It’s customers like you that have gotten us where we are today. From a lightbulb moment in a butcher shop, we became the owners of Miami’s freshest stone crab delivery service. They attribute their success to their quickly loyal customers.
Read their interview with Voyage Mia to learn about their journey with Holy Crab Delivery.
Hi Lucas & Irene, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
During the summer of 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, co-owner of Holy Crab Delivery, Lucas Calderón recalls looking up local butcher shops to hold a family BBQ. Given that his father is a massive fan of Rocky Balboa, he wanted to take him into the butcher shop and re-create the scene of Rocky sparring with the beef.
Walking in for the first time at Johnny Jones Meats was the ah-ha moment which eventually lead to the inception of Holy Crab Delivery. The line outside Johnny Jones seemed to wrap around the shopping strip, with guests adhering to the 6-feet of separation in accordance to the stickers on the ground. During this wait, Lucas and his father would listen to all the customers raving about the cuts of meat that Johnny Jones carried.
Upon entering the butcher shop, you find an Argentine husband and wife duo working hard behind the counter and a life-size cut-out of the Pope. The energy around this couple was electric, and the cuts of meat were even better.
After the BBQ, Lucas asks his then-girlfriend, Irene, co-owner of Holy Crab Delivery, “Do you think we could start a meat delivery service with similar cuts of high-quality meats to help other families and friends get together since all the restaurants are pretty much closed?” And without hesitation, Irene responds, “Maybe we can start a similar concept but with Stone Crabs! You’ve always said that the stone crab dinners with your family were some of your favorite memories growing up.”
At this point, it’s around July 2020, 3 months away from the start of stone crab season and Lucas and Irene get to work to see how this idea can become a reality. Irene reached to her network to brainstorm on designs and social media strategies, and Lucas’ networks assisted with content creation and all things e-commerce. During this time, Irene would walk into restaurants to see if they were selling any used equipment such as refrigerators, coolers, or freezers, while at the same time asking if there was any available space that they could rent out – ghost kitchens during that time were very popular. Lucas would drive down to the Florida Keys to meet with local fishermen and build relationships in the hopes of partner with them to get fresh stone crabs straight from the source. Both were equally challenging during the ongoing pandemic.
Several weeks before the start of the season, we walked into MKT Kitchen and meet with owner Brian Skogen. Skogen, in just several months of starting his own marketplace, had incorporated an incredible hyper-local concept. Both business people around the area and locals could order high-quality meals to go from a top-notch chef. It instantly gained traction as a family-friendly market with a welcoming environment with a large array of healthy items, various cuts of meats and cheeses, and a bountiful selection of wines. Skogen presented us with an opportunity to partner with him which allowed his customers a chance to dine in and enjoy freshly caught stone crabs, while Holy Crab Delivery would operate all local deliveries in the greater Miami area as well as operate all overnight shipments from coast-to-coast.
Starting Season 3 come October 15th, things seem to have come full circle. What started off as an idea of going into a local butcher shop and seeing a husband and wife diligently working and helping customers create memories has now allowed newlywed husband and wife due Lucas & Irene Calderón to help family and friends continue to get together in the comfort of their homes and enjoy fresh, never frozen stone crabs anywhere in the nation.
Try out Holy Crab for yourself! Order stone crab delivery for next-day delivery anywhere in the USA.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I think luck plays a role in all aspects of life. It takes the right timing, energy, and opportunity for certain things to develop into what they are today. Talk about luck – What are the chances that a handful of fishermen, Skogen, etc would allow us to partner with them when we were just a thought at the time? Nothing was developed, no track record in the industry, and all the uncertainties around the world during the height of the pandemic. But after all, who can say no to stone crabs?
Has it been a smooth road? What challenges have you faced along the way?
The road has always had speed bumps, and it will continue to do so. Growth does not occur without some tribulations. We have made it a point to acknowledge mistakes along the way and use them as a springboard to grow into a company that stays true to our day-one motto – help family and friends create memories that will last a lifetime. Initially, the biggest hurdles included connecting with fishermen and building relationships with them, and finding the right space to operate out of. Skogen gave us the green light to work with him at MKT Kitchen and it’s been an absolute pleasure since day 1 to serve our ever-growing customer base.
Who else deserves credit – have you had mentors, supporters, cheerleaders, advocates, clients or teammates that have played a big role in your success or the success of the business? If so –who are they and what role did they plan / how did they help?
A lot of credit has to go to our good friend Joaquin Escobar from SunStruck Studios. When we lightly talked about the idea of what we envisioned Holy Crab Delivery to be, he quickly turned around and surprised us with a list of about 100 action items a day or two after that conversation.
Upon the presentation of that list, it quickly sparked us to seriously start taking action and it provided us with the blueprint to lead us to Opening Day. From that moment, we would start checking off the list.
Before you know it, it’s October 15th, and Lucas and Irene wake up at 3:30 am to head down to the Florida Keys to pick up the first batch of stone crabs straight from the docks. It was around 7am when we started our drive back up to Miami and we called him with tears in our eyes. We had hundreds of pounds of stone crabs in coolers in the trunk of the car, and had no idea if we would sell any of them, but we were so thankful that we even had them in our presence. When Skogen opened his doors to the marketplace, we saw the line of people coming in with smiles from ear to ear waiting for us to crack the freshly caught stone crabs.
Again, a very special thanks to Skogen at MKT Kitchen, for just two days later, we were driving back down the to Keys to pick up the next batch and to help be a part of the next family member or friend to create those lovely memories with Holy Crab Delivery.