Labors of Love

Chef’s Brigade

Local healthcare workers and first responders are commonly eating out of vending machines and grabbing snacks wherever they can, while, at the same time, restaurants are struggling for business. Looking to provide relief to both groups, local author Troy Gilbert,…

T-shirts That Give Back

Resilient, resourceful, and ready-for-action are the descriptors for most of us New Orleanians. And nowhere is that more evident than in the teaming of hospitality worker Monica Bourgeois and Blake Haney, owner of Dirty Coast, a community conscious t-shirt business.…

Communication Is Key

  These are anxious times. We’ve been bombarded by messages, data, scenarios, facts and fictions about COVID-19, a pandemic that doctors and experts have never seen before.  People want to know that their government/management/ownership care about them and their overall…

Digging In

  I grew up in Milwaukee where the coming of spring bursts into one’s life with intoxicating hope and exuberant color. There was never anything subtle about the season. With sun yellow blossoms poking through the winter’s last snow, daffodils…

Revitalizing the New Orleans Chamber

New Orleans Chamber of Commerce's executive vice president and COO, Sandra Lombana Lindquist takes pride in her ability to cultivate and nurture businesses. She knows that she’s chosen the right professional calling – economic development. “I like to see things…

Stan Harris

It all started at Ralph & Kacoo’s with a temptingly tasty seafood platter served at the end of young Stan Harris’ first shift as a dishwasher. “Every day since has been an adventure,” says Harris, now president and CEO of…

Insanitea Kombucha

The current drink of choice of hipsters, aging hippies, health enthusiasts and older millennials is kombucha. For years it could be found in health food stores, but now, more and more conventional grocery stores are carrying the slightly vinegary, bubbly,…

Candy Conversationalist

Valentine Day’s 1959 in Miss Doyle’s third grade class — I was excitedly opening my many Valentine Day’s cards when out of nowhere, Sal De Luca shyly placed a pastel pink conversation heart on my desk. It said, “Be Mine.”…

The Importance Of Mentors

January is National Mentoring Month. Mentors can make a positive difference in a young person’s life as they offer advice, share their life experiences, and help a young person navigate life’s countless challenges.  Mentoring, at its core, shows young people…

The Parks Health & Fitness

This past Sunday in LakeVista, at the bustling Robert E. Lee Shopping Center, shoppers at Robért Fresh Market were queued at every register with their six-packs of beer, barbecue wings and freshly baked sugar-sprinkled King Cakes. All were fortifying themselves…

The Santa Claus Gig

In 1890, at a department store in Boston, the first Santa’s helper began listening to Christmas wishes from eager children.  James Edgar, the store owner, bore a resemblance to Father Christmas and he thought children should have a chance to…

Elliott Security Solutions

“We eat, sleep and breathe security,” says Ian Kennard, co-owner of Elliott Security Solutions (headquartered at 4650 General De Gaulle Drive). Darrin Elliott Sr. and Ian Kennard founded Elliott Security Solutions (ESS) in 2011. At the end of its first…

The Gift of Art

  Creating art is a rigorous, incredibly personal and challenging business. Like all business owners, artists need to review their market, create a business plan and make opportunities that bring people to see their work. For many artists, their lives…

Small Business Saturday

The local seafood stand, the hardware store and the grocery store on the corner, there’s little doubt that small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. U.S. small businesses are responsible for $4.8 trillion in GDP, which is equivalent…

Whiskey and Sticks

Both fine cigars and premium whiskey are crafted with a great deal of care and attention; They’re meant to be savored. Aficionados will say partaking in either or both is all about relaxing and taking the time to enjoy all…

Writer’s Gold

Most times I know exactly what I will write about in this blog with very few surprises. Someone sends me an interesting press release, or my editor has a good lead. I know what I’m going to find, because I’m…

Seafood Champion

Catching, cooking and eating seafood is a lifelong passion of Brian Landry, the chef/owner of QED Hospitality, a restaurant operations management group. “For as long as I can remember, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, my relatives on my mother’s side…

Art Klub

Tonight from 5 to 8 p.m., electric trikes and chariots will be weaving through the streets of the St. Roch neighborhood during the Frightening Fun Parade And Party. It’s free and brought to you by the Art Klub and the…

Shelbi’s Sassy Treats

When she’s not playing volleyball, doing her homework, watching the Food Network, hanging with friends or performing liturgical dances at her church, Shelbi Varnado is tending to her burgeoning business, Shelbi’s Sassy Treats. Shelbi is a seventh grader at Boyet…

Barking Dead Ball

As a stouthearted, stolid soldier, she’s slaughtered countless rotting, biting and creeping  zombies. Award-winning actress Kerry Cahill plays Dianne on the hit TV series AMC's “The Walking Dead” and she’s beyond fierce. In addition to appearing on films like “Free…

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

The sources for the images that accompany this blog are varied and diverse. Sometimes I snapped them with my phone, sometimes a subject gets a friend or family member to capture an image, sometimes subjects don’t want to run a…

Kitchen Witch Transformed

One of the first businesses featured in this blog was Kitchen Witch Cookbooks, owned by Philippe LaMancusa and Debbie Lindsey. The store opened in 1999 and offered new, used, rare and out-of-print cookbooks, vintage aprons, copper cookware, rolling pins, a…

Crushing It

In the heart of a tough industrial part of town, on a scorching Sunday afternoon, parents sit in a dimly lit warehouse watching children repeatedly skate around an unpretentious roller-rink. The young skaters are learning to hip whip, recycle, snowplow,…

LeBon Temps Rouler

  Getting and keeping clients is the overriding goal of any business, so imagine running a business that triggers pit-in-the-stomach fear in some of the very clients you are trying to reach. It has been estimated that 12 percent of…

NOLA Baby Café

August is National Breastfeeding Month. I breastfed my daughter until she was easing into her third year. It remains the most rewarding experience of my entire life. My mother, who nurtured me at the height of formula’s popularity in the…