Capital One Gives Local Business a Boost, During This Weekend’s National Fried Chicken Festival
NEW ORLEANS — With three stages of live music, a “bottomless bubbles” lounge, and savory delights from restaurants around town, this weekend’s National Fried Chicken Festival, presented by Raising Cane’s, guarantees revelers a good time.
But the free event staged at Woldenberg Riverfront Park also provides its 35 participating food vendors a prime opportunity to promote their business, by showcasing their culinary talents to a crowd of 200,000 people.
This year, LaDelyo’s Creole Catering, an onsite catering and food truck business, will serve flavorful bites from within Capital One’s vendor booth. Yolanda Carter and Ardell Walters, sisters and owners of the catering company, will offer fried chicken drummers, drizzled in jalapeño honey glaze, and garnished with crispy jalapeños; and a fried boneless chicken filet, resting on a bed of fresh greens.
As the official bank sponsor of the National Fried Chicken Festival, Capital One offers a vendor booth to a local graduate of its small business development program called Getting Down to Business.
“Getting Down to Business addresses the core needs of small businesses. The program offers business owners an opportunity to grow their business by increasing their knowledge of credit, budgeting, marketing, accounting, and cash flow,” said Mark Boucree, head of community development banking and small business efforts for Capital One in Louisiana and Texas. “It also includes a match savings component where businesses are asked to save up to $1,000 during the program. We match that savings one-to-one upon program completion. That money is meant for staffing, or the purchase of equipment.”
Also, business owners are paired with professionals who serve as mentors during the program, said Boucree.
“We encourage them to keep those mentors even after the program so that they have someone to bounce ideas off of, and get perspectives on how they can better run their business,” he said.
Boucree discovered LaDelyo’s Creole Catering at an event in 2011, the same year Capital One launched Getting Down to Business. More than 45 businesses had applied for the program’s inaugural year; LaDelyo’s was one of 15 businesses chosen, and they have noticed an improvement in how they’ve run their operations since then.
“I always say the cooking part, the food part, that’s a part of who we are as native New Orleanians. Everybody’s got their flavor,” said Carter. “But to pair that with the business end of it is where we lacked. The training and the ability to network with others helped us go in the right direction and give us the exposure that we need. It was intense, but most rewarding.”
The sisters also finished first place in a recent cook-off competition for graduates of the Capital One Getting Down to Business Program and the Capital One-supported Catapult Fund. This accomplishment secured their spot in the fourth annual National Fried Chicken Festival, which takes place on Friday, Sep. 20, through Sunday, Sep. 22. Times vary.
Yolanda said that being able to participate in the event is “a dream come true.”
“Just handing out your business cards exposes you and gives you a first-hand introduction to people who get to taste what you offer,” said Yolanda, explaining how she hopes to expand LaDelyo’s business through the food truck, but also onsite catering and pop-up events. “This will be a wonderful way to catapult it.”
Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur is the associate news editor of BizNewOrleans.com