It's New Orleans: Out To Lunch



OUT TO LUNCH finds economist and Tulane finance professor Peter Ricchiuti conducting business New Orleans style: over lunch at Commander's Palace restaurant. Each week Peter invites guests from the New Orleans business renaissance to join him. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Inc magazine have all named New Orleans the best city in the USA to be an entrepreneur. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the new New Orleans entrepreneurial movement. You can also hear the show on WWNO 89.9FM.


  • Couture Costume - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    12/09/2019 Duración: 29min

    If you grow up in New Orleans, you don't realize till some point later in life that the rest of the country doesn't live like you do. Sure, other places have smooth streets, and you can make a left at the lights without having to go another half-block and make a U-turn, but they don't have the music we do. They don't have the food we do. And another thing most people in America don't have, is a part of their closet or a big storage bin devoted to costumes. Here, we all have a collection of costumes ready for anything from Mardi Gras to Halloween. Some of us also have a collection of wigs, and many of us have masks. And, since 2011 things have gotten even better for serious costumers. That's when Wingate Jones opened his Southern Costume Company. Wingate's New Orleans Southern Costume Company provides costumes for movies and TV shows that are produced down here, including Academy Award winning 12 Years A Slave, True Detective, and many more. Another thing that is different about life in New Orleans compa

  • Talking Chimneys - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    22/08/2019 Duración: 23min

    If you're on social media for any amount of time, you frequently stumble across a meme reminding you, you should stop and smell the roses. Most of us would agree with that advice. But we're too busy to do anything about it. If you really did take the time to stop and appreciate everything around you, you'd be aware of lot of things that you take for granted. For example, how often do you stand in front of your house and remark, "It's a great day. My house didn't burn down today." Norman Smith's working life is devoted to making sure your house doesn't catch fire. Norman's company is called A Noble Chimney Sweep Services. Norman and his fleet of three trucks and 6 guys do, in fact, clean chimneys. They also prevent fire hazards with a host of services, including maintaining clothes dryer vents - a significant cause of house fires. Another thing you probably take for granted is what's called Executive Functioning: that list of stuff you need to get done today. You might have another list for the week, and

  • Travel & The Gig Economy - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    15/08/2019 Duración: 29min

    According to the most recent official figures, around 18 million tourists now visit New Orleans every year. And they spend nearly nine billion dollars while they're here. Financial pundits keep telling us here in New Orleans that we need to diversify our economy, but nobody is telling that tourists and more and more of them keep on coming. This, in turn, employs more and more New Orleanians. But critics say the downside to this kind of growth is that work in the hospitality industry is low paid and there is no career path to success. Try telling that to Warren Reuther. Around 55 years ago, Warren and his brother-in-law built an RV park for tourists. To try and make a little extra money out of their visitors, they started organizing tours of the city. When the tours started to get popular, the boys bought their own tour bus. Today, their family owned company, Hospitality Enterprises, is made up of nine different businesses, including New Orleans Tours, Jean Lafitte Swamp and Airboat Tours, the Airport

  • Jelly Bean Dance - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    08/08/2019 Duración: 29min

    If you're a person of a certain age, you can amuse children by telling them stories of what it was like growing up in the pre-helicopter-parent era. Nobody took you anywhere in an SUV. If you had to go to soccer practice, you found your own way there. And during lunch and recess at school you could climb around on the jungle gym which was a set of steel bars set into concrete. If you fell off of the jungle gym and broke your arm, leg, or teeth - well, that was just what kids did and nobody seemed to care too much. This is the point where you might want to stop and admit how stupid that last part of your childhood story is. Everybody knows kids are going to fall off of playground equipment. Why wouldn't you put something other than concrete underneath it? Today, we do. One of the products that kids fall off of playground equipment onto today is called Jelly Bean Rubber Mulch. Nic Campesi, founder and CEO of Jelly Bean rubber mulch, joins Peter Ricchiuti on this edition of Out to Lunch. Like play, another

  • Propeller 2019 - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    01/08/2019 Duración: 29min

    If you're starting out in business, or you're at an early stage of development, an incubator will help you with your business plan, your strategy for growth, and other guidance. They may even introduce you to investors. But, like being admitted to a good college, getting accepted into an incubator can be competitive. And, despite the best of intentions, the outcome of that competition is not always without bias, or solely merit-based. That's why, in 2009, an incubator and business accelerator calling itself Propeller started up here in New Orleans. Propeller is designed to help small businesses and non-profits in the areas of community economic development, food, water, health, and education. These areas, they say, have both "significant inequities, and proven market opportunities for local entrepreneurs to implement solutions." Andrea Chen is Executive Director of Propeller. On this edition of Out to Lunch, Andrea introduces two winners of the 2019 Propeller business pitch competition, Pitch NOLA. J

