Out to Lunch Acadiana

Wednesdays at Noon & Saturdays at 5:00 PM
  • Hosted by Christiaan Mader

Out to Lunch Acadiana finds editor of nonprofit news outlet The Current, Christiaan Mader conducting business Acadiana style over lunch. Each week Christiaan invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join him. Beyond the foundations of Acadiana's business economy - oil, cuisine, music, there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small business, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana Business Community.

Christiaan Mader is the founder and editor of The Current, Lafayette's first and only nonprofit news organization. An award-winning investigative and culture journalist, Christiaan’s work as a writer and reporter has appeared in The New York Times, Vice, Offbeat, Gambit, and The Advocate.

Out to Lunch: October 20, 2021

Oct 21, 2021

When I work in a coffee shop, I don’t get much done. Honestly, I didn’t go to the coffee shop to work. That’s just a little white lie I tell myself to get out of the house.

Coffee shops might be the easiest place to track down if you travel for work. You know there’s wifi, but the environment can be unpredictable. Is the cappuccino machine too loud? Too bad.

Well, what if you could plug into a space meant for work. Not easy to do unless you know somebody in town. You’ve heard of co-working spaces like WeWork, but that’s still a commitment. When you travel a lot you need something for 20 minutes, an hour, half a day and you’re gone.

Clerc Bertrand has a solution for that. Workaroo: a network of office space for those of us hopping from place to place. Workaroo uses an app to connect itinerant workers with office space.

Clerc lives in the Lake Charles area, but has grown Workaroo on the go herself, dodging lockdowns and hurricanes. Today, Workaroo has spaces in Lake Charles, Lafayette and Baton Rouge. Clerc plans to grow the company to stretch the I-10 corridor. When she’s not building Workaroo, Clerc runs the McNeese State University Athletic Foundation.

If your workspace is the great outdoors, maybe this isn’t so much a problem for you. Anywhere is the place to be.

Artist and muralist Hannah Gumbo is building a career for herself with the world outside as her canvas. An avid traveler herself, Hannah is passionate about Louisiana and creating vibrant spaces that tease out our traditions with abstract flourishes and surprising detail.

You can find Hannah’s work on Downtown brick walls or barns scattered around Acadiana, and her work bubbles against the backdrop of our region’s rustic colors. She got her start with an ArtSpark grant from the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and recently won a second one to expand her work to business portraits.

Hannah will also shake up the stuffy headshot with a portable wooden booth packed with fun backdrops to make portraits of Louisiana business owners.

Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos + Amigos in Downtown Lafayette. You can see photos from this show by Astor Morgan at our website. Here’s more lunchtime conversation about other work options in which one of Lafayette’s most successful college dropouts talks with the dean of the UL grad school.

Out to Lunch: October 13, 2021

Oct 14, 2021

Tina Crapsi's company Backyard Sapphire recycles glass, Nicole Wenger's company DryMax remediates mold


Out to Lunch: October 6, 2021

Oct 7, 2021

Swamps and the French language put up barriers to globalization in Acadiana for generations. At least that’s the conventional narrative. Even within our own community, we often underestimate just how wide the cultural landscape is in South Louisiana and has always been.

Barriers persist. But there are lots of creative, thoughtful people chiseling away at them and mining for a common heritage.

It’s not limited to art and cultural anthropology. Lafayette has explored international touchstones for decades through big events like Festival International and the Latin Music Festival.

Cristina Martinez is in the business of expanding those horizons. She’s been an event planner in Lafayette for six years, managing projects big and small for Party Central and has hosted the Latin Music Festival herself. She’s also a media personality, moonlighting as the host of After Party with Cristina Martinez, a Facebook Live show about sex, sexuality and sexual health.

During the pandemic, Cristina stepped up as a daily reporter for El Sabor/Telemundo, translating press conferences and Covid information for Acadiana’s rapidly growing Hispanic community. Cristina was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in Lafayette since 2008.

What does it mean to be from somewhere anyway? Home is an idea Olivia Perillo has explored in documentaries and photography. Since childhood, she’s been enamored of the connection between Acadiana’s swamps and the deserts of West Texas, where she spent time on trips to visit her mother’s family.

Olivia and her creative partner have produced two documentaries over the last couple of years. Migrationwhich profiled women leaving their birthplaces in search of new homes. And Intention which profiled the diversity of Louisiana cultural traditions among women.

