You don't have to take a trip down to New Orleans to taste authentic Louisiana cooking. A Sioux Falls woman is hoping the "Chicken Soup of the South" catches on here in KELOLAND.
The Fellowship Hall at SonRise Baptist church is busy for lunch these days. But what's being served here isn't your traditional Midwestern fare. A little bit of Louisiana is on the menu.
"Mustard greens, corn bread, red beans and rice; just everything that they have back home, I'd like to bring it here." Gwendolyn Beaudion said.
Beaudion started serving her great-grandmother's gumbo at the church last year after losing her job and the death of her son.
"I thought about reinventing myself and I kept hearing his voice, saying, 'Mama, you can make that gumbo and you can sell it. People will buy your gumbo; it's that good.' So I thought I would step out on faith and so I did," Beaudion said.
Beaudion gives back to the church for allowing her to start her business here. And she's working with the Small Business Administration and mentors to grow into her own restaurant.
"Someone told me, 'I picture your gumbo on a truck. I just see a van. Louisiana Gumbo to Go!' I said, 'Yeah, me too,'" Beaudion said.
Beaudion believes that people around here are excited to try something new.
"It's delicious. I've never had gumbo before until I met Gwen and she made it, and I try to come over quite often and bring friends along to enjoy it too," Michelle Siert said.
"I believe so because it's different. It shows difference, you know. I believe just with that alone that will take it over the top; it's just a little touch of Louisiana, but in South Dakota. Yeah, it sounds great to me," Kenyan Chandler said.
Beaudion hopes by taking something she knew she could do well and running with it, she'll inspire others to do the same.
"I'd like to encourage anybody who has an idea. Maybe it's something they are good at, maybe they have retired or lost their jobs, to reinvent themselves and come out with something new. You never know; you never know where it's going to take you," Beaudion said.
You can get Beaudion's gumbo at SonRise Baptist Church from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Her Louisiana Gumbo to Go is also available at Andy's Affiliated food.