OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
You’re probably familiar with the saying, “Nothing personal, it’s just business.” People use it as a justification for doing something that’s going to advantage them, to the detriment of someone else. The underlying assumption is that wise-business-decisions and personal feelings are opposites.
There’s nothing more personal than taste. So, how wise is it, when launching a business, to base the whole company on your personal taste? That’s exactly what both of Aileen's guests on this edition of Out to Lunch have done.
Scott Shea and his two partners launched Cousin’s Smokehouse because they wanted to eat better tasting jerky. They wanted jerky that tasted like it was made in Acadiana, not like the generic stuff you buy at the gas station. In this case, Scott’s bet on personal taste paid off. Today, you can get Cousins Smokehouse jerky at 600 locations, including all of the Rouses’s supermarkets in Louisiana.
Kim White launched her business, Bulldog Pepper Jelly, because she couldn’t find pepper jelly that was spicy enough for her taste. So she started making her own pepper jelly. Spicy. The way she liked it. The next thing you know, Kim was making 250 jars of pepper jelly - a day. Kim’s sister, Cindy, liked the taste of Kim’s spicy pepper jelly and joined her in making it in commercial quantities. Today, you can find Bulldog Pepper Jelly at all of the Rouse’s supermarkets as well as high-end food markets in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.