Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Soul
Bayou Boys Gourmet Foods rolls out new displays, expands availability
By Mark RedmondPosted Aug 15, 2012
In the modern era, it’s all too easy to forget to question where our food comes from. How many hands did a single loaf of bread pass through before it came to your pantry, and could that number be too high?
Emmett Jarreau, proprietor of Bayou Boys Gourmet, understands that sometimes a food’s quality is a factor of its proximity to the consumer, and he’s proud that Louisianans in the Baton Rouge area can purchase locally blended food mixes.
“This is our third year,” Jarreau says. And all the ingredients come from Louisiana. “We blend it out of Broussard,” he says, “all the ingredients, everything. It’s a true blue Louisiana product.”
Bayou Boys mixes stand out because they come packaged in reusable glass jars, not plastic. “The jar was a strategic idea, versus boxes or plastic bags,” Jarreau says. According to him, “every ingredient in every product is bar-none the top grade,” and therefore visibility is important to the company. “You can see the ingredients right through the jar. It’s not in a box.”
Jarreau, along with his partner and son Ryan Grizzaffi, are in the process of placing new aisle displays in the Associated Grocers markets that already offer their product. For the time being, they’re keeping things close to home.
“We’re concentrating our efforts on Baton Rouge and… the surrounding 100-mile radius,” Jarreau says. “Zachary, Brusly, Broussard, Clinton.”
It’s not just the displays that are increasing Bayou Boys’ visibility in the Baton Rouge area. “Ryan just did a ribbon cutting at Hoo Shoo Too Road,” Jarreau says, referring to the opening of Therapeutic Horsemanship.
The duo is proud of their product, and its quality. “Our mixes are aggressive in the sense that they’re full-flavored, full-spiced,” Jarreau says. “You don’t have to add anything to them,” Grizzaffi adds. “It’s idiot proof.”
The labor of love is starting to pay off, and soon the Bayou Boys will be premiering Internet videos illustrating how easy the products are to use. “We’re gonna be getting a professional video made. We’re fixing to upload three-minute videos on each product.”
Starting a business like this isn’t easy, and the duo does almost all of Bayou Boys’ promotion and placement.
“We’re distributing [the Bayou Boys mixes]. That’s how we spend the week,” Grizzaffi says. “We do the demos ourselves,” he adds, noting that some weeks he does an in-store demonstration almost every day.
You may have tried the product without realizing it.
“We have restaurants that are cooking our shrimp and corn soup,” Jarreau says with a smile. “I can’t tell you who.”
Jarreau is also excited about expanding their product line this winter. “We’re fixing to add a chicken and dumpling mix. If everything goes great, I’ll have it, hopefully, by November 1.”
The Bayou Boys business model is one of pride: pride in quality, pride in Louisiana, and pride in heritage. “Our testimonials on our website speak for themselves,” Jarreau says. “‘Coonass in a jar’ is what we call it. If you want the essence of Cajuns, it’s in there.”
And in a time when every company wants to pass the proverbial buck, Jarreau and Grizzaffi know that the success or failure of Bayou Boys rests on them. It’s a responsibility that they’re happy to shoulder, and their faith in the product they sell is heartening.
“If this product fails, it fails because we didn’t get it out there,” Jarreau says, citing the quality of his ingredients, “not because we’re cheap.
“As Louisianans, we’re all proud of our gumbo, and I still cook a gumbo from scratch on holidays,” he says. “But I don’t feel like you’re sacrificing integrity or quality by coming out of a jar.”
Especially not a jar with the Bayou Boys label.
Bayou Boys Products
• Shrimp and Corn Soup Mix
• Jambalaya Mix
• Dirty Rice Mix
• Gumbo Mix
Where to Find Them
• Matherne’s locations on Kenilworth Pkwy. and Bluebonnet Blvd.
• Calandro’s locations on Government St. and Perkins Rd.
• Reeves Supermarket, 10770 N. Harrells Ferry Rd.
• Fresh Pickin’s Produce Market, 10375 Coursey Blvd.
• Hi-Nabor, 4646 Drusilla Dr.