roll, a new addition this year, Merritt said. Boiled lobster and clams are available for $12 and $8, respectively. For anyone with an aversion to seafood, hot dogs are available for $5. Each menu item is served with a bag of chips.
While Merritt is the sole manager of the catering and food trailer business, he receives support from his family and friends. His girlfriend, Shannon Barter, of Boothbay, helps him in the trailer, and his youngest brother, Miles, is there whenever Merritt needs something, he said.
Merritt said he enjoys the catering and food trailer business, but his focus will always be on his lobstering.
“I’m a lobsterman first. All this is second,” he said.
For pricing and more information, call Merritt at 380-7629 or find Wotton’s Lobster Wharf on Facebook.