Doug and Maureen Woodman

Woodman's Inc.

Doug Woodman is president and co-CEO of Woodman's Inc. and a third-generation owner along with his sisters Patti, Judi and Cynthia and his brother Steve. He is the youngest of seven children of Virginia & Dexter Woodman and the youngest grandchild of "Chubby" and Bessie Woodman, founders of Woodman's.

Doug graduated from University of New Hampshire Hospitality School in 1980. He worked in all aspects of the business since early childhood, including Doug's Roast Beef at the age 17. He is responsible for all financial and operational areas and revenue centers. His favorite part of the business is "when it's busy."

He is an avid golf enthusiast and Boston sports fan.

Maureen C. Woodman is director of catering sales at Woodman's. She has been married to Doug Woodman for 30 years.

Maureen, who attended Suffolk University, began working in the kitchen-bar at Woodman's at 15 years of age. She opened and managed Woodman's "Top Deck" in 1980. Maureen, who has worked in all areas of the business, moved into the catering sales department (function hall) in 1997 . She started up-selling full-service catering, moving from "the backyard party." She took on more financial responsibility; looking for growth through other menu items. She added fried clams to catered events in 2008; now every third catering event includes frying.

Maureen is one of the founders of L. Dexter Woodman Scholarship Fund, serving as head of the Family Council. She serves on local boards and is currently on the board of North Shore Chamber of Commerce. She also speaks at family business events and appears on radio shows. She credits her mother-in-law, Virginia Woodman, as my mentor.

Maureen and Doug have two daughters: law student Vanessa Woodman and pharmacist Erica Woodman.

Woodman's Inc. is based in Essex, Mass., with a branch location in Litchfield, N.H. The company has 200 employees working during the season, of which 27 are extended family members.

Woodman's began making fried clams in 1916, frying them outside in an iron kettle over an open fire. Soon every Sunday clams were fried at Woodman's and sold along with potato chips and dressed clams. Fried clams developed into a good take-out business. Chubby moved the cooking inside, renaming the business "Woodman's Sea Grille." The clambake catering business started in the early 1930s and now generates 35% of the revenue. Woodman's does 20 to 30 clambakes per week during the season, well over 500 a summer. The biggest clambake took place in 1938; it traveled to Marietta, Ohio, to celebrate the town's 150th anniversary, serving 5,000 people.

In the 1940s, the business expanded to "Eat In The Rough" and opened up a diner with year-round service.

The company became Woodman's, Inc. in 1959. The restaurant remained open all year round beginning in 1967. It opened a function hall 1971-1973. In 1974, it opened The Lobster Trap Pub. More recently, Woodman's has opened up a retail store, an ice cream stand, and the Litchfield, N.H. restaurant and ice cream stand. It also began shipping clambakes to go, T-shirts and fried clam kits.

Woodman's received the Family Business Association for MA, Small Business of the Year Award in 2011. It received the Massachusetts Premier Tourism Attraction "Legends" Award, from the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism in 2012. In 2011, Yankee Magazine named Woodman's the Best Fried Clams in N.H. Forbes FYI Magazine has honored Woodman's for the "Best Seafood in America." Coastal Living Magazine has listed it among the "Best Seafood Dives." Bon Appétit has named it the "Best Place to Eat in Massachusetts." Woodman's has been hailed as "An American cult classic - right up there with baseball and apple pie" by Zagat Restaurant Guide. It has been recognized in numerous publications, including 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, New York Times, Country Living, Coastal Living and Phantom Gourmet.