Far flung Baltimoreans can attest that crab cakes aren’t quite the same anywhere else. So they might take interest in a new option to get a Maryland crab cake right to the door.
A recently-launched company called Colossal Blue is flash freezing fresh crab cakes, and providing delivery within the contiguous 48 states. The Baltimore County–based Nichols family, of Casa Mia’s fame, decided to launch the business as a separate ecommerce company.
While Colossal Blue is just a couple of weeks old, the recipe dates to 1976 when George and Catherine Nichols opened their first restaurant and used a family crab cake recipe. George Nichols has been in the kitchen every morning ever since making Colossal Crab Cakes.
According to his son and Colossal Blue co-owner Mark Nichols, the restaurants would get requests for delivery to send a crab cake somewhere else in the country, and they would figure out a way to send it in a deli tray. Eventually, they decided there was enough demand to make the process more efficient and launch the new business. The Nichols family made sure it fit into the way they’ve run things for 40 years.
“We make our crab cakes everyday at the restaurant. It’s not something we’re mass-producing,” said Mark Nichols. “They’re made every morning at our restaurant and we freeze them to order. ”
While the process has some deep roots, delivery required some updates. After the crab cakes are frozen, they are then packaged with Cryovac and shipped for next-day delivery. The company will also deliver Crab Balls, Maryland Crab Soup and Cream of Crab Soup. The food still must be cooked after it is delivered.
The company worked with Federal Hill–based Planit on a new site, and is using Shopify to track orders.
Nichols said it was important to maintain the handmade approach, which utilizes a specific set of ingredients that gives it a little extra kick. Plus, they’ve always kept operations within the family.
“My father’s in there every morning making this thing,” he said.-30-
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