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.
Photo by Rick Lineberger
You’d have to be a certain age and have a certain kind of musical taste to remember Peter Allen singing, “All our dreams will come true again, when everything old is new again.” Today on Out to Lunch Peter is talking with two business people who are taking old fashioned taste and recycling it for a new market. Their businesses couldn’t be more different. But their reinvention of products based on a more innocent past are strangely similar.
John Petersen is taking Louisiana sugar cane and natural local flavors like Ponchatoula strawberries, satsumas, and ginger, and bottling it as soft drink with the label Swamp Pop.
Bella Blue is taking us back to a time long before Bourbon Street was home to Hustler, with her New Orleans School of Burlesque.
The phenomenal success of Swamp Pop is surprising, even to John. He puts it down partially to his company's approach to marketing Swamp Pop as a treat rather than as a thirst quencher.
Bella explains that, along with New York, New Orleans was the home of Burlesque when it was born in the mid 1800's and with performances and classes flourishing, is again leading the way in its resurgence.