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.
Sometimes in life you get what you always want. Or what you thought you wanted. And it turns out to be different than you imagined.
Sometimes, life throws you a curve ball and your path takes a sudden detour.
On this edition of Out to Lunch Stepahanie is catching up with two of her first Out to Lunch guests, whose careers have both taken a dramatic turn since she first met them in the summer of 2015.
Richard Hanley is the owner of Hanley’s Foods, a homegrown company whose line of all-natural salad dressings is taking supermarkets by storm. When Stephanie first met Rick, he said his goal was to be the next Hidden Valley. He’s well on his way: last year, Walmart inked a deal with the mom-and-pop company and agreed to carry four of Hanley’s five dressings at all 120 of its locations in Louisiana, as well as some of its stores in Arkansas and Mississippi. Richard and his wife Kate are still the only two employees at Hanley’s and they make all their product by hand, so keeping up with the damand from a mega big box retailer has changed the way Richard thinks about his product and doing business. It’s a good problem to have.
When Stephanie last met Patrick Mulhearn, he was director of Celtic Studios here in baton rouge and a tireless advocate of the state’s film industry, which was thriving for nearly a decade until the legislature in 2015 took away most of the incentives that had lured Hollywood producers here. While Patrick was dealing with the downturn in business, the catastrophic flood of 2016 occurred in the Capital Region, and Patrick’s empty movie studio became a makeshift shelter literally overnight – and he became its public face and voice. It made Patrick rethink what’s important and what he wanted to do with his life. Earlier this year he decided to leave the dying movie industry and embark on a new career path. Today, well, that path is at a crossroads.