Larry Morrow — perhaps New Orleans’ most well-known event promoter and now owner of the new St. Claude Avenue eatery Morrow’s — is trying to fight the forces of gentrification while still creating new businesses in downtown New Orleans. The entrepreneur and author explained how he strikes a balance with his business in a new interview with Forbes.
“Gentrification is an issue in New Orleans. For me as an investor, it’s definitely an opportunity,” he said. “But for me as a young black entrepreneur, gentrification as an issue facing my community gave me the chance to be intentional about creating opportunities and investing in preserving our culture. I opened a black-owned restaurant, with a predominantly black staff that caters to a predominantly black audience – in a gentrified neighborhood. We have to intentionally preserve our culture and invest together.”
Morrow also explained the New Orleans side hustle to the interviewer, noting that his own restaurant and promotion business, Larry Morrow Events, grew out of him trying to earn a little extra money.
“Promoting was my side hustle, and to date, what began as a side hustle, (has) funded several legitimate ventures, (such as) concerts, events, Morrow’s Restaurant, All Bets On Me and several real estate development projects and created countless opportunities for others. Needless to say, I take opportunities seriously and that’s what side hustles are,” he said.
Like the title of his book, Morrow said that it’s important to BET on one’s self, which is what he did. He explained what his acronym BET stands for: Be driven enough to seek out information or a mentor, Eager enough to endure the process and Teachable enough to apply what you learned.
The NOLA lesson didn’t end there, however. Morrow also took the time to define a key phrase for the Forbes audience.
“In New Orleans we have a word called lagniappe, it means “a little something extra,” he said. “Your side hustle is meant to give you leverage, a leg up over people who don’t go as hard as you do, it’s supposed to be your lagniappe.”
Check out the rest of the interview over at Forbes.