  • Chefs and CBD - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    11/07/2019 Duración: 29min

    Have you ever fantasized about how you're going to walk into work one day and tell them you're quitting? You're moving to Colorado and you're going to grow pot. Shane Mutter was President of Doerr Furniture when he did something close to that. It wasn't quite as dramatic, and it's not exactly pot he's growing, it's the non pot-smoking version of cannabis, the stuff you make CBD from. Today Shane is the national sales and marketing director of a company called Seed2System that farms hemp, processes it, and turns it into CBD. Barrie Schwartz has found a way to bring two elements together that are seldom seen in the same place: a large group of people - like a convention - and awesome food. Barrie's company, My House Social, funnels talented New Orleans chefs into commercial kitchens. It's a unique concept, and it all started, like so many good ideas, at a dinner party. Actually, a lot of dinner parties. Photos over lunch at Commander's Palace by Jill Lafleur.

  • Trust Your Crazy Ideas - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    27/06/2019 Duración: 29min

    The Idea Village started at the turn of the 21st Century as a rebellious reaction to the business-as-usual cabal who, through an interlocking web of clubs, krewes, families, and cronyism, controlled most of the purse-strings in a then-shrinking New Orleans. Six years later, in the wake of the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, The Idea Village played a pivotal role in totally changing the business landscape of New Orleans. With literally nothing left to lose here, The Idea Village led the way in establishing a fearless approach to creating a whole new startup, entrepreneurial business culture, under the banner, "Trust your crazy ideas." Today, New Orleans today is a new-business hub, with over 64% more entrepreneurial activity than the national average. And Jon Atkinson is CEO of The Idea Village. Dianna Liu, founder and President of ARIX Technologies, and Josh Johnston, co-founder and President of TrayAway, are in the Idea Village class of 2019. Arix Technologies makes robots for the ene

  • Old Money - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    20/06/2019 Duración: 29min

    When you start up a business, you're looking to hit milestones to reassure yourself things are going in the right direction. One of those milestones is simply being able to keep the doors open for the first year. And if you're still going two years after starting up, you can be pretty confident that your business plan is working. However, no matter how much of a forward-looking strategic thinker you might be, there is very little chance that you'll have a strategy for dealing with what happens in year 50. That's the position Joni Friedman-Lagasse finds herself in. When Joni's father passed away after a long illness, in 1969, Joni's mother started a company to keep all the caregivers employed who she'd assembled to care of her husband. Joni's mom called the company Dependable In-Home Care. When Joni was 28, her mother passed away, and Joni took over the company. Today, Dependable In-Home Care is 50 years old, it has 6 full time employees and over 170 active caregivers. And Joni is still President. The obje

  • Education 2019 - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    13/06/2019 Duración: 29min

    Whether we're talking about economics, health, home ownership, personal income, or a host of other issues, we're often quick to suggest we can relate every outcome to one word: education. But, like everything else, education is not as simple as it sounds. If you're a teacher or an administrator in the education system you're forever looking for new and better ways to improve. One of those improved methods of education is provided by a local New Orleans company called Whetstone. Whetstone is an organizational platform for teachers that is in 1,000 schools across America, and in 6 countries. The CEO of Whetstone, Libby Fischer, is one of the most impressive people in New Orleans business. Hassan Hassan is CEO of the education ideas and business incubator, 4.0 Schools. If you're involved in education - you might be a teacher or even a student - and you have an idea for how something might be improved, you can take your germ of an idea to 4.0 Schools and people who know how to grow ideas into viable busi

  • Budget Pnuts - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    30/05/2019 Duración: 29min

    If you're like most people, when you do your taxes once a year you're genuinely surprised at the numbers staring up at you. You can't believe how much you spent on various items. Maybe it's car repair. School supplies. Travel. Eating out. Shoes. Or even groceries. You're so surprised at how much you spent, compared to how much you earned, that you tell yourself you won't do that again next year. Then, of course, next year rolls around and you see you've repeated the same pattern. If you're 12 times more determined than most people to exercise financial control, you go through this exercise once a month, when you look at your bank statement or credit card bill. Budget Bee Financial Wellness is a service that sets out to break this pattern of retroactive remorse. Budget Bee turns you into a person who looks forward instead of backward, so, like a business, you know your expenses ahead of time, and you end up making a profit at the end of the month. The founder and owner of Budget Bee Financial Wellness is

