St. John Parish awarded $215,000 grant to promote restaurants and tourism

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish was recently awarded a $215,000 grant to promote restaurants and tourism in the region.

The grant was made available through a $57 million Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund established to support the seafood industry along the Gulf Coast area impacted by the BP Oil Spill.

“This was a competitive process, and we are extremely fortunate to receive a grant of this magnitude at this time.  We look forward to utilizing it to promote and showcase our local businesses,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom.

Upon receipt, funding from the grant will be directly allocated to the “Taste of St. John” campaign, a 12-month campaign spearheaded by the St. John Economic Development Department. The promotion provides St. John food vendors an opportunity to promote culinary efforts through various forms of media, cooking segments, vendor booths and a traveling food truck.

Local restaurants will have the opportunity to travel and set up vendor booths at 10 Louisiana festivals to exhibit dishes that incorporate local products such as andouille and seafood. The funding will also go toward the purchase of a food truck, a mobile “Andouille Festival” equipped with a full kitchen that makes stops at public gatherings, festivals and other special events throughout the year. In addition, local chefs will be featured on various television cooking segments during the campaign.

“Through the Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund, local vendors will have an opportunity to earn money while sharing the rich history and tradition of cooking in St. John Parish. This campaign will show the resiliency of the business community following Hurricane Isaac,” said Economic Development Director Torri Buckles.

St. John food retailers interested in participating in “Taste of St. John” can contact the St. John Economic Development Department at 985-652-9569 or email