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.
Baton Rouge may not be the first place you think of in connection with high fashion. But there’s one notable exception: Haspel. It's the company that invented the seersucker suit - more than a century ago. Today Haspel continues to redefine that classic staple of the southern wardrobe, while also designing some of the trendiest and most sought-after looks for fashion-conscious gentlemen.
Laurie Aaronson is President of Haspel, and the granddaughter of the company’s founder, Joseph Haspel.
While Haspel has a long and venerable tradition in the fashion world, an upstart company with a focus on footwear is also starting to gain notice. The company is Sorority Inspired Sandals and, as its name implies, its makes stylish sandals that bear the logos of Greek organizations. The products are becoming a must-have item for sororities throughout the SEC and S.I.S is hatching plans to sell beyond the sorority sisters.
Dene Mathies, along with her daughter, is co-founder of Sorority Inspired Sandals.
Richard Hanley doesn’t have anything to do with high fashion or footwear but he's a Baton Rouge entrepreneur who, like Laurie and Dene, has a passion for his product. Richard has a line of salad dressings, Hanley’s, that can be found on the shelves of more than 300 supermarkets, which is pretty impressive considering he started out less than four years ago. Hanleys Foods is getting ready to go national and, as Richard puts it, "take down Hidden Valley."