Sunday, December 4, 2016

So you think you want to start your own business

So you think it would be fun to open a book store or any little business of your own for that matter.  Well think again.  It’s like wanting to own your own home—but you never really own it; Mother Nature does.  And what with her termites that can eat your investment in record time or subsidence that will crack your foundation or the flood that was never suppose to happen, you can never fully depend upon that house to be truly loyal to you.  A business of your own is the same; it too is subject to the whims of nature, the economy, gentrification, rent hikes.
            For ten years we had stable rent but at one point a streets project ironically named Pathways to Progress about shut us down with the deconstruction of the Quarter’s walk and road ways.  And what about the scaffolding in front of our shop during a renovation, or a couple of hurricane evacuations that set everyone back.  Then there was the BP Oil Spill—not great for tourism.  And the list goes on.  Yet throughout the rough times we had good rent and that kept us in business…until we didn’t.  Even the best of landlords will fall for the pipe dreams of larger rents that real-estate managers put forth.  A 115% rent increase was set. We left our Quarter digs and the space remained pretty much empty for a year.  Our former landlord lost revenue and we nearly lost a business we had grown for ten years.
            New location, fresh start, and enough debt to worry over for the next couple of decades.  You still want your own business?  Freedom from the grind of working for the man and punching a clock?  We work seven days a week with 84 hours of work-related stuff.  No boss per se, but I do wake up staring at the ceiling wondering how to pay the rent and if we fail, how to pay the lease off.
            We have tried to reinvent our cookbook shop, thinking out of the box, brain storming, being creative.  I now spend hours every day with my imaginary cyber friends in the hope that they will lead me to business.  I Twit, Twat, Twitter my fingers and eyeballs.  I hash tag inane words and phrases. I stalk people on FaceBook looking to network with other businesses.  I chase down bike tours with business cards and offers of clean restrooms and bike racks.  I even Tweeted “Hand job and a free beer” (many “follows” on that one).  I have learned the best ways to attract FaceBook likes and shares—anything with a kitten photo.  You can post “My hair is on fire” if you show a cute kitten and garner little hearts, smiley faces and likes.  Post a goofy puppy, throw in a kitten, add some adorable kids, and a mushroom cloud in the backdrop and everyone will love it—it can go viral even.  However you might not get any retail sales from any of it.
            Book signings with plenty of booze are supposed to help business.  Two hours later you have a lot of empty bottles, some water rings on that circa 1890 cookbook, and you spent half the time “babysitting” someone’s adorable child who wanted dearly to sit on an antique chair tagged FRAGILE $400.00.  Great kid, obtuse parent.  Sure there are those loyal customers and friends that will buy any book you throw a party for out of solidarity.  But I just want to scream when someone with money, means and (otherwise) good manners chooses to read the damn book, sip wine then leave empty handed.  Still and all, my best advice to any book store would be: throw as many book signing parties as possible—they are exhausting to host but the goodwill you garner from folks will help and there is great pleasure in helping an author, they gotta make a living too.
            We spent ten years in the Quarter cultivating a name for ourselves among visitors.  We are better known in Australia than in Uptown New Orleans.  We’ve always welcomed locals; however the Quarter is not “local friendly”.  I gave up trying to lure locals living outside the Quarter due to parking, or lack thereof.  Why would anyone want to pay $10 to $50 to park or risk being booted and/or towed?  So we left the Toulouse Street location and became the new kid in town. Across town.  Locals are fabulous—ya just have to get ‘em in.  We now have free parking to offer—yes Joni, I’m sorry, they did pave paradise to put up a parking lot…and we have two of them! 
            Still, even with social media, guerrilla marketing (hand painted yard signs, flyers, joining neighborhood associations, grabbing every radio/ podcast interview possible) free gift certificates, free booze, chef pop-ups (the best idea so far), chalk writing Kitchen Witch This Way on sidewalks—it’s never enough to pay the bills.  Add all these efforts to our 5 star YELP rating, features in major food magazines/newspapers, and the kindness of many--and we still tread water. 
You might think, “But it’s just a book store, I could run it on a shoestring”.  Think again.  Just to be able to sign a lease you must have insurance and to buy insurance you must have an alarm/security system.  Add computer/internet, phone, credit card processor/fees, banking fees, Entergy ($660.00 last winter—we hand out sweaters now), clunker car, AAA, insurance, printing, bags, business cards/brochures.  Inventory: major expense; but rent comes first…oh and those banks loans and credit debt. 
Bottom line: you will be owned by your business.  And in our case it is one that we love dearly.  Wish us luck!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Wedding Carver

