In New Orleans, we’re proud of our local businesses and we try and support them as much as we can.

If you own a local business, you have to compete for customers against every online business in the world, and against nationwide businesses who have a brick and mortar presence here.And it’s not enough just to compete on price. You’re also competing on marketing, visibility, perception, name recognition, and all sorts of other variables that go into consumer decision-making.

Big companies have big budgets to fund in-house departments or hire big-name agencies to take care of this kind of positioning.Local companies here in New Orleans have their own, smaller, but nimble and effective resources. Like Trepwise.


Trepwise calls itself an “impact consulting firm.” The company’s 12 employees work with established businesses and early-stage entrepreneurs to give local businesses the kind of competitive edge they need to survive and grow.

Business consultant Blake J Stanfill Jr.

Business consultant Blake J Stanfill Jr.

Blake J. Stanfill Sr is the Director of Growth at Trepwise.


When we talk about small local businesses, we often think of what are called “mom and pop” stores.If there ever was actually a time that most retail outlets were run by a mother-and-father team, those days are largely behind us, but in New Orleans we do have a history of small, specialist retailers whose products and personal service set them apart from large retailers.

One of the problems that a small retailer has though, is presenting themselves in a way that showcases their sophistication, without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on high-end photographers and ad campaigns. Taylor Morgan has solved this problem, with a product called The Scout Guide.

Shopping consultant Taylor Morgan,

Shopping consultant Taylor Morgan,

The Scout Guide is a guide book with almost no text, that tells the stories of specialist retailers in beautiful, stylish photographs. The Scout Guide is in its 10th year and is now in more than 60 cities across the country.

All of us agree that supporting our local small businesses is a great thing to do. For most of us, that amounts to going shopping once in a while. For Blake Stanfill and Taylor Morgan, supporting our small business community is what they do every day. Because small business makes up the bulk of our economy, their daily efforts ultimately ripple out and affect the whole city.

Peter Ricchiuti holds court at Commander's Palace

Peter Ricchiuti holds court at Commander’s Palace

Photos by Jill Lafleur. This edition of Out to Lunch was recorded live over lunch at Commander’s Palace. There’s more lunchtime conversation about back office local business support here.

Realtor Tracey Moore