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L.H. Hayward & Company Names Ryan Shepherd Executive Chef

Iconic New Orleans-based brand hires chef to expand product variety and expertise

 NEW ORLEANS (May 7, 2019) L.H. Hayward & Company, parent company of Camellia Brand and Gulf Coast Blenders, is excited to announce Louisiana native Ryan Shepherd as executive chef. The iconic, 96-year-old New Orleans company distributes 19 varieties of premium non-GMO dry beans, peas and lentils through Camellia Brand and the finest dry ingredient blends in the country through Gulf Coast Blenders.

“We could not be more thrilled to have the incredibly talented Chef Ryan Shepherd join the L.H. Hayward & Company family as we look at the future of research and development for both Camellia Brand and Gulf Coast Blenders,” said Vince Hayward, L.H. Hayward & Company CEO and fourth-generation owner. “Having a chef on our team has always been a goal of ours, and now more than ever we are able to not only provide the highest quality products to our consumers, but also complement those products with countless delicious recipes for all to enjoy.”

Chef Ryan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. He brings over 16 years of professional culinary arts experience to L.H. Hayward & Company. Most notably, he was recruited by the legendary Chef Paul Prudhomme in 2012 for collaborative product development work at Magic Seasoning Blends Inc. There he led companies around the world in the development of category-leading food products and restaurant-quality flavors that today’s market demands.

“To be part of this company is such an honor and I’m so excited to hit the ground running,” said Executive Chef Ryan Shepherd. “Camellia is a brand that brings people together to gather around and enjoy a meal. This is one of my favorite aspects about cooking — bringing those of all backgrounds to the table to share a delicious, quality meal and spend time with each other.”

Chef Ryan brings vast industry experience from industrial food processing to retail and foodservice seasonings, batter mixes, breaders, dinner mixes and flavor systems that deliver the crucial consistency and quality that operators need to edge out their competition. He is excited to join the L.H. Hayward & Company team as they share his unwavering commitment to quality and consistency.

Chef Ryan can be reached at To find out more information about Camellia Brand, visit To contact Camellia’s sales team, email

About Camellia Brand: Established in 1923 by L.H. Hayward & Company, Camellia Brand distributes 19 varieties of premium dry beans throughout the southern United States. Focused on quality as a hallmark, the company uses 100 percent U.S.-farmed beans that are non-GMO certified, cleaned six times and above USDA grade. From the rich food culture of New Orleans where the company is based, Camellia prides itself on delivering the best beans around, so everyone from renowned chefs to those cooking at home can create the dishes they love for the people they care about most. For more information about Camellia or to purchase its products, visit or follow the brand on social media @CamelliaBeans.

About Gulf Coast Blenders: For nearly 30 years, Gulf Coast Blenders has manufactured the finest dry ingredient blends in the country. Supplying seasoning blends, mixes, breadings and batters for restaurants such as the world-famous Commander’s Palace, the company produces consistent, quality products every time. Gulf Coast Blenders provides customers with signature blends that can only be created through decades of knowledge and dry-blending experience. L.H. Hayward & Company, the 95-year-old packager of the popular Camellia Brand of beans, peas and lentils, acquired Gulf Coast Blenders in 2018 in an effort to expand distribution across the nation. For more information about Gulf Coast Blenders or to purchase its products, visit or email


Rosalind Hall