Vendor Spotlight

Featured Vendor: Johnny's Seafood
Location(s): 5104 LaPalco Blvd. Marrero, LA 70072
Phone: (504) 349-3500
Owner: Johnny Randazzo Jr.
Manager and Interviewee: Johnny Randazzo III

The first time I spoke with Johnny Randazzo III, manager of Johnny's Seafood, it wasn't under ideal circumstances; in fact, it was regarding an 'obviously too-low for January' live crawfish price listed on The Crawfish App for Johnny's Seafood that was miscommunicated between his staff and our call team... and was making many Crawfish App users & his customers angry! The problem was resolved immediately and I was very impressed and relieved with Johnny's attitude towards me— he could have easily been rude and hostile that the app was reflecting the wrong price and causing him grief, but instead he very politely asked us to correct the price and even thanked us for including Johnny's on the app and helping his business grow! When he suggested Johnny's Seafood as the next Vendor Spotlight, I was more than happy to accommodate his request and find out more about this family-run, long-standing seafood business...

Laney: What is your role in the business and where are you from?
Johnny: I am the manager here at Johnny's Seafood, I was born and raised in Marrero on the Westbank and my dad, the owner, is Johnny Randazzo Jr. He was also born and raised in Marrero.

Laney: Whose idea was it to start Johnny's? When did you open and how has the business grown?
Johnny: My grandparents, Johnny and Alice Randazzo, decided to open Johnny's Seafood in May of 1960. My Paw Paw's brothers were in the seafood business and he saw that they were doing well with it so, they decided to make a go of it as well. They opened up in old Algiers on Teche St. and we were at that location for 35 years. In January of 1995, My dad (Johnny Jr.) sold that location and opened up our current location at 5104 Lapalco Blvd in Marrero. The business has evolved in many ways at this location and it continues to do so every year. We have a whole line of prepared foods, which we have been making since we first opened in 1960, but we started doing on-site catering and making boxed lunches so that keeps us extremely busy when the retail slows down.

Laney: Tell me more about your on-site catering services.
Johnny: We started doing on-site catering about 14 or 15 years ago. My dad was a little hesitant about getting into it but I told him "we are missing out on something that can get really big." We bought our first trailer, had a couple large pots made, and started advertising our new services. We had a positive response and people started booking events. The first year we boiled roughly 10,000 lbs. of crawfish on-site, and now it has grown to almost 150,000 lbs. of crawfish each season. The parties range from 300 lbs. of crawfish, which is our minimum on-site order, up to almost 20,000 lbs. We have the capability of doing 30,000 lbs. in one day on-site. In addition, we have a BBQ trailer with fryers and jambalaya kettles to accommodate any needs other than boiled seafood. We also do plate lunches for refineries and chemical plants for their turnarounds which can go from 50 a day to 1500 per day. It gets pretty hectic, but we get it done.

Laney: What are you best known for?
Johnny: I think we are best known for our home-cooked items that we sell in the retail showcase daily. We have 15 cooked food items we prepare and package daily. We are also well-known for our boiled seafood. We have our loyal following and we strive to introduce our products to new customers every day.

Laney: How do you stand out from other crawfish vendors in your area?
Johnny: I think the best thing about Johnny's is our consistent product, competitive pricing, and our honesty with our customers. I would rather be honest with the customer and keep their business, rather than give them a total line of 'BS' and they end up not coming back. Consistency and Honesty = Your customers coming back!

Laney: What is something interesting about you or your business that you want people to know?
Johnny: I love what I do and couldn't see myself doing anything else in this world-- the bigger the catering job, the more fun it is to set them up and make sure everything goes as planned. I love seeing a satisfied customer at the end of the day!

Laney: Do you have any social media sites?
Johnny: Yes, you can search "Johnny's Seafood" to follow us on Facebook and @johnnysseafood on Instagram. We are currently building a new website to show all of our products and services we can provide to everyone.

