Papa Tom Bonnecaze
Bonnecaze Farms was established by my father, Tom Bonnecaze, Sr. more than 25 years ago. It started out as a hobby to fill his time after retirement. With much help and support from my mother, Lucille, they grew peppers which were hand-picked, dried and ground to make red pepper for sale and to use in Papa Tom’s Louisiana Seasoning Mix. They grew corn to make cornmeal which was ground using his stone grist mill. These products were sold in the beginning at the local farmer’s market. They soon expanded the line of products to include stone ground yellow grits, organic oatmeal, corn and rice fish fry. Every product was marked for excellence.
Sadly, Papa Tom passed away in May 2013. A few years prior to Papa’s passing, I learned the product processing under his eagle-eyed supervision, and today the legacy he left behind continues. No longer is Bonnecaze Farms just a hobby. Today, Bonnecaze Farms is a thriving business. At Bonnecaze Farms we strive to maintain the same principles, hard work, and dedication that Papa Tom exhibited in every aspect of his life and his business.
~ Ronny Bonnecaze
Carrollton Market’s Chef Jason Goodenough has been buying grits from Bonnecaze Farms in Baton Rouge for years. “I was looking into doing a corn pancake, and they told me they would give me the byproduct from their stone-ground grits,” says Goodenough. “It’s essentially just too small to be a grit and falls through the hopper.” At $5 per gallon, Goodenough uses the corn flour for pancakes that he serves with pecan shell-smoked black drum, citrus crème fraîche, pepper jelly, and Choupique caviar. It’s a resourceful dish that’s layered, local, and representative of Goodenough’s elevated Southern cuisine.
Why Eat Local?
We sell to dozens of restaurants who are using local ingredients in their offerings. Eating local is good for many reasons.
Local foods have more nutrition and are fresher, since they aren’t traveling as far, fewer preservatives are needed.
Buying local is also better for the local economy since it keeps the dollars in your community. It’s also good for the environment, saving energy by not needing to transport your food over long distances.
Ronny and Dot Bonnecaze