The Wedding Carver
Have Knives, Will Travel
Being retired from gainful employment has its advantages and its drawbacks. The main drawback is that, my fixed income (yes, I’m on one of them) is trying to extinguish my cavalier flame of living large and tipping big, and I hate that. It has a lot to do with the amount of money that I don’t have for extended periods bellied up to a bar or letting someone else cook for me at a fine dining establishment. And, it has to do with my inability to leave my hard driving, freewheeling, ‘there’s plenty more where that came from’ personality behind with my hairline, waistline and twenty-twenty vision.
Therefore, I’ve taken random employment; one of my gigs is cutting up dead animals at special event gatherings such as rehearsal, wedding and company awards functions.
Tonight, it’s a wedding with all the stops pulled out at one of my favorite French Quarter restaurants. I won’t mention names, but it’s a place that, I tell folks, can furnish anything you want and can afford. From an intimate private dinner for two, to twelve hundred of your closest friends, you can get anything that you’re willing to pay for, from piped in music to sixteen pieces of guitar slamming, horn playing rock your sockers metal head maniacs. Ice sculptures that dispense martinis, flame throwing dessert stations, low, medium and high grades of alcohol. Do you want fireworks? Second lines? Mystics and mind readers? Clowns? Would you like the friggin’ circus?
Do you want passed hors d’oeuvres, sit down dinners, buffets, oyster shuckers or a person or two to slice meat thinly, smile broadly and be ready to cut the cake when the time comes?
Tonight ‘s wedding is all of that. The band commands such a draw on the electrical output of the place that the air conditioning (after running at full capacity all day) is cut off. I’ve come to naming functions; this one is the ‘women in tight clothing and men with powerful credit cards’ types. But it will only be a more sophisticated version of the ‘women with braided armpits and men with little dental work’ functions that I’ve worked elsewhere.
First to arrive, by a good forty-five minutes, is the parents of the bride. Madame explains that the groom is ‘allergic’ to alcohol and will be drinking ice tea, Red Bull and ginger ale. I wonder if that is a new concoction or his actual menu of choices. Then Mama checks out seating places for the elderly, is assuaged by the marketing manager and witnesses the arrival of the flowers, which to me look like they’ve been stolen from a funeral parlor.
Now the chandeliers are being lit, candles line the entranceway and the ‘thirty minutes before’ icing down of the liquids that require it. The party starts at six after the ceremony; passed appetizers until eight, food (including two carvers) in two rooms from six to nine, band starts at seven and stops at ten. There are two meetings with management and staff to co-ordinate the function. Extra furniture has been stored in rented trucks and, of course, nobody shows up until six twenty-five.
I am in the second room with a sixty pound haunch of beef, five-hundred volts of heat lamps and knives honed to deadly edges, my co-carver is in the next room with access to a half a dozen deep fried turkeys.
Here they come; a random husband (Jack) hits the bar for drinks for him-n-her, drops off hers (Jill) and heads back to the bar for another for himself…there’s gonna be a heartache tonight. Terminally thin women start with Cosmopolitans, Aunt Ruth and Uncle Maury want to know if there’s any coffee, the groom’s friends that never learned to dance or dress and the bride’s friends that did begin ungainly mating rituals. Lawyers and Dentists in seersucker (Dentists have suede shoes) arrive; Doctors in white linen, older women in two piece suits, younger women in strapless whose breasts don’t quite fill up the cups and the requisite ‘Parachute Woman’ promenade the rooms looking to be looked at. And me cutting up dead cow.
A buddy of the groom has brought his own thirty two ounce cup that he wants filled with Jack and Diet, uh oh, and young Jack is on his sixth beer this hour. He’s telling a group of his peers jokes that only he finds amusing, his peers are more amused by him and his condition. His wife has given up on him and has joined a coterie of the thin ones that won’t be having any dinner.
You can tell that the newlyweds have had a long relationship;-- she starts drinking and he fills his plate to capacity.
The door to the courtyard is on a spring strong enough to stop the charge of a water buffalo and some of my amusement will come from the imprisonment, between door and jamb, of young children, the frail and inevitably…the bride’s train.
The photographer hits the buffet about an hour and a half in; the band will hit us at break time. You can tell the band because they are dressed better (or worse) than the guests and they’re not fooled by fillers like potatoes, jambalaya or fish. They hit the raw bar and the protein (not the pate though) and of course the alcohol. I just keep cutting.
The band takes a break for the toasts. Uncle Maury, who’s been yelling his conversation because he’s half deaf, winds us up with and the man hasn’t held a decent job in thirty YEARS!!!”
Then, the testimonies: A teary eyed pair of young women: “Trish and us have been best friends since third grade and, like, we’ve never seen her looking soooo HAPPY!” The kid brother; I brought them together…” The Father: I’m sure that they’ll be as happy as her Mother and I have been”--- (right). The Buddy “I remember the night Keith came home and told me: ‘I’ve met the woman that I’m going to marry”, The older brother “At least now she’ll have someone else to fight with!” And on and on.
Then cut the cake (never smooth going), smear it in each other’s faces (like that hasn’t been done before), a thousand photos (and selfies), throw the bouquet (that weighs twelve pounds) and every one second lines out except the six or eight that want to close down the bar. Too late, things are wrapped, stacked, put away, closed and already the crew is moving tables for tomorrow night’s functions. One room is having a sit down ‘Divorce Dinner’ for 48 people; the other room has a wake with a replica of the deceased in potato salad. Sic transit Gloria mundi.

