OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
You may know about Baton Rouge's growing tech industry. What you may not know is that one of the pioneers of internet retailing is right here in the Capital Region. Shopperschoice.com was founded in 1998 and has grown from a mom-and-pop store selling barbeque equipment to one of the 300 biggest online retailers in the country, behind Google, Amamzon, Apple, eBay and the other household names. It's one of the 100 fastest growing companies, onn and off line, in the US. Annual revenues are heading for $75m.
Shopperschoice.com CEO Corey Tisdale is Stephanie's guest on this edition of Out to Lunch.
Back in the early 2000's, when shopperschoice.com was rolling out its first website, Frank Ardoin was a hard working and successful guy in the mortgage business. Then he took a fateful vacation. Sitting on the beach staring at the ocean Frank had an inspiration. When he came home to Baton Rouge, and spent three years thrashing the kinks out of the idea, it became Homebuyerdiscounts.com. It's a membership-based model that brings its members exclusive discounts on a variety of home improvement products and services from local merchants. THe company is qoickly finding its feet in Baton Rouge and Frank is eyeing markets further afield.
Stephanie's Baton Rouge Entrepreneur du jour is Clint Conroy, a recent graduate of LSU. Clint’s startup, United Aerials, is in the drone business. UA sends unmanned vehicles over construction sites and farms with sophisticated sensing devices to report back and process their found data.