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
Self styled "Emperor of the Universe" entertainer Ernie K-Doe used to say that besides New Orleans being the birthplace of jazz, he was pretty sure everything came from New Orleans. When you tell people that grocery giant Whole Foods started here in New Orleans - on Esplanade Avenue - you generally get the same response you'd expect k-Doe would have gotten with his wild claim. To support the Whole Foods creation story we get to hear it today first hand from one of its creators.
John Elstrott was there on day one and today he is Chairman of Whole Foods Market. John tells Peter Ricchiuti the fascinating tale of the birth of the health food giant and the equally fascinating tales of what's ahead.
Peter's other lunch guest today is also on track to become the stuff legends are made of.
Michael Hecht is CEO of GNO Inc. In this role and in his previous tour of duty in post-Katrina State Government in Baton Rouge, Michael Hecht is one of the most significant architects of Louisiana's recovery and New Orleans' sensational business resurgence.
Recorded over lunch at Commander's Palace this conversation is a true meeting of the minds.