Do the best tee and eat for free
Okay, let’s get real and ask ourselves some tough questions.
For example, what would you do with 40 free lobsters?
Or 45 pounds of scallops?
How about 62 pounds of swordfish?
Buckle up, folks, ‘cuz someone will be faced with decisions like that. The catch is you have to design the best tee-shirt slogan in celebration next year of the 30th anniversary of The Net Result, the premier seafood emporium, on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven.
Remember, the opportunity to win a $1,000 grand prize gift certificate to the Result doesn’t happen every time the tide rolls in. In fact, this is the first time proprietor Louis Larsen, a third-generation Island fisherman, has had a design competition for the Net Result signature tees, which have been around in several iterations for 29 years.
Mr. Larsen told the Times last week that the contest is underway but still in formative stages, a tried and true Island strategy. There will be prizes for runners-up and eventually, there will be official entry blanks, courtesy of Ms. (Beth) Larsen, a steady hand on the Larsen organizational tiller.
“Our 30th anniversary is July 4th, 2015, so it’s a year away, but we wanted to get going early so summer people could participate. After all, we do the majority of our business in July and August,” Mr. Larsen said. The popularity of the signature tees, which change design and slogan every five years or so, seems unending.
“I remember making up 1,500 of them one time, to give away on the anniversary. When people saw them around, they wanted them, so we had to reorder. We sell ‘em for 10 bucks or so,” he said, noting, “I got a call once from a guy in Washington, D.C., asking for a shirt. He said he was reading the copy on the back of the 25th anniversary shirt on the customer in front of him but she left before he could finish reading it. So I shipped one out to him.
“We’re just looking for the best catchy slogan to put on our 30th anniversary tee-shirts. We’ll be in business 30 years on July 4th, 2015,” he said. The winning slogan should reference seafood, he noted, adding that prior tee slogans include: “20 years and now we’re cooking,” a classic tee that featured a lobster cooking a clam, in honor of the introduction of a prepared takeout menu; and most recently, “25 years of casting our best lines,” which came with 25 fishing-related lines on the back (that the guy from D.C. just had to finish reading).
You can enter as often as you wish; you don’t have to buy anything, and if you don’t have a piece of paper, staffers have plenty of pens and fish wrap on hand. For now, your slogan, name, phone number will do just fine. Deadline for entries is…a long way off.
“We’ve had one-sided and two-sided tees. Depends on what we come with. Generally our logo is on the front and the saying on the back. We’re looking for some inspiration,” he said.
Here are a few clues, in addition to past tees pictured here, to get your creative juices going;
Larsens know fish. Mr. Larsen’s grandfather, Daniel Larsen, a Norwegian immigrant, started the family business at the turn of the 20th century. Louis Larsen Sr., father of Louis and Dan, who operates Edgartown Seafood, was a recognized pioneer sword fisherman and proprietor of Larsen’s Seafood market, now operated by his daughter Betsy in Menemsha. Mr. Larsen died in March, 2014 at 88 years.
Larsens are authentic people. When an errant driver crashed into The Net Result last winter, the family repaired the damage themselves. “We have insurance but it was close to Good Friday, which is an important fish day on the Island,” Mr. Larsen said. “We didn’t want to wait. People expected us to be open.”
Larsens are go with the flow Islanders. “We opened on July 4, 1985,” Mr. Larsen recalled. “It had nothing to do with the holiday. I was up in Boston waiting for my licenses to come through. They were granted on July 3, so I hustled back and opened the next day.”
So fire up the right brain and get cracking. And don’t worry, you don’t have to use the gift certificate all at once. And if you struggle with decision-making, you can always go with 200 pounds of cole slaw.