257 episodes

OUT TO LUNCH Business over lunch. Each week Christiaan invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join him. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.

It's Acadiana: Out to Lunch ItsAcadiana.com

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

OUT TO LUNCH Business over lunch. Each week Christiaan invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join him. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.

    Larger Than Life-ayette

    Larger Than Life-ayette

    Just because we’re 1,800 miles away from the other L.A., doesn’t mean you can’t have a career in Hollywood. 

    State tax incentives have lured productions to Louisiana over the last decade or so. And that’s given a lot of local talent an opportunity to work in the industry without making the leap of faith in Los Angeles. 

    You’ve probably heard of some big budget films and TV shows shot in Louisiana. I’m thinking of Morgan Freeman sightings and Blackham Coliseum’s cameo in the Secretariat biopic. 

    Hollywood’s venture eastward has given expat talent a reason to come home — without giving up their day jobs. 

    You might know Christiaan's guest from appearances in True Detective, Cedric the Entertainer and My Amazing Cheap Date New Orleans. 

    Amy Brassette is an actor and producer born and raised in Lake Charles. She specializes in voice acting and is known for disappearing into characters. She does a lot of voice-over work, and you’ve heard her characters on the Simpsons, Duck Dodgers and the computer game Everquest.

    Movie magic is one thing. How about something more up close and personal?

    Stand-up comedy is a tough game to crack into, so it helps to have a solid hook — like a Jedi mind trick. 

    Flip Orley is a comic and a hypnotist. Flip got interested in hypnotism at an early age, later honing his techniques with some psychology courses at the University of Arizona.

    Since then, he’s made a career billing himself as America’s premier comic hypnotist. He also develops audio downloads for the clinical applications of hypnotism: you can get tapes of Flip coaching you through stress management, weight control and working on your poker game.

    Flip tours nationally but lives right here in Lafayette.

    Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. You can find photos from this on itsacadiana.com. And check out Flip Orley's previous appearance on Out to Lunch with equally wisecracking Johnny Blancher from Rock'n'Bowl.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 29 min
    The Wildcatter Mentality

    The Wildcatter Mentality

    Acadiana is famous for the wildcatter mentality. It’s a frame of mind inherited from the early days of the region’s oil industry, when lone prospectors went drilling until they struck black gold. 

    You can see the attitude just about everywhere. Lafayette has a really high level of entrepreneurship. Around 11% of the workforce is made up of business owners, a ratio competitive with innovation meccas like Austin, Texas. 

    So it's not so much about what we're making, but how we make it. It's the spirit of the region. 

    David Meaux is working to make rum the spirit of the region as founder and master distiller of Wildcat Brothers. Wildcat is the second rum distillery in Louisiana and the first in Acadiana. It sources its flagship brand of small batch rums from local sugar cane. 

    The goal is to make sipping rum, something you can enjoy neat, up, or on the rocks. David is a lawyer by training and founded Wildcat in 2011. Today you can find bottles of their flagship Sweet Crude rum in 40 states. 

    Acadiana wouldn’t have much spirit without music. And in the wildcatter mentality, Dustin Gaspard has made a go of breaking into the region’s music scene as a singer-songwriter, an unusual track for a culture best known for dance music. 

    Dustin grew up in Cow Island but went all-in on his dream with a move to Lafayette. No car, no job, no place to sleep. 

    In 2016 Dustin suffered severe damage to his vocal chords, forcing him to change how he used his voice and inspiring him to hone his craft. 

    Dustin has released several singles and put out the record Hoping Heaven Got a Kitchen in 2022. 

    On this edition of Out to Lunch Acadiana, Jan Swift sits in for Christiaan Mader who's off on an assignment for the New York Times and NPR. 

    Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. You can see photos from this show by Astor Morgan at itsacadiana.com. And check out recent lunchtime conversation with entertainer and creator of the Janky Piano show Hunter DeBlanc and selfie impresario Carlie Faulk.

