Before she secured the title of “World’s Best Lobster Roll,” and long before she started slinging lobster rolls from the back of a truck, Lorin Smaha was a biochemistry major and Division I athlete. Skiing was forbidden for athletes, so the New Hampshirite, who grew up skiing Storrs Hill Ski Area for $3, had to sneak away to get turns in. So, it only made sense that after graduation she moved to Park City to find “freshies” in Utah — no sneaking required.
What was supposed to be a one-year stopover before dental school became home. Then, Lorin stumbled upon her future husband, Ben, at Jans. She thought he was cute, and when she noticed he was wearing a hat from a Jeep event she worked on the east coast, she struck up a conversation with him.
The two east coasters (Ben is from Maine) ran into each other again the following week, went ski touring the next day, and were engaged less than a year later. Fast forward 15 years and they have two boys, Zack, age 8, and Nolan, age 6.
The ultimate Park City love story.
For work, Lorin turned to what she loved. “I’ve always loved cooking. My grandmothers loved to cook, one was more the baker and one was always cooking,” remembers Lorin. “Food was always an important part of growing up. I love food and I love to eat good food. I enjoy a good meal at the end of the day.”
Ben and his friend from Maine had started bringing in live lobsters and selling them out of the back of their truck, eventually making lobster rolls. But when Ben’s friend moved back east, Lorin jumped in and supplied some much-needed culinary know-how.
“When it was just Ben and I, I changed the recipe to the current recipe which I’ve been using ever since,” she says. The duo sold their altered rolls at Park Silly Sunday Market and Park City Farmers Market, but it remained a side gig. Lorin was a private chef for many years, and even started a weekly meal delivery service for local families. Ben worked as a property manager.
In 2013, Lorin took the lobster roll business to the next level — slanging her locally loved creations from a food truck, and opened the first Freshies Lobster Co. brick-and-mortar shop in Park City in 2016. A year later, she surprised the lobster-loving world by winning “World’s Best Lobster Roll” at a competition in Maine. In 2018, Freshies expanded to Salt Lake City.
Her recipe is simple: Grill a New England-style hot dog bun with mayo and pile in fresh lobster meat. Pour hot butter over the top and sprinkle with an herb mix. The lobster is flown in fresh from Maine and Parkites line up daily for their east coast fix.
Inside the light and airy Park City storefront, Lorin says chances are you’ll hear some reggae or Jimmy Buffet. And as you get in line to place your order — Lorin recommends the “Real Mainah” roll or the lobster lettuce cups — you might run into a homesick east coaster or overhear people talking about memories eating lobster rolls in Maine.
All this right here in Utah.