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.
Acadiana is different from pretty much every other place in the world. It’s even different from the rest of Louisiana.
It’s hard to know exactly where on the I-10 the difference begins, but you know it when you see it. Because it doesn’t just feel different – which it does. And it’s not just because people are nicer – which they are. But you know it when you see it because Acadiana looks different.
On this edition of Out to Lunch Peter talks with two people who are responsible for creating and preserving buildings that give Acadiana a style that is uniquely entwined with our culture and lifestyle.
Robert Daigle is the developer of The Village of River Ranch - a 320 acre traditional neighborhood development in Lafayette - and the managing partner of Sugar Mill Pond Development Company - the developer of Sugar Mill Pond, a 500 acre traditional neighborhood development in Youngsville.
L J Gielen lives in Crowley, the rice capital of the world. LJ owns a restaurant - The Rice Palace. He’s a part owner of a construction company - L K Breaux and Associates. But what L J is probably best known for in Crowley – and in nationwide historic restoration circles – is the enormous amount of time, work and capital he has put into restoring The Grand Opera House of The South. In the 39 years it was open, The Grand hosted a list of notables from Enrico Caruso to Babe Ruth and Clark Gable. After being closed for 69 years, LJ has brought The Grand Opera House of the South back to life and today the theater is back in business.
At this only-in-Acadiana business lunch at Social in Lafayette, two of our finest, most charming gentlemen talk about their wives, ghosts, personal fulfillment, and in understated humility their incredibly successful businesses.
Photos by Gwen Aucoin.