8: Free Range Fish & Lobster, Joe Ray

Joe Ray thought he was pretty tough at 18. So tough, he thought, that he might have a career as a boxer. He hired a boxing coach and quickly found himself with plenty of black eyes and no wins. But Joe’s coach still gave him a chance–a chance selling fish. He thrived at his coach’s fish market and so begins the story of Joe Ray, owner of Free Range Fish & Lobster, a $15M fish distributor and retailer.

Joe cut his teeth working boats in Maine and Alaska before settling down in Portland, Maine. He spent nearly a decade learning the ropes from other distributors in Portland before setting off on his own with one business partner. Free Range Fish & Lobster now consists of a large wholesale business, a restaurant sales division, and retail shops in Portland and Wakefield, NH.

We met Joe the old fashioned way–we walked into Free Range and asked to talk to the owner. Joe waved us in and within two minutes asked if we were ready to do the interview. We grabbed our stuff from the car and started. Joe’s full of hilarious anecdotes and sharp insights, especially on sales. We couldn’t have asked for a better interview with a nicer guy. We had a blast recording this one and think you’ll really enjoy it.

Sign up for our newsletter to see receive an update when we post new episodes.