Kristen Preau Moore, aka, “Jambalaya Girl,” created her Cook Me Somethin’ Mister company from her father’s jambalaya recipe – and business is cooking.
“I have brought my taste of home to St. Charles Parish,” Moore said. “If they like it here, I know I can take it anywhere.”
Preau’s products are being served in all St. Charles Parish Public Schools’ cafeterias.
And, what she’s been reading on a local Mom Blog has her glowing – students are asking their parents for the same gumbo and jambalaya they’re getting at school.
Since going online with her products, Moore said her tasty jambalaya and gumbo has fans from as far away as Australia.
Moore said her success is coming from recipes based on her “flavor over heat” approach, as well as “cast iron pot” flavor.
Jambalaya Girl products are selling at an estimated 20,000 pounds of the mixes a month. Moore expects sales to be up 40 percent this year, a figure she anticipates to double next year.
These are Cajun dishes in a box, but with a homemade taste. Moore, who grew up in the food industry, said her dream has always been to promote New Orleans. Her mission is to bring her taste of New Orleans to the world in easy to prepare food products inspired by her father and mother’s recipes.
Jambalaya Girl’s dad is Paul Preau, who used to manufacture outdoor cookers for some of New Orleans’ top chefs. One of them was the late Chef Paul Prudhomme, who cooked his famous Blackened Red Fish recipe on a gas burner made by Preau.
Today, Moore’s products are blended at Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends in New Orleans.
Preau also cooked classic Cajun recipes like jambalaya to showcase the equipment.
Cook Me Somthin’ Mister still use the same 40-gallon cast iron pot that was used to cook at the first French Quarter Fest in 1983, Moore said.
The “a-ha” moment came with her creation of a nationwide tailgating fundraiser to help Hurricane Katrina victims. While Moore served up her father’s jambalaya recipe at 11 college tailgates, she realized people donated to help New Orleans and because they liked the jambalaya.
“I loaded up my cast iron pot and went to universities to raise money, she said. “Just serving the jambalaya generated $100,000.”
From there, Cook Me Something Mister was born and Moore, along with her father, has been dedicated to growing her concept into a company.
Proudly donning her bright yellow fork earrings, Moore’s also happy to be the company’s image and brand. Her title of “Jambalaya Girl” came from her brother while stirring her father’s cast-iron pot full of the food at her brother’s sporting events. She liked it so much she renamed her product line with it.
Moore is passionate about her business.
In 2015 she was named Louisiana Small Business Administration’s Women in Business Champion, ranking among the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Top 100 Small Businesses, and being among Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses graduates.
Moore is determined to build her brand.
Jambalaya Girl products are already on major grocer shelves in Louisiana, as well as Sam’s Club.
This year, Associated Grocers picked up her products, which expanded her distribution to stores like River Road, Majoria’s and Frank’s in the parish.