St. Charles Herald-Guide

Hahnville chef has big dreams for jambalaya mix

By Kyle Barnett - November 13, 2012

A Hahnville man has created a jambalaya mix he said is the best he has ever had. Easy words from the creator of such a product, but he said he has the field data to back it up.

"When I was first putting it out people tasted it and I was like Ďtell me one way or the other.í I wanted all the criticism, but so far it has been good reviews," Ryan Schexnayder said.

Schexnayder created Ryanís Cajun Pantry jambalaya mix in response to requests by his friends and family.

"We were always doing jambalayas and friends and family kept on asking when we were doing the next one and the next one and I was thinking maybe I can put it into a dry mix and that way they donít have to wait on me," Schexnayder said. "So I just decided to go ahead and give it a shot."

Three years later, Schexnayder has created what he deems the perfect mix and has been marketing it to stores across the region.

"I started working with the recipes and wanted to put something out because it tastes like something, not just put it out because itís got ĎCajuní in it," Schexnayder said.

Schexnayder said there is a secret behind the taste of his mix in comparison with others - it uses all natural ingredients.

"I just think itís got a better taste," he said. "Not using any coloring. Itís just the natural ingredients to give it the flavor."

So far, Ryanís Cajun Pantry jambalaya mix has made its way into markets in Metairie, Lockport and Boutte, but he is looking for bigger success.

"So far itís getting there. Itís just getting into the stores and getting a little ripple effect going," Schexnayder said. "I mean with family and friends and word of mouth itís not bad. It could be better, but itís getting there. I just have to find the time to get out and push it."

As a fulltime welding inspector, Schexnayder said that time is hard to come by, but his goal is to eventually grow his food products business to the point where he will be able to focus on it solely.

"Hopefully everything goes good. I am just trying to get it out there," he said. "Itís just getting it in peopleís mouthís, once we do that."

In addition to the jambalaya mix, Schexnayder said he is currently working on others he hopes to get out on the market soon.

Hahnville chef has big dreams for jambalaya mix