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Fishin' Ships: Portland's "Ocean to Table" Food Truck's video poster

We are a Portland, ME based food truck that serves up inspired takes on fish n' chips while paying homage to the local fishing industry Read more

Portland, ME Food
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pledged of $12,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on January 13, 2014.

We are a Portland, ME based food truck that serves up inspired takes on fish n' chips while paying homage to the local fishing industry

Portland, ME Food
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About this project

Hi, we're Sam Gorelick and Arvid Brown and we are the minds behind Fishin’ Ships, a Portland, Maine based food truck that provides high quality and inspired takes on seafood classics. Compelled by the “farm to table” dining movement in and around Maine and New England, we have decided to take this concept and rework it into something new. “Ocean to table” is what we are now referring to our approach to seafood, and the industry that surrounds it. It is our cuisine and it is our ethos. We aim to not only purchase and sell the freshest fish we can find, but to use our truck as a venue to connect with our community, by buying local food and serving it with local pride. We want our customers to be our friends, and our friends to be happy.

Selling fish is our business.

Please support our sell-fish-ness.


The core of our menu, as reflected by our name, is fish n' chips. A dish we consider to be classic street food, and also one that pays tribute to Portland’s historic fishing industry. We believe that, like other street food mainstays such as burgers or pizza, that fish n' chips is but a foundation to be built upon.  We want to break the mold of what can be considered "fish and chips." Of course we will offer a perfected classic; flaky fried haddock with wedge cut chips, lemon and homemade tartar sauce.  But we're also getting a little unconventional.  Our menu will introduce you to things like chipotle, lime-battered cod, fried in an Allagash White beer batter and paired with maple coated sweet potato fries.  Or a bacon, scallion monkfish fried in Geary's HSA batter and served with mashed potato fritters. 

In addition to these inspired fish n' chip combos, we will offer a rotating menu of lighter fare options that will include fish tacos, haddock sliders, cod cakes and/or a single serving of any of our “chips.”

Of course you can't have chips without the dip.  Our list of house made sauces include: Tartar, Chimichurri, Garlic Aioli, Spicy Curry, Sriracha mayo and many more to come.

All of our fish will come from local waters. We will also be building profiles of the fishermen who catch it for us so that on any given day we can tell you who caught what, and where.

We sincerely believe that GOOD food can make your day better and it is with this attitude that we serve you our fish.


In addition to being innovative with our recipes and menu, we aim to be innovative in some other ways as well. We plan to incorporate a green initiative into our business, first and foremost by rigging our truck to run on biodiesel fuel. We plan to recycle all of our expired cooking oil and then feed it into our engine. Ideally, running off our own waste while also exciting the nostrils of those we drive by.

Taste and smell aren't the only senses we aim to excite, we're after eyes and ears as well.  Our cooking and our attitude towards food will be the tent poles of our business but to play backup to this, we're pursuing creative collaborations, outside-the-box marketing strategies and a general environment of fun.  We want to engage and excite the community. Whether this means teaming up with a brewery for a fish Fryday party, or inviting musicians to play impromptu street performances alongside the truck. We will be improvisational, active and visible.

As much as we want the sight of our truck to envoke thoughts of snacking, we want it to also trigger thoughts of “hey, let’s go visit Arvid and Sam!”


The two of us have been best buds and on again-off again roommates for over 5 years.  We first met while attending Emerson College in Boston, MA and bonded over mutual loves for punk rock and junk food.  While living in Los Angeles, we consistently sought out food trucks as an alternative to the fast food monotony found near our offices.  It was not until the food truck trend followed us back east that we began to take our idea to open one seriously.  Now we're in Portland and can't imagine ourselves, or our business, anywhere else. 

Arvid grew up in downeast Maine, with a mother in marketing and a fisherman as a father. He designed our menu, drawing inspiration from the delicious simplicity of his seafood roots and combined it with the flavors he found while traveling the world.  He has spent 10+ years in restaurants and is elated to have found the creative freedom of his own project.

Sam is from nowhere near Maine. He is bi-coastal and grew up in Oakland, CA and then moved east to Philly. He has a strong background in Marketing Communications and Advertising and dabbles in graphic design. He will front our branding and marketing efforts in relation to Fishin Ships. His love for Maine is not limited to the state itself but also applies to the people in it, specifically his beautiful girlfriend, also from downeast (hi Tara!) 


We have been dedicating our savings to this project for the better part of a year now and have managed to save about half of our goal.  We are asking Kickstarter, and the kind people who populate it, to now help us in purchasing the truck itself.  Once purchased, Sam and I will roll up our sleeves and, in true downeast fashion, build the thing ourselves.  We've got a great network of tradesmen behind us to aid in the retrofit, but of course, in order to do this, we first need the truck.