  • Marjie's Vid - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    23/05/2019 Duración: 29min

    One criticism that used to be levelled at New Orleans was that we have a thousand restaurants but only ten recipes. Every restaurant served a variation of gumbo, jambalaya and fried seafood. Those days are gone. Take, for example, Marjie's Grill on Broad Street. Not only is Marjie's a popular New Orleans restaurant, it was named one of the best new restaurants in America by Bon Appetit magazine. It servesSouth East Asian street food along with local food from the Gulf. Caitlin Carney is co-founder and CEO of Marjie's Grill, and today's she's sampling the more traditional stylings of Commander's Palace as Peter Ricchiuti's guest on Out to Lunch. Max Cusimano is at the lunch table too. Max is a video producer, director and owner of the video production company NOLA Vid. If you've checked out a video for a New Orleans restaurant on YELP lately, you can be pretty sure Max shot it. As well as making videos for restaurants, NOLA Vid makes videos for companies as diverse as Zillow, Daimler, and Walmart.

  • Peanuts Pot 'n Syrup - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    16/05/2019 Duración: 29min

    It's probably no exaggeration to say that the boom in entrepreneurial business in New Orleans wouldn't have happened without the business incubator, Idea Village. Robbie Vitrano was one of the founders of Idea Village. He was also one of the founders of the ad agency Trumpet and the revolutionary Naked Pizza. Today, Robbie talk to Peter Ricchiuti about his newest ventures, among them Good Spread, peanut butter that's, literally, setting out to change the world, and Uncanny Wellness, a company with a unique approach to CBD: it's water soluble, so you can add it to your coffee, shake, or even maple syrup if you'd like. And talking of syrup, Dr Bill Accousti is the creator of Dr Bill's Syrup, a brand new blend of cane syrup and maple syrup. Because Dr Bill is also an orthopedic surgeon, Dr Bill's syrup has your daily dose of Vitamin D in every serving. This is a fascinating conversation, ranging over many entrepreneurial subjects. Robbie is a veteran entrepreneur whose experiences include working wi

  • P J Waitr - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    02/05/2019 Duración: 29min

    For most of recorded history, we humans have had a home from which we have gone forth to find food. Now, things have changed. Today, thanks to food delivery apps like Waitr, we can stay home and have food brought to us. In the course of human activity, it's a fundamental shift. Maybe that's why Waitr has caused such a sensation. Starting life in Lake Charles in 2015, Waitr is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with projected revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Chris Meaux founded Waitr in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and launched the Waitr app in 2015. Today, Chris is the Chairman and CEO of Waitr, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has a capital valuation of hundreds of millions of dollars, and is talked about in some circles as following in the footprints of WalMart. David Mesa is Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at a company called Ballard Brands. Maybe you've never heard of Ballard Brands, but you've no doubt heard of their outlets - over 100 PJ's Coff

  • What Do You Know - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    18/04/2019 Duración: 28min

    There's a fine line between business and gambling. In both, you're taking an amount of money and by doing something with it hoping to make it into a larger amount of money. Real gamblers will tell you it's not all chance, there's an element of skill in whatever it is they're doing. Real business people will tell you what they're doing is not all skill, there's an element of luck. What Andy Ellis is doing at Lucid, is helping business people lessen their risk by using research to increase their knowledge of the market. With over 1,000 clients in 92 countries they describe it as "the power of human answers on a massive scale." Johnny Culpepper is the New Orleans Director of another international company, Accruent. With over 10,000 customers in 150 countries, Accruent is the world's leading manager of physical assets - from factories to hospitals and stores. Photos over lunch at Commander's Palace by Jill Lafleur.

  • Intellectual Property - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    11/04/2019 Duración: 29min

    Whether you're listening to this as a podcast, or on the radio, you're not paying for it. You're not stealing it. So you're on the right side of the law. But when you listen to a song on YouTube, or you repost a photo on Facebook, can you be sure that's totally legal? As a consumer, it can be hard to know. If you're the creator of intellectual property, like music or photographs, and that's how you make your living, it's equally hard to know who's paying for and who's stealing your work. Photographer Cheryl Gerber deals with this constantly. Keeping track of where photographs are showing up is a part of doing business as a photographer these days. Michael Leachman is a specialist intellectual property attorney at the law firm of Jones Walker. Michael deals with patents, copyrights, and other areas where ideas and the real world intersect. Photos over lunch at Commander's Palace by Jill Lafleur.

