Rob Bauer, President and Owner of Maine's Best, starting fishing in Bass Harbor, Maine in 1970, on the Lobster Boat "Belinda L", captained by George Lawson. He had been a professional sailor working for the Henry R Hinckley Company as a Rigger, Boat Delivery Captain and Race Crew during his teen years but met George, and caught the commercial fishing bug in 1970.
Rob Bringing in a Hinckley 38 from a delivery trip at age 16
In 1973 after Graduating from Bates College, Rob and his wife headed to R.I. where he attended the University of R.I. Commercial Fisheries program and earned a Master degree in Marine Affairs. During this period, Rob bought a 45' Maine Built western Rig Dragger and started fishing out of Pt. Judith R.I. In 1979, he sold his boat and was the 1st fisherman in R.I. to secure a FVOG loan and used the funds to build the 54' Mixed Fishing dragger named after the well known Bass Harbor Boatbuilder, Grandville "Sim" Davis. He met a young Pt Judith fisherman, Chris Brown who agreed to fish the Granville while Rob Started his Seafood Business " Clipper Seafood" in Narragansett, R.I. They stayed partners til Rob moved back to Maine in 1990. Chris has become a well known and respected voice for the fishing community, is a Fishery Sector Manager and still fishes out of Pt. Judith, R.I.
Rob started Clipper Seafood in 1981 by selling locally smoked fish out of his Toyota pu truck in Hartford, Ct. . 10 years later, he had over 150 accounts,and was doing $4,000,000 a year in sales from NYC to Boston, buying everything and anything Rob could find that would meet his demand for freshness and quality.
The Dragger "Grandville Davis" passing under the Newport Bridge in 1984
Clipper Seafood shortly after moving to its new location in Narragansett, R.I. It is still in business today.
Rob and his family were yearning to get back to Maine, and in 1991 they moved to the little coastal town of Blue Hill, Maine. There, Rob met Paul Brayton who had a mussel farm and needed help selling the mussels. Paul and Rob became partners and started Maine's Best Seafood. For the next 15 year Maine's Best grew so that by 2005 it was one of the larger Seafood companies in Maine. 2 Tractor trailer loads a week would leave from Maine's Best Shop filled with Mussels, Clams, Lobsters and Scallops. Selling wild mussels, Jonah crab and Scallops were a big part of Maine's Best business and in 2006 these 3 fisheries collapsed. Without these 3 important products, Rob decided to close Maine's Best, as there was nothing to sell.
Maine's Best Truck heading out to Boston with Load of Seafood from Maine.
Rob used his maritime background and sea time to get his Merchant Marine Papers and in 2007 he was hired by the Moran Towing Company as a senior Deck Hand. He was the oldest new deckhand, at age 57, that Moran had ever hired.
He came back to Maine a year later after getting a call from Rocky Coast Lobster. They hired him to run a Large Tank Room and lobster buying station in Stonington, Maine.
In 2013, Rob was asked to run Beals Lobster in SW Harbor after the sudden passing of Sam Beal. It was they year of the lobster landing explosion and Rob oversaw the handling of over 3 million pounds of lobster that season. The previous season had landed less than 500,000 lbs. Rob used his sales skills to add new buyers and was proud that during the August Glut, Beals never shut down, as did some other dealers on the coast.
Rob's first tug. He would crew on other tugs in NY harbor and Narragansett Bay during his time with Moran.
Now in 2018, Rob has left Beals and started Maine's Best Seafood Brokers. He is using his extensive knowledge of suppliers and customers to make connections where there had been none. If you are looking for some sales help, consider using Maine's Best Seafood Brokers to increase your margins and total sales. If you are Buyer, looking to create a more direct pipeline for your Seafood needs, Call Rob and he will connect you with new suppliers of every Seafood product that Rock Bound Coast of Maine can offer.