Having started multiple businesses over the years in a variety of industries—including insurance, restaurants, couponing, and marketing and home restoration—“Cajun” Dan Abraham considers himself a serial entrepreneur. Abraham’s interest cooking was sparked by youthful desperation—after moving into an off campus apartment while in college, he and his roommates found themselves cut off from the school cafeteria. “I knew I either had to learn how to cook or starve.” He’s a self-taught cook, learning the tools of the trade from watching TV legends such as Paul Prudhomme and Julia Child.
DASH OF SPICE
Abraham was running a small business flipping homes when a friend suggested he start selling his salsa, which he was cooking up in his kitchen. As a fan of flavor, but not of red pepper, Abraham was also driven to start developing his own line of seasonings. He formed Cajun Dan’s Gourmet Fine Foods last year, and worked with the LSU Food Incubator to evaluate his products and fine-tune his nutritional, production and marketing processes. After visiting his mom in a senior facility, he recognized there was a gap in the seasoning market for low sodium flavors, which led him to begin developing a line of seasonings. “Foods in facilities like that and in hospitals have no flavor and people crave a salty taste.”
For now, Abraham has shelved his salsa to focus on his seasonings. While his premiere seasoning blend SensationALL seasoning, which is also available in a low sodium option, is marketed towards tourists and is sold in the French Quarter, he’s since developed four more low sodium blends: LoSo Regular, LoSo Spicy, LoSo Bar B Que and LoSo Seafood. In April, he joined Ochsner’s Eat Fit program, which markets healthy, local products, and he’s meeting with local grocers to have the line carried on store shelves. He also aims to strike deals with area hospitals, schools and nursing homes to use his seasonings in their kitchens. “I would love to grow this from Lafayette all the way to New Orleans.”