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    The Williamses

    The Williamses

    When you look good, you feel good. More and more men are catching on to that concept. In 2022, the men’s personal care industry was projected to hit $166 billion, according to market analysts. Combine that with growing consumer interest about what goes in the stuff you put on your face or beard, and it’s a prime opportunity for entrepreneurship. 

    And MacRoyce Williams, is what you might call a serial entrepreneur.

    Most of the time you can find Mac cutting fades at Da Woss Ness Barber and Beauty Shop in Lafayette. And while you’re there, you can pick up a tincture of StingerDrops Beard Oil, an all natural line of beard oil drops so wholesome…you can eat them. 

    Mac also runs TJ & Skyy Entreprises, which include a used car dealership.

    Mac was born and raised in St. Martinville and is a 2021 graduate of the Accelerate Northside entrepreneurship program. 

    The secret to StingerDrops quality is the ingredients, which Mac sources right in his own backyard. Leah Williams, Mac’s wife and business partner, runs Joelle’s Magic Herbs and Plants. 

    Leah grew up gardening and decided to turn her hobby into a business during the pandemic. The garden produces flowers, succulents and of course vegetables and herbs. It’s set up as an education center too. Groups can walk the gardens and pick produce, while getting to know the process from seed, to plant, to table, as Leah likes to say. 

    Leah is also a teacher and has spent 19 years in special education. And also 2021 graduate of Accelerate Northside and has a certification in Sustainable Urban Agriculture.

    Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. You can find photos from this show by Astor Morgan. at itsacadiana.com. 

    And check out recent lunchtime conversation about Northside Lafayette entrepreneurship Creole Nutcracker and Parc Village.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 30 min
    Creole Nutcracker

    Creole Nutcracker

    The Creole Nutcracker isn't a kitchen implement, it's a Creole version of the classic Christmas kid's ballet, Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. And it comes from right here in Acadiana. To put this diversity-inspired ballet in current context, let's take a step back and look at where we are with inclusion in general.

    We tend to think of advocacy as something nonprofits and community groups do. But more entrepreneurs are blending business and social justice in their startups.  This isn’t corporate social responsibility. It’s social entrepreneurship. And it begins with the idea that every community can and should thrive. 

    Grassroots social entrepreneurs work at the neighborhood level and start enterprises that try to solve social problems or address community gaps. For example, "Is there a food desert?" Start a farm stand. "A lack of housing?" Start a community housing development organization. "Do people need a place to gather and create?" How about a village.

    In 2021, Leigha Porter did just that with Parc Village on Lafayette’s Northside. It’s a community arts center that hosts talks, art exhibitions, dances classes, music lessons, a podcast studio and a conference room. Leigha calls it an “intentional creative space.” 

    Leigha is a decorated movement artist with a background in ballet, modern and jazz dance. Her work as a dancer and choreographer has appeared on BET and at Disney World. And if you're waiting to see for how this all ties in to The Creole Nutcracker, hang in there for just one more moment.

    Parc Village is also the home of Heritage Parc, an arts mentorship program which Leigha co-founded with Jazmyn Jones. Leigha and Jazmyn have known each other for a long time. And together they are the minds behind the Creole Nutcracker. BAM!  The duo began producing the Louisiana Creole spin on the Christmas ballet in 2018 and it has since become a smash hit annual tradition. 

    In 2021, Jazmyn started Creole Grounds, a mobile coffee service that she runs outside of Parc Village.  She's also a well-traveled dancer and has performed with Debbie Allen and Houston’s Urban Souls Ballet Company. Fun fact: Jazmyn’s first dance teacher was Leigha.

    Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. You can find photos from this show by Astor Morgan at our website itsacadiana.com.

    And check out recent lunch time conversation about another Acadiana stage spectacular, The Janky Piano Show.

     

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    Janky Selfie

    Janky Selfie

    The 21st Century has spawned an entire new class of entrepreneur: The influencer. No, it’s not just another word for celebrity. Influencers are more like traveling salesmen, except they don’t have to leave home. (Unless they’re selling travel.)

