NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO) – The bean business is big business right now, and WGNO’s Kenny Lopez went to Camellia Beans to check on operations.
“From March until now our demand has roughly doubled. We’ve been very fortunate. I told my team we are actually feeding the nation right now,” Vince Hayward, CEO of L.H. Hayward Camellia Beans Company said.
So why the bean demand?
“You know small agriculture is feeding the country and beans are a real staple. They keep well, they are inexpensive, plant-based, and they are healthy,” Hayward said.
Initially when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Camellia Beans actually lost business.
“We lost a third of business to restaurants, hotels, and other institutions, but then consumer demand has gone up considerably,” he said.
Gone up so much in fact that they’v had to add workers to keep up.
“Prior to pandemic we had approximately 55 full-time employees. Since then we have added a second shift. One in the morning and then one in the evening and because of that we’ve had to hire 20 more employees,” Hayward said.
At Camellia Beans it has been a priority to do beans right for the past 100 years.
“Part of the challenging part of the demand is finding product that meets our quality standards. The future is unusual because of the huge increase in demand for dried beans. We are running out of beans,” he said.
Camellia Beans is a fourth-generation family-owned business.
by: Kenny Lopez