A taste of New Orleans

A taste of New Orleans

December 4th, 2009 by Anne Braly in Business Around the Region

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell Michael Adams, owner of Blue Orleans Restaurant, gives Pearl Hubbard a sample of chicken and sausage gumbo, part of the new pre-packaged food called Mo Gumbo Products, which is exclusively sold at P&P Produce.

Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell Michael Adams, owner of...

Love Cajun food and want more gumbo? Mo Gumbo has moved into Chattanooga, allowing people to take home a true taste of New Orleans.

Restaurateur and chef Michael Adams, owner of Blue Orleans Seafood Restaurant at the corner of Market and Main streets, has reintroduced his line of specialty food products, Mo Gumbo. They are being sold exclusively at P&P Produce, located at 620 E. 11th St., near the old Farmer's Market.

There are four Cajun feasts sold in single-serve, heat-and-eat containers: red beans and rice with andouille sausage; chicken and sausage jambalaya; crawfish etoufee; and seafood gumbo. Each sells for $5.99. He also plans to begin bottling his remoulade sauce. And more foods will be added as the company builds, Mr. Adams noted.

Mo Gumbo is not a new line. It began when Mr. Adams and wife, Cherita, lived in New Orleans and sold their products at New Orleans International Airport, in addition to working at a cafe in the French Quarter.

"People could take home a taste of New Orleans," Mr. Adams said. "This had never before been attempted in a frozen state, but it was a great opportunity to introduce something like this to the market."

As it turned out, the idea was so popular, it was difficult keeping enough gumbo and other products in stock, he said.

But, in 2005, "Hurricane Katrina came along," Mr. Adams said. And as she swept through the Crescent City, she took along any hopes of the Adamses opening their own restaurant, as well as continuing their Mo Gumbo business.

Now, four years later, Mo Gumbo is back. The Adamses thought the timing was good.

"After making our mark here with our restaurant, we thought it was a good opportunity to bring it back," Mr. Adams said. "Lee Pittman thought it was a good idea, too."

Mr. Pittman, president and CEO of Dixie Produce and owner of P&P Produce, said he thinks the products will fit in with the other lines of food, including Dutch Maid Bakery breads and Jack Daniel sauces, he has introduced since purchasing the market a couple of years ago.

"The Adamses are good people who do a wholesome job of what they do with their restaurant as well as their packaged foods," he said. "They're the kind of folks you want to partner with. They use quality ingredients and are not cutting any corners."

Mr. Pittman said the packaged foods are good for moms on the go.

"That's what's happening in our industry now," he said. "We're seeing a huge increase in sales of prepared meals."