Mike McCarty

When Mike McCarty and Kim Murray started working at The Lobster Trap, they sensed momentum at the "seafood shack," as they called it. McCarty began as a line cook, and Murray started as a part-time server. Today, they own the restaurant, which has matured into a polished source for fresh fish, oysters and, of course, lobster.

In the sleek wooden interior, Murray and McCarty serve seafood that arrives each afternoon from the Carolinas, Maine and Massachusetts. Sourcing requires dedication, but McCarty, the chef, says it's important for Asheville diners to have access to high quality, sustainable seafood for the sake of variety. "I call my purveyors every evening and morning," he explains. "It takes a lot of work on our part to seek out people who can supply fresh, sustainable seafood. It takes really close relationships."

Murray says the strength of the business is built on relationships like these. A third owner (and founder of The Lobster Trap) lives in Maine where she maintains friendships with the lobstermen who send their fresh catch south.

But it's not just The Lobster Trap that excels at building relationships. Murray says that skill is the foundation of Asheville's food scene. "Asheville is very nurturing," she explains. "When I started as GM, I reached out for a lot of help. People responded really well because we want to see each other succeed together."

Mike says those connections come through in the food. "I think a diner can feel that enthusiasm," he says. "Through the whole dining experience, they feel our love for the restaurant, the food and the Asheville food scene."

 Kim Murray and Mike McCarty

Kim Murray and Mike McCarty