Johnny's Seafood Logo
Johnny's Seafood Image Johnny's Seafood Image

Featured Vendor: C&M Crawfish
Location(s): Vidalia, LA and Winnsboro, LA
Phone: (601) 870-9212
Owner: Lonnie Melton from Natchez, MS and Shannon Melton from Baton Rouge, LA
COO: Dorothy Jones from Vidalia, LA.

C&M Crawfish was one of the first Louisiana vendors to call me to say they were boiling crawfish in early November AND they had some big news—as of 2018 the owners are now franchising C&M and there will be two more stores opening before the season kicks off which makes a total of 5 locations! Why is there such a demand for C&M? I had to find out more…

Laney: How did C&M Crawfish get started?
Dorothy : It was Lonnie's idea to start C&M in 2012. When we first opened, we boiled and sold out of a trailer in a parking lot. Now, we have 2 corporately owned stores, 1 franchise currently open, and 2 more opening before the 2018 crawfish season! We have our own apparel line, and a custom blended seasoning we boil with, along with retailing it!

Laney: Tell me more about your decision to franchise the business? Where can we expect future locations to pop up?
Dorothy : We have such a quality product, and a unique customer service model that we were being asked pretty frequently to open in these different areas. We knew that to truly open where we were being asked, was to franchise! We have a location opening in Monroe, LA and in the greater Jackson, MS area before next crawfish season.

Laney: What is your best seller/what are you known for?
Dorothy : Our best seller has to be crawfish! Shrimp is a close second. We are known for an authentic home boil taste in all of our seafood, and our ethical, fair customer service.

Laney: How do you stand out from other crawfish vendors in your area?
Dorothy : We run it like a true business, not a part time job. C&M does not take advantage of our customers. We have a consistent, flavorful product. We always have crawfish first, and usually keep serving it the longest! C&M is not open just seasonally! We're open 7 days a week, all year long.

Laney: What's the best thing about C&M?
Dorothy : Our flavor!

Laney: Something interesting about you or your business that you want people to know?
Dorothy : We franchise, so if we aren't currently in a location convenient to you, there is a chance we will be soon! Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

C&M Crawfish Logo
C&M Crawfish Image

Featured Vendor: The Crab Man Plus
Location(s): Mandeville and Metairie
Phone: (504) 266-8555
Owner: Husband & Wife team! Gidget Royes, Director of Social Media Marketing & Alvin Royes, Crabber

The Crab Man Plus is a wildly successful, family-run, global seafood business right here in South Louisiana. They also happen to be the only vendor in Louisiana (that we know of) selling live crawfish in September and October on The Crawfish App... So we had to learn more about their business! Every single time I have communicated with Gidget, I can sense the passion she has for her business. She is quick to respond to my requests, eager to help, and always hustling; I can only assume she treats her customers the same way, which keeps them coming back again and again.

Laney: Whose idea was it to start The Crab Man Plus?
Gidget: Alvin has been selling wholesale crabs to markets and restaurants for about nine years. I wanted to take it to the next level and create an over-the-top kind of seafood market. So I began The Crab Man Plus Facebook page back in 2015, posting videos and posts that started going viral. Then, to our surprise, our Mobile Seafood Market blew up really fast!

Laney: What is your best selling product?

Laney: This is no surprise to me seeing that you manage to keep a year-round supply and have become known for this. What's your secret to having live crawfish available all year long?
Gidget: We have a really great relationship with crawfisherman in the industry to be able to have crawfish year round.

Laney: How do you stand out from other crawfish vendors in your area?
Gidget: Our prices, customer service and the feel of buying from family is what we strive on. And we are honest with our customers.

Laney: What’s the best thing about Crab Man Plus?
Gidget: Our "Keeping it real" posts on social media along with educational seafood posts, recipes and some controversial videos about cleaning softshell Crabs and popping the tops off of hard shell crabs for the barbecue pit. #PopTops

Laney: What is something interesting about you or your business that you want people to know?
Gidget: We were born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana and we are a husband and wife duo that has made it big and went from selling locally then nationally to now global sales. We love this industry and wouldn't have it any other way.

The Crab Man Plus Logo
The Crab Man Plus Image