Down East lobster tank and bait box company expands with help from UMaine


Tom St. Claire’s specialty is designing and manufacturing unique items out of plastic. As the owner of Sullivan Plastic Products in Sullivan, Maine, St. Claire is skilled at customizing rugged, durable products from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Originally, the Down East company’s clients were fisherman in need of custom-built lobster tanks and bait boxes for their boats. It wasn’t until St. Claire partnered with UMaine that he was able to expand his business to clients outside of the commercial fishing industry and around the country. He has created snowboard and skateboard pipe rails, custom storage boxes, and water-tight holding tanks for RVs, campers and boats. He has also built several 9,000-gallon water tanks for the University of Maine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research. In this video, St. Claire talks about his experience with UMaine’s Innovate for Maine Fellows Program and how the program was vital to his company’s growth.

The Innovate for Maine Fellows Program is managed by the University of Maine, and connects college students with Maine companies and business leaders. Internships provide support for students as they gain meaningful hands-on experience working on innovation-based company projects that accelerate growth. The program emphasizes entrepreneurship and innovation in an effort to help grow and create jobs across the state.

For more information about these and other innovation and economic development initiatives at UMaine, visit