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.
In business, when we talk about “exports” we’re referring to a complex set of conditions that need to be fulfilled to get products out of the United States and into other countries. One of the first problems an exporter faces is finding a market where his or her products are going to be desirable. Or even understood.
Although Acadiana is a part of the United States, it’s about as close to a foreign country as you’re going to get. Local manufacturers who take products that everyone here at home loves can run into some interesting reactions when they put their local best-sellers on a truck and send ‘em a few miles north and east.
A great example of an eyebrow-raising product outside of Acadiana is The Cajun Injector. It’s the creation of New Iberia’s Bruce Foods. Bruce Foods enjoys nationwide success with many products - including America’s number one selling Bruce’s yams. Worldwide, their products are available in over 100 countries. At 1,200 employees, Bruce Foods is one of America's largest privately-owned food manufacturers.
President and CEO of Bruce Foods, Si Brown, joins Peter on this edition of Out to Lunch.
If you’re looking for a product name that’s going to stand out on a supermarket shelf, how about “Slap Ya Mama”? That’s the name of the newest addition to the local food export movement. From Ville Platte Louisiana - the smoked meats capital of the world - Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasonings are the brainchild of a couple of generations of the Walker Family. But it’s the current generation, brothers Jack and Joe, who have turned the family seasonings into a successful business.
Jack Walker is the Vice President of Marketing, and Joe Walker is the Vice President of Distribution at Slap Ya Mama.
Slap Ya Mama and Bruce Foods are taking Acadiana to the world, showing the way away from Cajun heat to Cajun taste.