Central Grocery

Central Grocery
            If I were sight impaired and someone walked me through those doors I would know the perfumed vapors of an old timey Italian market. They’re the smells of garlic, olives, cured meats, hard cheeses and old appetites satisfied. It is an olfactory equivalent of being wrapped in your grandmother’s wool shawl on a cool autumn night; yummy, secure, safe. Linzalone’s in old Chelsea, Molinari’s in North Beach, Central Grocery in New Orleans.
I recently sat down with Tommy Tusa, third generation owner/operator of Central Grocery at his shop at 923 Decatur Street in the French Quarter. As we all know, Salvatore Lupo (Tommy’s grandfather) is said to have been the originator of a more than extraordinary sandwich, a sandwich that is as indicative of New Orleans as the Mississippi River: The Muffuletta. Tommy is tall and trim and, if such a word can be used, dapper in appearance. His age is nebulous; he appears to be ten years either side of fifty years. He and his cousin Frank Tusa run the day to day operations. Like all true Sicilians, Tommy talks as much with his words as with his facial and physical expressions. We sit at the far end of the eating counter, he, of course sits where he can see his employees and the action.
PL: First of all, can we tell everyone, once and for all, what is the proper pronunciation of the sandwich?
TT: Muffuletta, pronounced “moo-full-lette-tah!” People call it a lot of other ways; we don’t really care, as long as they want one.
PL: And the name means?
TT: From what we can make out from the stories that my mother tells, it probably came from a baker named Muffuletta and was called Muffuletta bread long before we started making it into a sandwich.  That’s as much as we can make out, we don’t know if it’s true but it stands to reason.
PL: How did the store get started?
TT: My grandfather, like a lot of Italian immigrants, came here and worked in the grocery business. In 1906 he opened his own grocery about a block away and in 1919 bought this property and opened this (gestures). The Market workers used to come in and buy the ingredients for the sandwich from us, then they’d go outside and buy some bread from a pushcart, sit on barrels and such places, eat the bread (tearing motion) and ingredients. Then my grandfather got the idea of making the sandwich. There were at least six Italian bakeries in the Quarter at the time; in fact there were shops like this all throughout the neighborhood.
PL: This used to be a large ethnic neighborhood. Do you ever see that coming back?
TT: I remember like it was yesterday, the ice house, the fish markets; no, I don’t see it ever being the same. My father was raised in the French Quarter. It was a real neighborhood up until about 1950 and then it started to change. Now what we have here (indicates the street) are these street people; they sit outside panhandling, they camp out at night and you have to clean up after them in the morning, their garbage, food scraps, beer cans. You have to chase them away during the day “you can’t sit here, you can’t sit here” you’ve got to keep telling them. They’re ruining businesses and no one is doing anything about them.
PL: I was told that it’s their first amendment right.
TT: (raised eyes) Yeah, the ACLU…. What about our rights?
PL: Onward. Your mother wrote a cookbook? (1980 Marie’s Melting Pot)
TT: Yes, my mother and my two grandmothers; it took three or four years. Writing recipes, testing them and cooking, cooking. I remember the stories, my mother tells all the old stories, I know those stories. My mother lives in Covington, she’s 103 years old and frail so she doesn’t do interviews… obviously.
PL: Any thoughts on retiring? Any other family members coming in?
TT: I’ve worked here since 1970 so that’s forty-five years; no, there’s me and my cousin and there’s no other generation coming up behind us. Besides, what would I do if I retired (shrugs)? Stay at home and be bored?
PL: Were you looted during Katrina?
TT: Yes, all the businesses were. We opened after three months, and one day after that, Jim Belushi came in and saw that his picture was still on the wall and he pointed and said “well, at least they didn’t get me!!” We get a lot of celebrities in; I’ll show you the photos. Goodman (John) loves the Muffuletta; he can’t eat it here because they (gestures at the customers) won’t leave him alone.
PL: How many sandwiches have you made?
TT: on a busy day we’ll make about five hundred
PL: So you’ve made a million Muffulettas
TT: More than one million. A few million, at least. We’ve been in business over a hundred years (looks at me to indicate that I should do the math). And we ship. Overnight, next day delivery.
PL: What do you see as the future?
TT: Kids these days, they don’t know how to work; you have to tell them over and over how to do the same thing. You tell them to stay off their cell phone and then (making an imaginary call at waist level) you see them in the corner. I’ll tell you a story; when I was just starting working here, one day I made myself a little sandwich and sat down; my uncle came up to me and said “what are you doing?” and I told him. He said (slightly raising his voice) “Hey! You don’t eat here, you eat at home, after you get off; now, get back to work!” And that’s the way it was. Nowadays…
PL: When I was a kid, I had a friend named Rocco, my mother used to call him a “Bacciagalupe”. When I asked her what that meant, she would just point at him and say “Him, he’s a Bacciagalupe!” Do you know what that means?
TT: (laughing) Yes, I’ve heard that word; I think it means wiseguy or weirdo or some such character.
PL: Now, here’s the big one; what advice would you give young folks coming up? What advice do you give your children?
TT: I have two daughters and grandchildren. What would I say to them? (looks heavenward and then into my eyes). I would say “Do whatever you do to the best of your ability. Do it well; and never never give up. Never let anyone discourage you!”
And then, like a true business owner, he shook my hand, thanked me and said: “I’ve got to (indicating the sandwich counter) get back to work.”

