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The Story of SoPo Seafood

SoPo Seafood is a locally owned and operated Maine seafood business. Our wholesale and shipping facility is situated in the picturesque Portland, Maine, working waterfront, and our seafood market and raw bar is located on the aptly named Ocean Street in South Portland.

We (co-founders Matt, Lucas, and Josh) opened SoPo Seafood in March 2020 with the intention of selling locally harvested Maine seafood to restaurants. Just as we got started with the business, COVID struck, and every restaurant in the country shut

Learn how we went from a small local seafood delivery business during COVID-19 to one of Maine's go-to seafood wholesalers, online retailers, and raw bars.

Starting a seafood business during Covid

Covid had a profound effect on our local seafood industry here in Maine. It is estimated that restaurants sell 70% of all seafood consumed in the US. Fishermen and other seafood businesses in Maine now desperately needed other channels to sell their seafood through. 

In April 2020, we launched a local seafood delivery service in the Greater Portland area. Utilizing our one delivery truck at the time, we picked up seafood from local fishermen and seafood businesses in the area and delivered that seafood to local people's doorsteps.

Local people in Maine were not about to let their seafood industry go down without a fight. We were soon delivering locally caught haddock, crab meat, and scallops to a greater number of homes, and they were so excited about the delivery service.

During those early days, we also offered curbside pickups at different local businesses, including Jordan’s farm in Cape Elizabeth and Rising Tide Brewery in Portland.

This photo was taken at local brewery Extrava, which also opened in 2020 and sadly did not make it through the difficult period. From left to right, SoPo co-founders Josh, Matt, and Lucas.

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The SoPo Seafood Market & Raw Bar

In the late summer of 2020, a space for rent opened in an ideal retail location in South Portland. While it was not in our business plan, we asked the question, could we open a brick-and-mortar location?

With the success of our local seafood delivery program and growing support in Greater Portland, we went for it. The mission behind the SoPo Raw Bar and Market was the same as that of the broader company: to showcase and support Maine’s seafood industry as much as possible.

Our Dream location on Holyoke Wharf in Portland

In the summer of 2020, we moved our wholesale and online shipping location to Biddeford, Maine. We were fortunate to be able to share a space with Maine Seaweed Company Ocean’s Balance.

The Biddeford location allowed us to grow our wholesale business and our team. We hired our first staff member, a part-time driver, in the early fall of 2020.

With growing demand for both our wholesale and online shipping service, we knew we had to make a move.

In late 2022, we heard news of a space opening up on Portland’s working waterfront.

When we visited the location, it was bustling with lobstermen and fishermen. This was exactly what we dreamed of: to be right in the heart of the action.

In March 2023, we moved in. Our Holyoke Wharf location has been pivotal for us.

We have been able to:

  • Grow our team; we now have multiple fish cutters and warehouse crew in place.
  • Our ability to source seafood has improved
    vastly. For example, we buy Dayboat Scallops right from fishermen who dock at the wharf.
  • We have more space to store fresh seafood, which has greatly improved our capacity to service restaurants and online shoppers.

Our mission and what’s next for SoPo

Our mission as a business is to support the local seafood industry here in Maine and the Gulf of Maine as much as we can. As our business continues to grow, so does our ability to source more and more locally harvested seafood.

We proudly support dozens of locally owned oyster farms, fishermen, kelp farmers, crab pickers, and other small Maine seafood businesses who are working daily to bring premium quality seafood to market.

Our goal for the future is to become the number 1 place for online shoppers and restaurants seeking premium quality, locally harvested Gulf of Maine seafood.

Shipping Seafood to Your Door

Watch our co-founder Josh explain how we ship seafood to doorsteps across the USA from our facility in Portland, Maine. 🦞