My father bought a pecan orchard along the historic Cane River in Natchitoches Parish in 1969. That was the start of our family in the pecan industry. During the past 47 years we have been growers, shellers, and retailers of pecans. It wasn’t until the mid-1980’s that our mail order program was established and we began to sell gourmet pecans to local businesses as a corporate business gift option. In 2002 I moved home to Acadiana from Chicago where I was working for the Chicago Bears to help lead the company into the 2000s. Since that move we have expanded in many ways including, and most notably, our entrée to online marketing and sales which continues to grow at a rapid pace.
What would you tell the rest of Acadiana makes you special?
We are completely committed to the quality of our specialty pecan products first and foremost. We are not going to offer any product that is not simply outstanding. Secondly, we would like to think of ourselves as your corporate gifting partner. We realize that our gourmet pecan gifts are an extension of your corporate brand experience and we take that partnership seriously. And finally, our ability to handle large and complex business gift lists makes us a breeze to work with. We want to lessen the burden of the gifting process so you can get back to what you do best.
What are you most proud of?
I have been most proud that we have been able to represent the best of South Louisiana with our array of products and services to myriad of business industries throughout the country. We have clients in all 50 states and routinely ship our products internationally.
Where do you see your business in 10 years? What are your plans for the future? Ten years?
Total pecan domination of course! Out of the way peanuts…Honestly, we have lots of plans. We would like to create a flagship retail experience somewhere here in the South Louisiana region where tourists can learn more about the pecan and Louisiana’s prominent role in the promotion and success of pecans. We want to expand our mail order reach. And we want to continue to grow our online penetration. And most important we want to make sure we stay rooted in the culture of South Louisiana and play our part in protecting our heritage, music, and love for all foods created with God’s gift to the South – pecans.
1A is “Focused on Forward” – meaning we are taking an active role of improving the community we live in. Our members are Focused on Forward, too! - What does Focused on Forward mean to you? How is your company Focused on Forward?
It is up to all of us to hold on to our past, our heritage, our Acadiana culture – which is so very unique, but we have to do it while still keeping an eye on the future. So how do we continue to hold on to the best of the past while moving towards our brave new future? That is the trick. You start with focus, mindful and intentional ideas. I believe One Acadiana has the ability to pull parishes and various industries together to do just that. I believe in strength in numbers. I believe our region, with leadership at One Acadiana, is poised to rise up and embrace a future made up of business diversity without losing our cultural identity. I am pumped for the future of our region and what Acadiana has the power and promise to be.