Monday, August 1, 2016

Real New Orleans Food

I step up the five steps to an unremakably seventh ward half shot gun double and knock on the gated front door. A small elderly woman peeks out and asks what I want. "Somebody told me that y'all have Huckabucks here" I say with the degree of politeness reserved for traffic cops, petulant cashiers and the elderly in general. "Oh, sure" she says "What kind do you want? I got......." and she names about a dozen flavors. I ask for a cherry and a pineapple and inquire about the price. "Oh, fifty cents each and that will be..... a dollar" She holds out her hand for her money, which I give her and she  asks if I want them in a bag
Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Real New Orleans Food?
Here’s the questions:  What is real New Orleans food, is there a real New Orleans food and how would any one of us know it --- if it were a snake would we bite it back? 
The answers are afoot when I go to John and Mary’s on Orleans Avenue for a boiled turkey neck, McHardy’s on Broad Street for fried chicken, the Orange House for Ya Ka Mein and/or over in to the Seventh Ward to find an African-American grandma selling Huckabucks (ice cups) from her kitchen doorway for fifty cents. Real New Orleans food is going to Galatoire’s for Crabmeat Ravigote; Pascal Manale’s Barbecued Shrimp, eating Tujague’s Oysters en Brochette and a fabulous Ribeye at Crescent City Steak House.
Real New Orleans food is found at fancy places and filling stations. From the Calas at Elizabeth’s to the Creole Cream Cheese at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market; from Lafcadio Hearn to Sara Roahen. Above all, real New Orleans food is an attitude; Mirliton is New Orleans, Chayote is Mexican… although they’re the same vegetable. Real New Orleans food goes back nearly three centuries and is a gumbo of influences.
The Creoles subsisted on seafood from the Gulf, lake and river; the early Germans at Des Allemandes kept us alive with their farming and dairy products, they handed us our first charcuterie. The indigenous peoples taught us to make hominy, Tasso and the use of powdered sassafras leaves (file); the French brought their cooking methods and terminology; wheat came down the river to make our roux; the Africans came and farmed rice (“YaYa” in their language) and brought okra (quingombo) to our pots; the Spanish gave us the ham (jamon, jambon) for our Jambalaya and from a common ancestor in Peru came red, black, white and pinto beans. The Cajuns? Well, the Cajuns have kept us in touch with our rural and rustic roots.
            This new land of ours gave back to the world: chili peppers, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, chocolate, tobacco, squash and vanilla; we in New Orleans adopted celery, artichokes, thyme, coffee beans, sugar cane, bananas and bay leaves. We made them our own. We took in and we gave back; and, real New Orleans food is a product of Spanish, French and African cultures with influences of the Germans, Italians, indigenous peoples and settlers making do with what they could find, forage and figure out. Slaves bought their freedom by selling foodstuffs in the streets of the French Quarter; businessmen became rich importing ice to keep it fresh, housewives traded collards for courgettes over back fences and Caribbean cooks added a pinch of cayenne to our everyday dinners. Many cooks did not spoil the soup; they just turned it into gumbo.
Put aside for a second what our visitors dive into: red beans, gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, remoulade, beignets, pralines, bread pudding, poboys--- those are native to us--- baked in, so to speak, second nature to us and only are window dressing to the real meat of what sustains us as a people. Try also to ignore, for now, the ‘newer’ ethnic oriented foods that, happily, has diversified our daily eating habits in the last, say, two decades (something that newly arrived folks may not realize), foodstuffs that were once novelties that are now mainstream: Vietnamese, Hispanic and Middle Eastern. It used to be that you couldn’t find sushi here with a Geiger counter; now, pretty young things are having it for breakfast at Whole Foods (another come lately business). These I consider no less than real New Orleans food, just newer New Orleans food; updated, expanded, and modified from the old to the new--- the eat goes on.
