Demand for Md. crab cakes skyrockets nationwide during coronavirus pandemic

crab cakes
Shipments of crab cakes from Jimmy’s Seafood have been delivered to every state except Alaska during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Jimmy’s Famous Seafood)

Running a business during the coronavirus pandemic is incredibly difficult — unless you’re in the business of Maryland crab cakes, that is.

Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, which is based in Baltimore, Maryland, is fortunate enough to have a product that people all over the country seek out.

“We do have a huge national following,” said John Minadakis, CEO of Jimmy’s Famous Seafood.

As many restaurants have been forced to do during this uncertain period of time, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood changed its business model to focus on delivery and carryout.

It has also been focusing on its three food trucks and food shipments.

Crab cake shipments, in particular, have really taken off.

“We said we’re just going to crank up our advertisement budget on the fact that we can do shipping,” Minadakis said. “Step two was offering free shipping across the country.”

The idea worked better than anyone could have hoped.

Over the past four weeks, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood has shipped its crab cakes to 49 states. They’re still hoping someone in Alaska gets hungry for Maryland crabs.

“We went from 10 to 30 shipments a day to 300 and 350,” Minadakis said. “It’s really emotional and overwhelming. We’ve always referred to our customers as our family, and they stepped up.”

So, although Minadakis describes the pandemic as “the most difficult time of our professional lives,” at least his business doesn’t have to lay off any employees right now.

They can continue churning out those crab cakes and shipping them to people who remain trapped inside their homes.

“The most important thing to us is our employees,” he said. “It’s keeping them working and keeping them busy.”

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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