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.
Ryan Grizzafi is the owner of The Cajun Spoon, a four-year-old company that makes healthful, easy to prepare box mixes of beloved Cajun dishes like gumbo, etouffe and shrimp and grits.
The Cajun Spoon started out as a food truck in 2014, progressed to become a catering business, and more recently has ventured into retail. To stand out from other, established, Cajun dinner products, Grizzafi’s company has adjusted its recipes to make them healthier, so they are low in sodium, use fresh, local ingredients and contain no MSG or artificial flavoring.
The Cajun Spoon also has a higher mission: for everyone box sold, the company donates one meal to the local food bank. It also donates part of its proceeds to a scholarship fund at the LSU Ag Center.
Sean Rivera is a food entrepreneur, chef and partner in several restaurants. He's also an advocate for foodies and chefs in Baton Rouge. Sean has a social media brand, Foodie Patutie, which has some 150-thousand followers on Twitter and Instagram. He’s also created a Chef’s Guild, #Gastreauxnomica, and is a brand ambassador for the growing Rouses Supermarket chain. But, believe it not, those are all side gigs. Sean’s bread and butter comes from a couple of bar and restaurants he owns, including Driftwood Cask and Barrel downtown, Coquille’s River & Rye in Madisonville, and this fall, he plans to open a restaurant in The Myrtles in St. Francisville.
Yes, food is still big business is South Louisiana, and just when you think you've heard it all, along comes a new generation of food entreptreneurs.
Stephanie Riegel talks with Ryan Grizzafi and Sean Rivera over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard in Baton Rouge.