he older I get and the more experiences I have, the more I have realized that family is truly the most important thing in my life. I say “Family First” because to me, nothing is more important and nothing should take priority over those you love. My family consists of both blood relatives and true friends and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for any of them. I can honestly say I didn’t always feel this way nor did I always understand the significance of such a bond, but now, at age 34, I know family is at the top of my list.
Growing up in a single-parent home, we had quite the small family. My mother and I had our struggles, but her love and support for me has always been unflagging. There was nothing my mother wouldn’t do to make me a better person and nothing she wouldn’t have sacrificed to make me happy. Since I didn’t have any siblings, my cousins were my brothers and sisters, specifically Aaron, Isa, Kate, Annie, and Jimmy. Our families didn’t have much money, nothing fancy to boast about, but we had each other. Family dinners molded me to be the person I am today and taught me that money is worthless if you don’t have love. Our family was/is moderately dysfunctional, loud, chaotic, and a bit out of control. We all take after my grandparents, Native Mainers who grew up in the Depression. My grandparents were married for 65 years until my grandfather’s passing. My Grandfather was my idol who I loved so much. He was tough, stubborn, unreasonable, mean Marine of 27 years. That said, he was the backbone of our family and he devoted his life to our well being. Whenever any one of us would leave after visiting him, he would walk away crying. It was that love that I now carry with me for each member of my family.
"Nothing is more important and nothing should take priority over those you love."– Sabin Lomac
In 2012, I was living in Los Angeles and selling real estate for a living. I was doing quite well, living a nice life, and was content on my path. My baby cousin Jimmy, the runt of the family, decided to pay a visit to his ex girlfriend in LA and asked if we could get together for dinner. It was at that dinner where history was made, CML was formed, and my life would forever be changed. We went to Katana, a swanky sushi spot on Sunset Blvd, and we sat outside and drooled over all the beautiful women. We talked about family, our upbringing, our values, and how we realized now, as men, how we had been molded. My grandfather had just died and I urged Jimmy to spend as much time with his grandmother as possible. We laughed a lot and I remember feeling so happy that I reconnected with him after not seeing him for many years. Time flies, but sitting there with Jim it was like we didn’t skip a beat. I forgot to mention we got drunk, really drunk. Jimmy ordered saki, beer, vodka, tequila, and capped it off with an espresso martini. Gross. We sat there and told each other our dreams, and ironically, they were strikingly similar. We didn’t want to work for someone, we wanted to control our own destiny, and we wanted to live a happy and fruitful life. As more drinks came, more raw emotion came out. Both of us had great jobs and were making good money, would we deviate from that path? And if so, would we do it together? How? Where were we going with this drunken conversation?
To Jimmy’s credit, he came up with the idea of flying in Maine lobster daily, and selling it out of a food truck. Like most drunken ideas, it sounded brilliant! We went on and on for hours, working out each and every detail. Later, we got kicked out of the Mondrian Hotel for playing ping pong in the lobby and capped the night off with a burger from Barney’s Beanery. What we didn’t know was that this was the beginning of something huge. Our idea would soon manifest into a movement, a nationally recognized brand, something to be extremely proud of. We created a family-owned business and did it our way…the right way. Steve (Jimmy’s dad) is our accountant. Aaron (our cousin) advises us on restaurants. We consult with Annie (Jimmy’s sister) on the Maine Lobster industry. Our mothers advise us on which Chardonnay is the best. We still have the Super Nintendo we grew up with, now in our office. Games of NHL ’94 could settle who pays for lunch or sometimes even higher stakes. We have fun, we smile, we fight, we disagree. We are a family. We have succeeded and failed, together.
No matter what happens on this wild ride, I know I will always have the support of my family. If you’re lucky enough to have that, you can’t lose.