One Louisiana family has long epitomized the cuisine of the Cajun south. That company, L.H. Hayward, has supplied New Orleans restaurants with their classic red kidney beans for literal generations. Now, they have expanded into a regional provider, offering a full portfolio of gulf flavors and iconic blends and spices.
L.H. Hayward, once synonymous with Camellia beans flavor, now offers a range of culinary solutions, all of which exemplify New Orleans flavor and its regional prowess. What began as a multigenerational bean company, built on the staple of red beans and rice, has expanded to showcase a range of products and flavors. With the acquisition of Gulf Coast Blenders, L.H. Hayward now offers operators seasonings, blends, batters and more—in addition to iconic Camellia beans.
“My family came here in the 1800s and we’ve been in the bean business ever since,” L.H. Hayward CEO, Vince Hayward explained. “When the opportunity to acquire Gulf Coast Blenders came along, a company steeped in New Orleans tradition, we thought it would be a great fit.”
With the acquisition of Gulf Coast Blenders, L.H. Hayward brings a deep-rooted commitment to consistency. Dating back to the inception of Camellia, consistent quality is guaranteed through relationships, some of which—between farmers and suppliers—reach back generations.
“It’s not uncommon to be doing business with a grower who my grandfather did business with,” Hayward said.
Gulf Coast Blenders hopes to bring that same consistency to the flavor profiles of restaurant kitchens. The company appeals directly to small operators offering personal attention and custom spice blends, with affordable pricing.
“We have chefs on staff and then we work directly with the chefs or the owners of the restaurants to take their vision and turn it into a commercially viable product,” Hayward said. “And then they can use that product in their systems with their culinary teams to create food with proven, consistent flavor.”
The process is said to save operators money and time by supplying bulk quantities of consistent, pre-blended seasoning that the restaurant can use to deliver the same flavors, time and time again.
Gulf Coast Blenders also works directly with large distributors, reaching restaurants and small operators with convenient deliveries from industry names like Sysco or US Foods. “A lot of our target customers already have relationships with a preferred distributor. So once we develop a product on their behalf, the distributor, most of the time, is happy to take the product,” Hayward said.
Addressing issues of labor which grip the restaurant industry nation-wide, Hayward added, “Our blends save time and labor across the board. You don’t have to pay someone to stand there all day mixing spices and you don’t need to teach them to get that perfect seasoning. All the work is already done.”
As trends toward health-conscious foods spread increasingly across the nation, decadent meals like fried seafood seem to be threatened, and with them companies like Gulf Coast Blenders, but L.H. Hayward sees balance as the key. “I think what we’ve decided as a culture is that it’s okay to have fried foods, just not every day,” Hayward said. “But if you’re going to eat it, you might as well have the best.”
The Gulf Coast Blenders portfolio is also well suited for dynamic and varied products, well accommodated by traditional gulf coast fare. “A lot of our products are designed for boiling, steaming, and grilling. So, if you aren’t looking for fried products, we have plenty of healthier choices,” Hayward said.
The line of products offered by Gulf Coast Blenders ranges from Biscuit Mix to Gumbo Mix including highlights like Beignet Mix, and Batter Binder, a dairy-free wash for frying any protein.
To view the full lineup of Gulf Coast Blenders products, visit their website