MyNewOrleans.com/Acadiana Profile Section – Lisa Leblanc-Berry – Read More Click Here

NB_Salsa2-887b668cMichelle Vallot, a career lawyer-turned-entrepreneur who resides in Breaux Bridge, has rolled out new salsas representative of southwest Louisiana’s unique culture. Founder and CEO of Zydeco Foods and creator of the Original Sweet Potato Bar, she recently introduced all-natural, gluten-free Zydeco Sweet Potato Salsa (sweet and fiery), Zydeco Creole Trinity Salsa (a hot and spicy blend) and Zydeco Red Bean Salsa. “We took what was uniquely Louisiana and great tasting to re-create the concept of salsa, but without preservatives or chemicals. And no one was doing salsa in Louisiana!” she says. Zydeco Bars and Salsas can be found in all locations of Rouses and many independent retail grocers, in addition to some locations of Bloomingdale’s stores in Florida and New York. “The plan in 2014 is to expand to all their retail locations,” Vallot notes. “Texas HEB stores are slated for distribution in early 2014.” The Krewe of Boo purchased 7,000 Zydeco Fruit and Pecan Bars for Halloween throws in October last year, and Brian Kern (son of Krewe of Boo founder Blaine Kern) says that he is instituting a revolutionary twist that may, in time, change all of Carnival. Instead of imported plastic beads, Kern says he plans to throw nothing but Louisiana-made products each year, such as Vallot’s health bars, and will extend this new tradition to major Carnival krewes in New Orleans. “Our plan is to partner with the numerous NOLA Mardi Gras krewes for the 2014 parades,” Vallot said. By LISA LEBLANC-BERRY