 I do question that ‘modern’ ethno fusion locality ingredient driven over-fussy and unnecessarily complicated works of art that pass for high end food nowadays; terrific to look at, hard to eat and harder to remember except that they contained weird animal parts and far too many garnishes. But that might just be me, I’m sure it has its place; after all, in 1722 after the ‘Petticoat Rebellion’ when Madame Langlois (Governor Bienville’s housekeeper) taught our founding mothers the recipe for pecan stuffed squirrel, I’m sure a few eyebrows raised as well..
New Orleans, known to visitors for our affinity for music, food and booze has become polarized four square by conflicting if not confusing messages that are sending visitors running to our culture pundits for explanations as to our definitions as New Orleanians as to what is really real New Orleans and what is not. Let me say this about that: Music and alcoholic drinks are a subjective experience and give rise to opinions that, like noses, vary from face to face, person to person; I cast no aspersions toward tastes in those areas; although I have my own opinions, I mostly keep them to myself.
When we talk New Orleans food, however, I’m ready to get ‘real’, I’m prepared to get up into some ‘grill’: New Orleans food is like a religion to us here and what we eat on any given day can be classified as such; all the food we eat here is good food (I should hope so) but it’s either New Orleans food or it’s not. It’s found in the components that we swear by: Camellia Beans, Crystal Hot Sauce, Pickled pork, smoked sausage, Mahatma Rice, CDM Coffee and Chicory and greens of every description. It’s found in the onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic that no home is ever without. It’s found in Steen’s Cane Syrup, Zatarain’s Fish Fry and our own special secret spice mixtures. Real New Orleans food has always been based on us being locavores and we were slow cookin’ (and slow dancin’) before ‘Slow Food’ became cool and a convenient catchword.
Our food rituals set us apart as well; red beans on Monday, King Cake at Carnival time, Reveillon dinners around Christmas, Gumbo Z’herbes on Holy Thursday, oysters in months with a ‘R’ in ‘em and that grilled pork chop sandwich from the back of a pickup truck at a second line winding through the Treme.
            Real New Orleans food is eaten all day and all night, washed down by cold beers and conversation. In the street or at the table, with smiles and camaraderie; the scent of smoke like perfume amongst the Jasmine, magnolias and sweet olive comin’ over the fence tells you that a neighbor will be over soon to invite you for an impromptu ‘cook out’ before a Saints game. Our gumbo is “too thick to drink, too thin to plow”; our boiled seafood brings burn to your lips and sweat to your brow; the tropical fruits from Mr. Okra’s truck perfectly ripe; that praline stuffed beignet from Loretta’s having your eyes roll back in your head.  There is nothing superficial or elusive in Real New Orleans food and it cannot be had anywhere but in New Orleans: have a Muffuletta in Des Moines? Not on a bet! Call it the heat; call it the humidity; call it the water. Call it my stubbornness; I’ll have Enchiladas, Pad Thai, Pho, Frankfurters, Falafel, Paella and Pizza in Pittsburg, Pensacola, Flushing and Fargo; I will eat Ban Mi in Boston, Green Eggs and Ham with a goat on a boat BUT… I will save my crawfish cravings for the Crescent City--- and only in season.

