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 probably know the line from the 1989 movie, Field of Dreams, "If you build it they will come.” Decades after the movie came out this line continues to resonate with us, because it’s about faith. Faith in ourselves. In our own courage to follow our dreams. And faith in our fellow humans - that others will recognize our courage and affirm it by buying into our dream.
This is the exact opposite of how we’re taught in business school to launch a business. But passion-driven businesses can be just as successful as the more traditional, highly business-planned venture. Aileen's guests on this edition of Out to Lunch are both evidence of this.
In 2013 Todd Buteaux wanted to escape the rat race in Los Angeles. He wanted his daughter to grow up knowing her family. And he wanted to spend time with his parents, who weren’t getting any younger. So Todd abandoned his dreams of becoming an actor in Hollywood and moved back to Lafayette. Todd’s wife, Rina, is Japanese American. Ironically, it has turned out to be Japanese culture that has fueled Todd’s dreams since they moved back here. Today, Todd is co-owner and Marketing Manager of the Japanese restaurant Izumi Ramen, in Lafayette. He’s also the marketing manager of the Hawaiian inspired restaurant, Poke Geaux in Lafayette. And he’s the co-owner of Poke Geaux in Lake Charles.
In 2001, Mark Falgout came back home from traveling the world and decided to open the type of guest house in Lafayette that he would like to stay at if he was a traveler here. That’s how the Blue Moon Guesthouse was born. Because all travelers here want to hear music, Mark gave them that too, in the form of the Blue Moon Saloon.
It turned out that the Blue Moon was a great place for travelers to meet locals, because locals made the Blue Moon one of the most popular places in Lafayette to go to hear music. So Mark gave locals another, bigger, venue – Warehouse 535. And in 2018 Mark came up with another idea. This one does not involve a piece of real estate. It’s the SOLO Songwriters Festival. From its early success, it looks like Mark’s music-booking skills and the years he spent as a board member of Festival International have paid off.