For Young Maine Entrepreneur, Lobster-Themed Business Nets Top Prize

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Shannon Schmelzer wows The Company Corporation’s judges with plans for lobster takeout restaurant. Captures the $1,000 Business Plan Contest prize.

My goal is to offer other young entrepreneurs what my family and other support systems, including The Company Corporation, have offered me—the opportunity to succeed.

As the U.S. gears up to celebrate National Small Business Week, The Company Corporation®, the nation’s leader in helping small businesses incorporate and form limited liability companies (LLCs), is pleased to introduce Shannon Schmelzer, winner of its most recent Business Plan Contest.

The Company Corporation’s Business Plan Contest encourages young entrepreneurs to grow their ideas into start-up and early-stage businesses. Schmelzer’s winning plan outlines the concept behind Shannon’s Unshelled, a takeout lobster “shack” in the works for her hometown of Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

From its detailed mission statement and business philosophy down to specifics on signage, lighting, and food service, Schmelzer’s plan offers a level of detail that is the hallmark of many profitable startups. “Shannon’s initiative really impressed The Company Corporation’s judges,” said David Gilardi, general manager of The Company Corporation. “Her business plan is thorough and well thought out. We see no barriers to her business success.”

Lobster is a major driver of the Maine economy. In 2013, landings of the succulent shellfish exceeded 125 million pounds and brought more than $364 million in dockside sales, according to The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative. Maine’s annual lobster haul supports nearly 6,000 licensed lobster harvesters, along with an impressive network of processing companies, wholesalers, marine outfitters, retail stores and restaurants.

Shannon’s Unshelled will focus its menu on lobster rolls made with only fresh, locally sourced meat. According to Schmelzer’s business plan, customers will enjoy “a fresh, quality lobster roll with a minimum wait time and a gratifying experience... [that] will surely bring a great reputation to Boothbay Harbor.”

A lifelong Maine resident, Schmelzer graduated from the University of Maine at Machias with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Studies and Psychology. After living abroad for two years, she decided to buy a home in Boothbay Harbor. Now, at 27, she owns her own business.

“I want to distinguish myself, and in order to do that you have to take risks,” Schmelzer said.

Her motives for opening the business aren’t entirely “shellfish,” though.

“My goal is to offer other young entrepreneurs what my family and other support systems, including The Company Corporation, have offered me—the opportunity to succeed,” says Schmelzer. One of her future goals is to create a grant program that helps young entrepreneurs build business futures in their communities.

The Company Corporation will award Schmelzer $1,000 for her winning plan.

About The Company Corporation

With more than 750,000 businesses formed, The Company Corporation® provides affordable incorporation services to small businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide. In addition to filing corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, The Company Corporation offers a wide range of products and services, including license and permit assistance, corporate kits, business education books, certificates of good standing, Registered Agent services, and business start-up services. Based in Delaware, The Company Corporation serves small business owners nationwide through its websites, and

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Kent Priestley
The Company Corporation
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