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August 14, 2023

Cousins Maine Lobster continues expansion push with launch of Maryland franchise

File Photo / Courtesy, Cousins Maine Lobster Cousins Maine Lobster founders Sabin Lomac, left, and Jim Tselikis started with a single food truck in Los Angeles in April 2012.

Cousins Maine Lobster is entering new territory with the launch of a franchise headquartered in Maryland.

The multi-unit franchise food truck deal covers Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The franchise is the 54th for Cousins Maine Lobster, a fast-growing South Portland-based business founded in 2012 by first cousins Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac.

The Maryland franchise will be led by brothers Yunus and Thameem Shahul, who have worked together in franchising with Cousins Maine Lobster for five years and launched a Cousins food truck in Virginia five months ago.

"We are committed to investing in [the region] with the goal of building the same strong customer base that we have in our established markets," said Yunus. "Our brand has experienced great growth and a strong customer following on the East Coast and we know we can continue to connect with consumers."

The franchise will hold a grand opening on Friday at Streetcar 82 Brewing Co. in Hyattsville, Md.

Cousins Maine Lobster last month announced the addition of a franchise in Portland, Ore. The company, which began with a single food truck, has been growing steadily since Lomac and Tselikis appeared on the TV pitch show "Shark Tank" a decade ago. They ultimately partnered with Barbara Corcoran, one of the celebrity investors.

In addition to franchised food trucks, Cousins Maine Lobster operates eight company food trucks and seven restaurants as well as one in development in San Francisco.

"Our growth has been measured and strategic," said Jim Tselikis, Cousins Maine Lobster co-founder. "Not only have the Shahul brothers grown with Cousins Maine Lobster, but Cousins Maine Lobster has grown with them. We truly believe that our strength is in our franchisees and we are thrilled to grow in the [DelMarVa peninsula] with Yunus and Thameem at the helm.”

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