How Going Online Helped a Local Seafood Empire Become a Superpower

Peymon Manesh was Cameron Manesh’s cousin and was running the food truck in Hagerstown. He noticed some West Virginians waiting in line for coolers. After driving hours to get Maryland blue crabs, Peymon Manesh realized that people would be willing to pay for the Chesapeake Bay delight online.
No. 167 2021 rank Cameron Manesh Cameron Seafood Online 2,530% Three-year revenue growth

Maryland blue crabs live in the mud between November and April. The fat that they build to keep warm gives them an unusually sweet flavor. Cameron says, "We don’t have customers." Cameron says, "We have addicts." He's also the name of the crab empire that his father founded in 1985, Cameron's Seafood. It now includes a wholesale operation and a network food trucks and retail outlets throughout the region.

Cameron Seafood Online was launched by two cousins in June 2017. It received a resounding lack of interest. The first month saw it sell $9,300. Cameron began marketing by partnering with subscription wine service providers to include inserts and posting unboxing videos on Facebook. This resulted in $50,000 in sales within a single day.

In 2018, the site had a sales volume of $1.1 million and was close to capacity when Covid arrived. The spring 2020 orders jumped from 50 to 250 per day, which was amazing except that the crabs were still not out. The team offered thousands of customers a refund or substitute for their frozen stock after the company ran out of it in just two weeks. The result was that Cameron's Alaskan crab company exploded, and the company met the demand. They also rode the rising tide to the Inc. 5000.