  • One World - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    04/04/2019 Duración: 28min

    Typically, on shows about business, hosts and guests talk about business in a way that avoids discussion of politics, socio-economic conditions, or social activism. In the real world, though, business is connected to everything else in our community. And so, once in a while, it's valuable to acknowledge that, and to talk to people who are in the business of creating social change. Melissa Sawyer is CEO and Executive Director of an organization called Youth Empowerment Project. YEP, as it's known, works with young adults in New Orleans who are neither in school nor working. Through education, mentorship, and work training, YEP fosters both work and community. Seth Stanton is CEO of Miles 4 Migrants, an organization that collects donated airmiles from frequent flier programs and uses them to reunite families separated by war or persecution. Photos over lunch in the wine room at Commander's Palace by April Stolf.

  • Recharging - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    28/03/2019 Duración: 29min

    You can break everything in the world down to the cellular level. Cells create energy. And energy is what runs you, me, and every contraption we've built, from cell phones to the world wide web. When energy ebbs, things get bad. Have you ever had your cell service go out on your phone? Or, personally, have you felt so worn out during the middle of the afternoon that you don't know how you're going to make it to the end of the day? Peter Ricchiuti's guests on this edition of Out to Lunch are solving both these problems. Chris Mangum's company, Servato, specializes in keeping the battery power turned on for cell towers, and other parts of the telecommunications industry. Carol Morse's company, Acalli Chocolate, takes cacao beans from Peru and Mexico, and, in a workshop in Gretna, makes high-end chocolate that is sold all over the US. Photos over lunch at Commander's Palace by Jill Lafleur. Photo of Alison making chocolate: Erin Krall

  • NOCHI - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    07/03/2019 Duración: 29min

    If you eat out in New Orleans you've probably noticed two things. One, there seem to be a lot more restaurants to choose from these days. And, two, everywhere you go seems to be busy. You're right on both counts. New Orleans has more restaurants than ever. Over twelve hundred. And we have a larger population than we've had in some time, so that means more people eating out. Although this is a good trend for the hospitality industry, it comes with one problem: competition. Not just for diners, but competition for accomplished staff. If you own a restaurant, you want to be able to hire staff with experience. Until now there hasn't been anywhere here to get that experience, except a restaurant. That's where the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute comes in. As of January 2019, 301 years after it was settled and 100 years after it established itself as one of America's food hubs, New Orleans has a school dedicated to cooking and hospitality. Ti Martin is the co-founder of NOCHI. Ti knows a thing

  • Hollywood South 2: The Resurrection - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    28/02/2019 Duración: 29min

    Movie plots often fall into one of a number of formulas. One of them is "Local boy makes good." Both of Peter Ricchiuti's guests on this edition of Out to Lunch fall into that category. Nobody is making a movie about either of them, but they're both making movies. Trey Burvant grew up in Covington. After a successful nationwide and international career as an actor, Trey returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Today, Trey continues to act, as well as write and produce movies, and he's the Studio Director at Second Line Stages Film Studio. Scott Niemeyer grew up in Algiers. After spending 30 years building Gold Circle Films a successful film production business in Hollywood that has produced hit movies like Pitch Perfect and the sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Scott is back on the West Bank where he is building a $64m film studio, called Deep South Studios. The movie business in Louisiana is as dramatic as Gone With The Wind. Its fortunes have ebbed and flowed largely as a result of the S

  • Mardi Gras Mansions - Out to Lunch - It's New Orleans

    21/02/2019 Duración: 27min

    One of the great things about the movie The Wizard of OZ, is the discovery that what makes everything in this magical world happen, is the man behind the curtain. Without likening New Orleans to Oz, there is a lot of magic here. From Mardi Gras to the splendor of the mansions in the Garden District. And, because it's New Orleans and not Oz, sometimes the man behind the curtain, is a woman. Eleanor Farnsworth is one of those women. Eleanor is a real estate agent whose name is synonymous with sales of the highest priced homes in New Orleans. Suzanne Peron St Paul is another of those women. Suzanne is an internationally acclaimed fashion designer who returned to her New Orleans home and now works principally designing and manufacturing fashion for Mardi Gras, and weddings. It doesn't get much more New Orleans than talking about Mardi Gras and mansions, over lunch at Commander's. On this edition of Out to Lunch, Peter Ricchiuti gives a voice to two of the usually silent forces behind two of New Orleans'

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