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 what makes a business interesting is not so much what it does as much as how it does it. Today, the internet and mobile platforms make it possible to do business in all sorts of new ways. Then again, the digital era has also made it possible for savvy entrepreneurs to improve on age-old business models. Like the barter economy. And come up with something better. Stephanie's guests on Out to Lunch exemplify those trends.
Chip Davis is president and CEO of the Trade Authority. It’s a Baton Rouge organization that is almost its own country - with its own currency! The TRade Authority supplies software, technical services and know-how to barter exchanges.
Chip knows something about this. He and 12 other partners founded the very successful Partners One Exchange in Baton Rouge in 2000. In the years since, Trade Authority has grown to 650 members, who spend trade dollars backed by goods and services amongst themselves on the exchange. The success of Partners One is what prompted Chip several years ago to create the Trade Authority, adn spread it across the country.
Warren Sager is a founding board member of the Trade Exchange and the board chairman of Partners One. Warren also has a thriving internet retail business – Internet Retail Connection – which operates several different internet retail sites out of Warrne's spare bedroom and had revenues last year of 3 million dollars.
Among the sites under the Internet Retail Connection umbrella is the company’s flagship, Knife Depot.com, which carries more than 10-thousand knives and is the largest knife retailer on the internet.
Warren also owns Hybrid Racing.com, the only source in the world for proprietary designed auto engine parts for Hondas and Acuras that allow you to turn your HOnfa into a modified race car.