    It’s kind of an ingenious business idea. Startup costs are low. A ring light, a smartphone and an Instagram account is really all you need. 

    Marketing firms are spending gobs of money on influencers now to hock their products. The sector now tops about $10 billion annually. Give it a little more time, and there will be influencer classes at your local business school.

    Selfie

    The industry is big enough that it’s spawned a support industry. Someone has to make those ring lights and selfie sticks. And the need to have bigger and better production has inspired businesses like Exposure Selfies, here in Lafayette.

    If you pass it on Jefferson Street, you might think it’s a giant photo booth. But owner Carlie Faulk prefers the term "selfie studio." Content creators and influencers use her space — which includes 5000 square feet and 30 different rotating background installations — to run all kinds of shoots. 

    It can also be booked for private events, birthdays and Botox parties!  Carlie grew up in St. Amant and launched Exposure Selfies in 2021. 

    Janky

    Some spectacles just don’t work on a mobile device. Even in the 21st century, for some events, it’s better just to be there. And that’s pretty much the best way to describe the Janky Piano Show, the brainchild of Lafayette-based musician Hunter DeBlanc. 

    Janky Piano Show is an over-the-top variety show. It pipes in pop-culture nostalgia with pre-taped video parodies, a wheel of fortune for song requests and some pretty wild audience participation. At the center of the madness is Hunter himself, who plays MC and piano-man. 

    The show began as a way of jazzing up a weekly residency and has grown into a pretty complex production, requiring stage hands and costume changes. Hunter likes to describe it as a “Saturday Night Live piano bar…except it’s a whiskey fueled dumpster fire.” 

    On that note, sponsors took note of the show and have begun underwriting it.

    Hunter grew up in Opelousas and has also spent time working cruise lines as a piano player. You can check out his pre-Janky-era appearance on Out to Lunch Acadiana at our website itsacadiana.com.

    Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. You can find photos from this show by Astor Morgan at https://itsacadiana.com/2022/04/05/janky-selfie/ 

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min
    Learn to Fly and Swim

    Learn to Fly and Swim

    Around 71% of the earth is water. Give it a few more years of sea level rise and we’ll top 80, no problem. 

    In Louisiana, we’ve lived with water a long time. And for a lot of kids, that begins with swim lessons.  At some point in nearly every child’s life, they get thrown into the deep end. It’s a good idea they know how to swim, so they don’t sink. 

    And a staggering number of kids don’t know how to swim. A 2017 study found 65% of Black children, 45% of Hispanic children and 40% of white children don’t know how to swim. 

    Colleen Baczyk, founder of City of Lafayette Aquatics - better known as COLA - has been swimming against that tide for 20 years. The program began with just five swimmers in 2002 and now reaches around 250 kids children each year through competitive programs and summer swim lessons.  

    COLA runs the Southwest Louisiana Swim League, working with high school and middle school swim teams in the area. And Colleen has been a competitive swimmer herself since she was 5 years old and is also a chiropractor with Barczyk Chiropractic Group. 

    If you’re scared of the ocean but not heights, then maybe the open skies are a better place for you.

    Lafayette is home to Acadian Aviation, one of the few full-time flight training schools in the state. The flight school was founded by Raja Gharazeddine. 

    Raja got his pilot’s license at 30, bought his first plane at 34 and left the restaurant business in 2007 to launch Acadian Aviation. Over the years, Raja’s students have shifted from people looking for a high-flying hobby to people looking for careers.

    Acadian Aviation partners with Fort Polk to help military aviators get civilian credentials. In 2022, Raja kicked off a partnership with LSU Alexandria to offer a professional aviation program, one of only two in the state. 

    Acadian Aviation also offers charter flight services out of Lafayette Regional Airport.

    Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. You can find photos from this show by Astor Morgan at our website itsacadiana.com.  

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min

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