It’s New Orleans: Out to Lunch

Hosted ByPeter Ricchiuti

Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business finance professor Peter Ricchiuti holds court over lunch at Columns in Uptown New Orleans. Peter's lunch guests are New Orleans business people, from startups to CEO's, from artists to tech entrepreneurs, musicians to movers-and-shakers. New Orleans is on everybody's list as a great place to party but it's also on many lists of the best place to start a business. Peter's deeply knowledgable and equally levity-laden approach to business conversation neatly makese sense of the Crescent City's contradictions.

Old Money – Out to Lunch – It’s New Orleans

When you start up a business, you’re looking to hit milestones to reassure yourself things are going in the right direction. One of those milestones is simply being able to keep the doors open for the first year. And if you’re still going two years after starting up, you can be pretty confident that your business plan is working. However, no matter how much of a forward-looking strategic thinker you might be, there is very little chance that you’ll have a strategy for dealing with what happens in year 50. That’s the position Joni Friedman-Lagasse finds herself in.

Joni Friedman-Lagasse

When Joni’s father passed away after a long illness, in 1969, Joni’s mother started a company to keep all the caregivers employed who she’d assembled to care of her husband. Joni’s mom called the company Dependable In-Home Care. When Joni was 28, her mother passed away, and Joni took over the company. Today, Dependable In-Home Care is 50 years old, it has 6 full time employees and over 170 active caregivers. And Joni is still President.

The object of any for-profit business is to make money. When we say that, we assume the money we’re talking about is US currency. There are other currencies, like Bitcoin, which are called Crypto Currencies. And there’s something else altogether. It’s called Moxey.

You can get Moxey Dollars by becoming a member of the Moxey Management System. To do that, you have to have a business. Once your business is a member of the Moxey system, you earn Moxey Dollars when other members of Moxey spend money with your business. And then you spend those Moxey Dollars at any other Moxey establishment.

If all this sounds like a barely legal type of sketchy scheme, you should know this: In 2018 Moxey processed over 100,000 transactions for a total value of over $100m.  Moxey has been up and running since the early 2000’s, starting out in Baton Rouge and spreading so far to Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. Now it’s arrived here in New Orleans.

 John Roberts

The General Manager and Partner of Moxey New Orleans is John Roberts.

 Peter Ricchiuti, Joni Friedman-Lagasse, John Roberts

Photos over lunch at Commander’s Palace by Jill Lafleur.

Realtor Tracey Moore