Friday, July 22, 2016

How We Went About Bringing Business In.

The first thing that we were counselled to do was to put up a bulletin board for ideas, no matter how harebrained, no matter if we knew that we could or would ever to be able to execute these ideas; the point was that an idea is an idea and from little acorns big oaks could grow OR squirrels could be fed.
 Next we went about networking.
We did weekly Happy Hours
Yard sales
Took the free classes offered

The Cost of Doing Business

            After ten years in the same location, making a name for ourselves, building up business to a point of profit and getting comfortable in our skins as book sellers; it came as a shock when the landlord in conjunction with the property management company decided to increase our rent 115% take it or leave it (they both said that it was the other entity's idea). We were also told to expect another 3-5% increase per year after that. And it looked like we would have to 'move it (the shop) or lose it'.
          And so after searching for another location we eventually settled one our new one. Close to home, more space, indoor plumbing and off street parking, what could go awry? Money.
       The reality of staying in business is this: you have to take in as much, if not more, money that it costs you to run your business.
      We found a spot that would cost us not much more than our old (we now call it our 'old') shop a,d closed down (losing money in sales) and moved. We went from $2,000.00 a month in rent to $2,500.00 a month with an increase over the first four years until we will reach $3,000.00 a month. After paying first month and last month, we were in.
      And then comes turning on the lights, the phone and computer, the internet service, the insurance, the alarm system, office supplies and the moving expenses. Well, the moving we did mostly on out own. We opened up almost immediately.
    We make our own signage we do our own networking, we do everything we can to save money; but again, you have to take in money, and that is not happening at this point.
   Picture it: we lose $5,000.00 in sales while we're closed, we spend a few thousand moving, we plop down five large to secure the space, pay between 3 and 6 a month for utilities, the computer and printer need replacing, we have business insurance (per lease agreement) burglar alarm system, the air conditioner blows a motor, taxes, Blue Cross, the cost of the car to keep running, inspected, gassed up and insured not to mention our living expenses.  Our sales took a hit immediately; our sales dropped 70% and our expenses increased by 25% and we we're lucky. Those few months were traditionally our 'busy' months. The the slow months came and our business went down to 10% of what it should have been. Not so lucky. The question that you may ask is: well where did the money come from to keep your doors open while you worked seven days a week with no pay?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Who is Kitchen Witch Cookbooks?

Kitchen Witch Cookbook shop as it is, was started in 1999 on Rampart st. in New Orleans by Philipe and his daughters who soon found other men that they were more interested in. The Rampart location was a disaster for growing a business and closed after four years.
Philipe and Debbie went through a huge hurricane and other growing pains as a couple, and chose to further test their relationship by reopening the shop at 631 Toulouse St upon coming back from Hurricane Katrina evacuation.
After ten years of working to make the business a success,  lease complications rendered us a new location at 1452 N. Broad St. as our front door and 2526 Bayou Rd, as our back door, see?           Front door, back  door. this is the back door and the front door, they are both open from 10:30 in the morning to 5:30 at evening time (give or take a few minutes) seven days a week.     The phone # is 504-528-8382


Well, you're on page one of our new blog for the shop. Why a blog, when we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, website, email and the ability to send smoke signals? Good question. The answer is so that our interested, those that are interested, friends, clients, neighbors, relatives and other loved ones can keep up with what we're doing as a business, read tidbits about food and events.
This page will serve as an introduction to us,  Debbie Lindsey and Philipe LaMancusa, the owner operators of a unique brick and mortar cookbook shop in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hopefully we'll be able to link our other venues (electronically speaking) to this site and visa versa. Bear with us.
In blog posts to come we will introduce ourselves to you, personally, privately and politely.
See you  on the next blog and thanks for tuning in.