Olivia’s work on Intention was funded by a Create Louisiana grant, and her films have been screened internationally. She also works as an archivist for artist Lynda Frese and a photographer for Country Roads magazine.

Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Astor Morgan. Elsewhere on this website you can find hours and hours of conversation about Acadiana’s culture and its relation to our community and economy. Here’s an episode about film and zydeco.

Out to Lunch: September 29, 2021

Sep 30, 2021

I work from home most of the time. And my desk is a pile of post-it notes, coffee mugs, knick knacks and unopened mail. I look to my left and my wife’s desk has the tranquility of a Buddhist temple. No wonder she gets more done.

Getting organized is a kind of therapy. It also makes satisfying TV. Marie Kondo made the trade famous by teaching people to spark joy in their lives with precise and meditative organizing. But she was really the tip of a long spear. Home and commercial organization has been a profession for some time. There’s real value in having someone experienced in making spaces work do it for you. Organizing doesn’t spark joy for everyone. But being organized does.

Renee Ory of Amazing Spaces here in Lafayette has made a career of it since the early 2000s. Renee began her professional career in design, but switched to organizing when she saw how many clients she worked with needed it. Amazing Spaces works with both residential and commercial clients, organizing home offices and streamlining warehouses for efficiency. They also provide move out and move in services, helping customers pack up and unpack with peace of mind.

Renee has a personal passion for organizing pantries and has a penchant for arranging space in older homes. Deep shelves are nothing a 20 foot lazy susan can’t fix.

Cleansing inside you is just as important for your mental health as cleaning around you. We’ve traded wholesome nutrition in our diets for cost and convenience. According to one estimate, around 90% of Americans have traces of pesticides in their bodies from eating conventional produce. Spinach is apparently the worst offender.

Besides the long-term health effects, big meals can make you feel pretty lousy after lunch. Clean eating can clear the way to a clean mind, and that’s what Beverly Boatner offers at Clean Juice Lafayette, the first local franchise location of the national organic juice chain. Clean Juice offers made-to-order organic juices, smoothies, wraps salads and grain bowls. It’s the only all-organic juice bar in the city and they also offer juice cleanses: which are like home organizers for your body.

Beverly operates Clean Juice with her daughter and both of them are teachers. They use that background to help customers understand what to eat for their health and why.



Out to Lunch: September 22, 2021

Sep 23, 2021

E-commerce is about speed. But not just for the customer, for the seller, too. The name of the game is striking while the iron’s hot. Get your product to the top of the search ranking on Google and you can move units, fast.

Once a cat meme goes pandemic, it pays to be the seller who can deliver the hype on a mug or a t-shirt. The hard part is the logistics. Inventory takes investment and risk. What are you gonna do with all those cat mugs when the trend dies?

Lafayette native Josh Goree’s company, Completeful, makes that problem go away.

Instead of stocking all the inventory in your house, waiting for the internet to do its thing, Completeful stocks and fulfills your orders on demand.

Based in Lafayette, Completeful has grown fast since Josh launched it in his garage, engraving custom wedding gifts in 2017. Today, Completeful ships tens of thousands of custom products each day for sellers on Etsy and Shopify, enabling scores of micro-shops around the internet with an integrated app.

If the quick buck is your thing, then maybe graduate school isn’t for you. Going deeper into higher education is a way to bury yourself deep into a professional or academic pursuit. Believe it or not, it’s still a marketplace. Working your way through academia means finding a niche and selling yourself and expertise to your future peers and mentors. It can be highly, highly competitive, and very, very specialized.

And the graduate schools are competing for you too.

In 2019, U.S. graduate schools conferred 1 million degrees, an increase of 20% from a decade earlier. And despite a decline in postsecondary enrollment overall, graduate and professional programs have actually increased enrollment over the last 10 years by 8%, according to the U.S. Census.

UL Lafayette’s graduate school is a top producer of research. “How well do radishes grow in space?” “How does folklore impact the way our kids think and see the world?” Folks at UL are working on answers to those timeless questions.

As the Dean of UL’s graduate school, Dr. Mary Farmer-Kaiser has a front row seat to that work. Mary has helmed the graduate school since 2015, and has taught history at UL since 2000. A native of Kansas, she charted a successful career for herself by seizing the opportunities in front of her. Some great advice for anyone entering the workforce.