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, one of the things we value is tradition. By that we mean not just Cajun and Creole culture, but the old fashioned ways of doing things. We don’t mind if business takes a little longer to conduct and includes a long lunch - and longer conversations about our families and football than business – ‘cause that’s just how it’s done around here.
On the other hand, we like to keep up with what’s going on in the world and to have access to the same cutting edge ideas and technology that you can get anywhere else.
Aileen Bennett introduces us to two people at either end of that spectrum. They’re both in versions of the health and fitness business, but pretty much everything about their approach to it is 180 degrees apart.
John Williams is the co-owner of a second-generation family business called Pack and Paddle. Pack and Paddle is an outdoor lifestyle store that specializes in, among other pursuits, rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, fly fishing, and family camping. Besides selling equipment, John and his wife Becky lead trips into the Acadian lakes and bayous. And if you’re looking to buy outdoor equipment online, don’t Google Pack and Paddle ‘cause they don’t do business that way.
On the other end of the healthy lifestyle spectrum, there’s a new business in town called Orange Theory Fitness. It’s a hi-tech gym where you work out in a group. You’re wired up to a personal monitor and y’all’s vital signs are displayed on giant screens while you’re working out. The workout is based on a scientific principle called EPOC – which stands for Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption. In case you think this is a bunch of crazy talk, Orange Theory is one of the fastest growing companies in America. Entrepreneur Magazine calls it one of the top franchises in the world. Here in Lafayette, Blane Arnold is Orange Theory’s head trainer.
By the end of this conversation John and Blane come to realize they have more in common than they might have thought.