Evolution of Sea Blessings Lobster
Learn more about Justin's path in the industry
Getting my Sea Legs
The Philbrook family has been in the industry for decades. At an early age, Justin sat at the helm and learned the job from the ground up.
Seen here, Justin is sitting aboard with his father. Justin must have acquired his, "dad joke" sense of humor from his dad. At the time this photo was taken, his dad's boat was aptly called, F/V Justin Time. Just-In-Time...Get it?
At the young age of 8, Justin got his first boat--a prized 19 foot Sting Ray, seen here. He fished this boat for two summers, with older cousins as co-captains and chaperones. This was the first of boats he Captained, with each and every one of them being Maine built boats. Supporting the local community was something instilled in him at a young age.
In his early teens, Justin transitioned to F/V Hat Trick. This 23 foot Crowley Beal was a vessel he was excited about, and his first boat with a cabin to keep out of the ocean weather. His fishing family supported him with admiration as he started building his business. On the Hat Trick, he started with a close friend as his first sternman, and eventually brought on Matt, who remains a member of the crew to this day.
As a Junior in High School, Justin's next big transition in his fishing career took place. This is when F/V Rising Son became his new pride and joy. Rising Son, purchased from his uncle, was a 36' BHM and a big upgrade from what he fished previously. This vessel was required to support the 800 traps he was now fishing, and was the first boat he took offshore fishing to extend the lobstering season.
A few years later, the second F/V Rising Son came about. If you were to ask Justin, he would tell you the best feature was the split wheel house in this boat. It was a 38' Calvin Beal and Justin purchased it the same week he proposed to his now wife, Emily. They were building a business and life together.
His passion for this boat is displayed here--this photo is what Justin used as his High School Senior Yearbook Photo. What's more Maine than that?!
Present Day--Sea Blessings Reaches the Public
It was February, 2015 when F/V Reverence hit the water. This 46' Super West Mac remains the boat he fishes today. It was the first time (and if you were to ask Emily, the last time) he built a boat from the ground up and was able to tailor each detail to meet the needs of him and his crew. Justin painstakingly participated in each step of the process, start to finish.
When it was finished, they had a Boat Launching Party (yes, apparently that's a thing). It was complete with harbor tours, kids jumping on the boat bunks, a live band, and a full celebration. Certainly an important milestone in this fishing family's history.
In the Spring of 2020, a pandemic hit the United States, and Justin and his family were forced to re-evaluate how to pivot their business to stay afloat. Due to COVID-19, the lobster industry took a hit as international markets slowed. Justin and Emily saw this challenge and ran with it. It wasn't long before they were organizing creative ways to bring the fresh catch directly to the public. In April of 2020, Sea Blessings Lobster (a business name Justin had been operating under for years) launched their first social media page, created marketing materials, organized drive-through lobster pick-up events, began partnerships with local businesses, and personally developed this site to allow the general public access to fresh lobster.
Thank you for supporting this Maine family!