Most custom built food trucks out there cost $45,000-$100,000 to put together.  We find these numbers very high when considering the amount of work we will be doing ourselves.

So how did we decide on our goal? Some newer trucks, with lower mileage, are priced as high as $20,000, whereas some heavily used trucks we've looked at are as low as $5,000.  We hope to find a happy medium between the two and that is why we are asking for $12,000.  This will allow us the purchasing freedom to buy a nicer vehicle, without having to pinch pennies further down the road.  If we find a truck for less than our goal, the remaining Kickstarter money will be directed towards retrofitting costs such as kitchen equipment, electrical, plumbing, labor and licensing. All of which we plan to, otherwise, pay out of pocket. 

If and when ;) we reach this goal, we plan to purchase our vehicle by Christmas at the latest.  January, February and March will then be spent, disassembling, assembling, purchasing, installing, tweaking and touching up.  Our goal is to be fully operational by April with a launch party soon thereafter. 

With your help, these plans could be reality and our smiles would be ceaseless. Thank you for your interest and please support our sell-fish-ness!

Love, Arvid and Sam


Risks and challenges

No plan is bulletproof. Yes, we will encounter obstacles. Our goal is to minimize them.

We ARE young and therefore not immune to the learning curve of first-time business owners BUT it is our youthful enthusiasms which propel us. We truly believe in this project and we're not alone in this faith. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by very enthusiastic friends, family and (hopefully) Kickstarter supporters.

We admit, there is a lot we are new to.
We are new to the wholesale fish market. But Arvid's father is a life-long fisherman with connections galore. He will be helping facilitate the relationships necessary to keeping our supplies consistent and quality.

We are new to the role of kitchen budgeting and financial analysis. As Emerson graduates we are the first to admit that numbers aren't our strong suit. But our wonderful SCORE mentor, Alan Shaver, has been patiently working with us on this front and each time we plug in numbers, or rework cash flows, we take a step closer to our goal.

And BIG surprise, we are new to retrofitting a work truck to be a fully functioning kitchen. But we have a handful of true-Maine craftsmen dedicated to meeting our needs. This is a first-time project for them too and we feel their care, capability, and genuine interest in building this truck exceeds that of other, more corporate options.

As of the launch date we have our LLC registered, a tax ID, a website being built, recipes being worked and reworked and many other aspects in full swing.

This Kickstarter will be the catalyst for it all.

We love you.

Arvid and Sam.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    25 backers

    High-Five! You support us selling you fish as a business! Therefore, you support "sell-fish-ness." Get a sticker that proves it!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    37 backers

    Fist Bump! What goes better with delicious food than great drinks? We want you to be able to drink that drink while reminding yourself of how awesome you are. Enter Fishin' Ships coozies

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    18 backers

    Bear Hug! We think our logo is pretty stylin' so we made up some awesome t-shirts. Logo on front, "Support sell-fish-ness" on the back, great human beings in-between. Includes sticker and coozie.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    13 backers

    Eskimo Kiss! Not only has your great magnanimity earned you all of the above, but now you can fill your belly too. Includes all of the above plus receive a card that entitles you and a friend to a free meal at Fishin' Ships.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    8 backers

    Big Wet Smooches! We are so thankful for your support that we have reserved a special place on our truck for your name. Come get some free fish wearing your new tshirt and carrying your coozie and bask in the glory of our gratitude. You've made it!

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    2 backers

    Wanna Go Back to Our Place!? You will receive all of the above plus a handwritten message-in-a-bottle cordially inviting you to our Fishin' Ships launch party. Free fish, tasty bevs and the knowledge that we couldn't have done it without you. You rule.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers All gone!

    Meet the Parents!! Join us for a downeast adventure in beautiful Blue Hill, ME where you will be privy to one night in the master bedroom of Arvid's Mom's awesome house. Enjoy gorgeous waterfront views, hiking, kayaking or just relaxing. Included is 1 dinner/1breakfast cooked for you by Arvid and his Mom! Transportation not included. Good for maximum of 2 people. Must be redeemed by April 1st. Not to be included in the $1000 pledge's "all of the above."

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    5 backers Limited (3 left of 8)

    Marriage! Fish today, fish tomorrow and until death do us parked. Get hooked. Stay hooked. Say "I do" and you will receive all of the above plus a custom-crafted Fishin' Ships "Captains" card entitling you to 100 free meals. WE love YOU.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (30 days)