Keeping up with the Cajun Daughters

BY: Alyson Showalter

Cajun Daughters was highlighted in the Business Spotlight in the Tri-Parish Times on September 14, 2011.  Read the article below:


A dash of this, a splatter of that  . . . does anyone know how much a smidgen is?  Getting Great-grandma’s stuffed mirliton recipe just right may prove a bit difficult, especially when no written records exist of her classic culinary concoction.  The oral formula has merely trickled down through generations, courtesy of the telephone game, and the final recipient can only hope that nothing was excluded or altered.

Realizing that Cajun cuisine is at risk of becoming obsolete, one local mother-daughter team has set out to preserve, share and celebrate the recipes (and traditions) of yore in a written format.

“I hear this from a lot of people.  They say, ‘My uncle or my grandmother or my mom or whomever used to make a certain recipe and it was so good, but they passed away and they never wrote it down,'” said Susan Arcement, founder of Cajun Daughters, LLC. “We’re losing that real, old-fashioned Cajun cooking, so I wanted to have a place where people could write it down, so we could have it forever.”

Arcement, along with her daughter Kaye Constant, a newlywed and recent graduate with a degree in journalism and minor in public relations, launched in an attempt to not only preserve Acadiana cooking, but also celebrate the lifestyle and promote festivals, businesses and products that reflect this wonderfully unique culture.

Together, the pair visits local hotspots and hidden gems found in the 22 coastal parishes of Acadiana — Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Pointe Coupee, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Vermilion and West Baton Rouge.  They also sample local, Cajun cookbooks, visit Cajun restaurants and try out new Cajun-inspired products.

The ladies write and share articles on the places they have been and the eateries, events and products they have enjoyed.  The website even has a Marketplace, where preferred items are promoted and available for purchase.

“The Marketplace is for something we’ve tried and really liked and we want to help promote that local business,” Arcement said, adding that if a specific place or product is not to their liking, they simply do not write about it.

The act of helping local small businesses is not an uncommon affair for Arcement, who worked for many years with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Nicholls State University and then later at the South Louisiana Economic Council.

Responsible for the Small and Emerging Small Business Development Grant and for counseling small business owners, Arcement learned a great deal about what a company needs to succeed, specifically in the area of marketing.

“I’ve always been interested in small businesses and I just love marketing.  I love online marketing,” said the Labadieville native/Thibodaux resident who claims to read marketing books for fun.

With a desire to continue to help small businesses in the area, Arcement added a new segment to their Cajun conservation business, Cajun Daughters Marketing.  (

“A lot of people here, they just don’t know what stuff is out there to help them market their business and how to do it on the Internet,” said Arcement, who at one time sold handmade soaps at craft shows only to realize that it was nearly impossible for a small, home-based business to afford traditional television, radio or print advertising.  This spiked her interest in online local, mobile and social media marketing.

According to Arcement, an easy and affordable marketing solution for small businesses is to obtain predominant placing on the primary search engines, such as Google or Yahoo.

“They’ve done studies and most people click on that first listing,” she said, adding that if you are on the fourth or fifth page, you are receiving little to no recognition.

She recently helped a client increase from the fifth position place on Google to the second, all within one day just by making “a few little changes.”

“I know from experience that you can’t just put a website up and they will come . . . it doesn’t work that way,” Arcement said.

Other marketing solutions she believes are beneficial include mobile and social media marketing.

She gave an example of how if a restaurant is having a slow night, they can send out an alert on Facebook or through a phone application offering a discounted meal or free appetizer just for that evening.  Customers are directly targeted and immediately enticed into going to eat at that establishment.

While the marketing portion of the business is in its infancy stage, Arcement continues to educate herself on the subject matter and is looking forward to helping more local companies thrive — affordably.

The Cajun duo published their first free newsletter and really got the ball rolling on their website in February of this year, and currently have more than 150 subscribers.  Everybody is welcomed to subscribe and encouraged to submit their favorite Cajun recipes and heritage stories.

Heeding the advice that she gives her clients, Arcement, who has Google AdSense and AdWords set up for her site, knows that it will take some time for Cajun Daughters to really take off and hopes that one day their subscription numbers soar and their marketing clients are plentiful.

“You just have to keep at it,” she said

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