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.
Here in Acadiana there’s one thing we can all agree on. No matter what our politics, our age, our ethnicity, or anything else that separates us, the one thing we all have in common is a love of Cajun food.
You don’t have to be Cajun or even raised in Acadiana to be an expert on the exact way you like your gumbo, boudin, and everything else that’s native to our neighborhood.
And God forbid you have to leave Acadiana for work or some other reason and live somewhere else. Then what do you do? Up until now you’ve had to rely on somebody here sending you a care package. These days though, things have changed. Now if you’re living out of town you don’t have to ask your sister in law to pick you up some Swamp Pop and ship it to Seattle at some enormous cost. Now you can call Tara Guidry.
Tara’s recently founded business is called Cajun Crate. It’s a monthly care package from Acadiana, curated and delivered to wherever you are, or wherever you’d like to send someone a gift of Cajun goodies.
For a part of the world that is so food-centric, Acadiana is missing a couple of essential pieces in the food chain. There is no food incubator like they have in Baton Rouge at LSU to help food-based entrepreneurs. And there’s no infrastructure to facilitate the current passion for what’s called farm-to-table – getting fresh local farm produce into restaurants.
Zack McMath is stepping into both these gaps. Zack is combining his business skills and his passion for food to found McMath Food Group. McMath Food Group includes a network to connect farmers to local markets, and a brand new facility with two commercial kitchens, one for food entrepreneurs and another for caterers and food trucks. Zack is calling this combined contribution to the food economy the Acadiana Food Hub.