The goal of pretty much every business is to grow. It’s the beating heart of capitalism. But scaling up is complicated. The bigger you get, the bigger the problems get. And it’s not a 1:1 ratio. The learning curve can get steeper and steeper as your operation adds new locations, new employees, new revenue streams.
Growing pains, however, are a good problem to have. Yes, the struggle is real. But if you’re doing it right, so is the payoff.
Corey McCoy and his partners at Kitchen on Klinton learned on the job quickly as their operation took flight. In 2016, they started selling chicken wings out of their house on Clinton Street in Lafayette to pay the party bills. By 2018, they built a food truck welded to a flatbed trailer. Later that year, they were in a brick and mortar shop near UL. Then came two more locations that later closed.
Kitchen on Klinton is again poised for growth and has been well recognized for its success. Corey and his partners received the Young Entrepreneurial Business of the Year award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
If you’re in agriculture, business is always growing. Jerry Hale has spent his life farming. He grew up on a 7,000-acre cotton farm in Rayville, Louisiana. Growing up, his family farmed white cotton. King Cotton. The prime crop of the South.
And then, Jerry discovered brown cotton.
Acadian Brown Cotton is an heirloom seed, believed to be the first cotton found in Louisiana. The Acadians used it for their textiles when they arrived here. And sort of forgot about.
Acadian Brown Cotton produces a shorter fiber than conventional cotton, but it’s a more sustainable product. Brown cotton plants can bloom over and over, while white cotton plants are discarded once they’re picked.
Jerry took two cups of brown cotton seeds from a friend and kicked off a burgeoning eco-tourism business. Today, he grows around 2 acres of brown cotton and represents around 300 growers. In 2021, he represented Acadiana at the Selvedge World fair of Textiles in London.
Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at Tula Tacos and Amigos in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Astor Morgan.