|Born||Linda Lorraine Bean
1941 (age 72–73)
|Alma mater||Alaska Methodist University (Ecology, 1965-1966)
Antioch College (B.A., Business Administration, 1963)
|Occupation||businesswoman, political candidate|
|Known for||owner of Linda Bean's Perfect Maine restaurants |
|Relatives||Leon Leonwood Bean, founder of L.L.Bean (grandfather)|
Linda Lorraine Bean (born 1941) is a Maine businessperson, political donor and former political candidate with the Republican Party. She ran for the United States Congress in 1988 (lost the Republican Party primary) and 1992 (won primary but lost to incumbent Thomas Andrews). She is the granddaughter of Leon Leonwood Bean and an heiress to the L.L.Bean company. She is also a well-known donor to conservative Republican causes.
Bean is a significant owner of LL Bean, Inc and serves on its Board of Directors. Also, and separate from that, she is unusual as a woman entrepreneur and industry leader of the Maine lobster (Homarus americanus) business, which she entered in 2007 at the age of 66. She started with the purchase of several million pounds of lobsters off the boats of Maine licensed fishermen, then grading and shipping them, and also processing Maine lobster, shrimp and crab for wholesale and retail food markets. Starting with one wharf and a buy of 400,000 pounds in 2007, she added each year to purchase 6 buying stations and had expanded her buying downeast to level to 7 million pounds by 2013. She took the lead with John Hathaway, in whose lobster business she is also invested, Shucks Maine Lobster, in achieving sustainability certification for the entire Maine trap lobster fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council, London, (MSC), as announced by its founder Rupert Howes and by Maine Governor Paul LePage on March 10, 2013 at the International Boston Seafood Show. She is also a business figure in western Maine timberland ownership and management, and owns Linda Bean's Perfect Maine® Vacation Rentals that operates along the Maine coast,
Her own brand name enterprises, Linda Bean's Perfect Maine, encompass not only her vertically integrated lobster business but also her ownership of two traditional Maine general stores in St. George, Maine, Wyeths by Water art tours from her lobster boat "Linderin Losh" in Port Clyde, the Seaside Inn and Barn Cafe in Port Clyde, and some restaurants in Maine and Florida that feature Bean family recipes including the sale of over a million lobster rolls that she introduced with a dusting of her own secret herbs blend. In 2013 her payroll employs over 250 people and, additionally, issues weekly checks to several hundred Maine fishermen who sell to her. The Portland International Airport features a Linda Bean's Maine Lobster Cafe with over 80 seats and a full lounge bar.  Her brand images center on Maine harbors with lobster boats and local fishermen. Her largest Maine restaurant, a 3-story operation open 7 days a week year-round with three shifts, is Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen & Topside Tavern located across from the LL Bean flagship store in Freeport, Maine, the original site of a tavern built there in 1790. > On September 27, 2010, Bean purchased a former Bath & Body Works building across from the L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine.
Bean's business dealings have not been without controversy. She has argued for more processing in Maine rather than in Canada, where more than half of Maine's lobsters currently go for processing and sale by other companies to the U.S. and elsewhere. That worries some of possible damage to relationships with Canadian businesses. An undercover video taken by PETA allegedy at one of the Maine Lobster processing plants showed workers ripping limbs off live lobsters, raising questions of animal cruelty. A lawyer for Bean told the Portland Press Herald that "Our practices do not violate Maine's laws on cruelty to animals because lobsters do not come within the covered definition."
Bean twice (1988 and 1992) sought to become the U.S. Congresswoman from Maine's 1st congressional district. She was unable to win the seat in either election.
In 1988, Bean sought the Republican nomination for the United State House of Representatives in Washington to challenge incumbent former Maine Governor Joseph Brennan. She ran under her married named of Linda Bean Jones. She outspent her opponent, Edward S. O'Meara, by $395,000 but narrowly lost. However, O'Meara subsequently lost to Brennan in the general election.
- Quimby, Beth, "SAME NAME, SAME BUSINESS SAVVY: Bean's lobster business on roll", Kennebec Journal, December 12, 2010
- Linda Bean rolls out her lobster franchise Boston Globe, July 1, 2009
- Lobster Roll With That Anorak? New York Times, October 6, 2009
- Linda Bean buying key Freeport property Portland Press Herald, September 27, 2010
- Kriter Rollins, "Linda Bean Heats Up Lobster World," WCHS6 16 November 2011.
- Abby Goodnough,"Lobster Roll with that Anorak?" The New York Times 6 October 2009.
- Stephen Smith, "PETA: Video Shows Illegal Lobster Killing Method at Major Maine Seafood Plant," CBSNews, 20 Septemember 2013.
- Eric Russell, "Maine Denies PETA Claim of Cruel Lobster 'Kills'" Portland Press Herald, 18 September 2013.
- POLITICS '88 North Dakota Voters Again Reject Lottery Los Angeles Times, June 15, 1988
- Heiress to L.L. Bean Champions Conservatism in Race for Congress New York Times, July 24, 1992