By Tyler McGee
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Jeff and Jo Gordon were out of work for 6 ½ years before they started the Flash Crabcake Co. in 2014.
The Baltimore couple had to sell their restaurant, JoMomma’s Steak and Seafood, to take care of Jeff’s mother, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and his father. After Jeff’s father died in 2007 and his mother in 2013, Jeff and Jo got back into the food industry and started the Flash Crabcake Co.
Their baby, as they refer to the mobile restaurant, was born in September 2014 – and it only serves two things: crab cakes and cream of crab soup. And while the eatery moves around on four wheels, the Gordons say they do not like to refer to their establishment as a food truck.
“We are first a crab cake company, we just happen to operate from a mobile platform,” Jeff said. “The reason why we don’t call ourselves a food truck is because we only do two things. We’re branding this product.”
Jeff has been making crab cakes for 38 years while Jo offers the marketing and public relations side of the business.
“On any given day somebody would call and say, ‘Jeff can you make me 10 crab cakes? Jeff can you make me 20 crab cakes?’” Jo said. “My wheels started turning then and there. I told him one day, ‘I’m going to get money for those crab cakes.’”
The Flash Crabcake Co. will typically be at festivals in or around Baltimore like the Baltimore Seafood Festival. The company does not go to the same place twice unless it is somewhere they’ve been invited to.
The easiest way to find them is by their social media post on Twitter or Facebook. The two pride themselves on being Baltimore natives and wanted to bring real Maryland crab cakes back to the place they call home.
“Crab cakes in our town had become mediocre, very expensive and not what we grew up with,” Jo said.
Jo and Jeff say they make their crab cakes the “Maryland Way.” And while they aren’t trying to steal other business’s loyal customers, they urge you to try theirs and see for yourself.
“The hardest part now is holding the reigns tightly so that we never have to compromise the quality of our product,” Jo said.
The two have experiences when it comes to the food industry. But no amount of experience could prepare them for working together in a truck for several hours at a time. The couple said it’s “challenging,” but they still manage to make it work.
“For the most part, her and I are just a really good team,” Jeff said. “We always have been in everything we’ve done. Whether it’s our kids, our restaurant, taking care of my mother, I couldn’t have done it without her.”
The two met after Jo was stood up for an interview at a bar in Baltimore in 1984. Jeff approached her once he saw how upset she was and asked her on a date.
Jo describes it as fate. When Jeff picked her up in his Camaro and asked her what she wanted to hear, she told him, “Phil Collins: Hello I Must Be Going.” What she did not know was Jeff already had it in the cassette player.
“We always say in our relationship that I’m the accelerator and he’s the brake,” Jo said.
They have been together for 32 years and have plans of retiring on a beach that “is warm all year round.”
Their future plans for Flash Crabcake Co. are to start their Take It Baked service, where customers will be able to purchase the crab cakes to make in their own homes.
“I want anybody in Baltimore, anything that’s happening in Baltimore, I want them to say ‘Flash has got to be here because that’s apart of Baltimore,’” Jo said.