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Swamp Seeds Now Sold In 5K-Plus Stores

Swamp Seeds packaging

The concept started on the back of Marshall Beall’s pickup truck, moved to Cathy Bryant’s kitchen sink and now can be found in more than 5,000 stores across Louisiana, Mississippi and parts of Texas. Swamp Seeds, a Cajun concoction of sunflower seeds roasted in crawfish boil is literally and figuratively one of the hottest products to come out of Louisiana in years, according to a news release.

“The response to Swamp Seeds has been amazing and the list of stores that carry our product is growing every day,” said Bryant, president of Louisiana Swamp House. “A lot of time and effort went into making Swamp Seeds an original, authentic Cajun product made by authentic Louisiana residents and I truly believe that philosophy resonates with the public and that is why our seeds are so popular.”

Bryant, who lives in Central Louisiana is living the American dream. A 30-year career as a wallpaper hanger was cut short in 2007 when she could no longer bare the pain from hip replacement surgery. She struggled financially for nearly five years, picking up odd jobs here and there to make ends meet but times were tough and it appeared there was no light at the end of the tunnel. That all changed, however, when Beall, a lifelong friend, asked her to help develop a sunflower seed that taste like crawfish.

“Marshall knew that I loved to cook and when he told me what he wanted I couldn’t wait to get started because it was such a great idea,” Bryant said. “After many long hours experimenting in my kitchen sink I finally found the perfect blend of ingredients and the result was a sunflower seed that taste like crawfish.”

Swamp Seeds are the quintessential Cajun snack; a marriage of sunflower seeds and crawfish boil. Bryant’s son developed the packaging and she hit the road and started selling the seeds out of the back of her car. In less than eight months she has seen a meteoric rise in stores that carry Swamp Seeds, expanding from a couple of hundred to more than 4,000 including anchors like Walgreens, Cracker Barrel and Kroger. Most recently, Bryant signed a contract with Louisiana State University, which will carry the seeds in all of its co-op stores on campus.

“The product basically sells itself because nine times out of 10 when somebody tastes the seeds they want to carry it in their store,” the Cajun cook said. “Our biggest problem in the beginning was keeping the product stocked in stores because they were selling so fast. In all actuality, that statement speaks volumes for the growing popularity of Swamp Seeds.”

Bryant, a mother and grandmother, is now the founder and CEO of Louisiana Swamp House LLC, the company that owns the sole distribution rights to Swamp Seeds. She recently negotiated a contract with a major distributor that could quadruple her business and says success with Swamp Seeds came at the just the right time. She was in the process of selling her house because she could no longer afford the mortgage and the bills were piling up. Her biggest problem today is making sure stores keep the product in stock because, the more the word spreads, the more people are eating the Cajun snack.

The Louisiana based company is located in Baton Rouge about 15 miles from where Bryant lives. The seeds are sold in a 3.5-oz. bag of seeds in the shell and 2.5-oz. bag of kernels. Bryant currently is working on other flavors and products and says that she will stick with the Cajun theme because it has proven to be a successful formula.

“I’m definitely not a gourmet chef nor do I aspire to become one, but I love Cajun cuisine and I know what tastes good,” Bryant said. “Swamp Seeds are successful because they epitomize and embrace the Cajun culture and people appreciate that.”

Bryant is in the process of expanding her market share in Texas and introducing Swamp Seeds to new markets including Florida, Alabama and Tennessee. The product is continuously ranked in the top 10 selling snacks throughout Louisiana and Bryant gets requests from stores wanting to carry her product on a nearly daily basis. She says she has come a long way in a short period of time and she owes that success to perseverance, a little bit of luck and a kitchen sink where it all started.

 

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