Announcing the 2023 Catapult Fund Graduates


NEW ORLEANS (November 16, 2023) – The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is thrilled to announce the 2023 Catapult Fund Graduates. The 2023 Catapult Fund featured two categories: one focused on entrepreneurs in the beauty, fashion, and jewelry industries, and another for culinary arts.

Over twenty small business owners from across Louisiana graduated, earning grants totaling over $115,000.

2023 Culinary Arts Graduates

2023 Culinary Arts graduates include Tropicália Kitchen, Grey Bird Baking Co., Guidry’s Cake Shop, Jun Magnolia, Rockets LLC, Lagniappe Baking, Neauxla Eats and Catering, Tee’s Catering, Sweet Legacy LLC, Dine with Myra J LLC, and Flavorithms / dba Real Clever Cuisine

Kaitlin Guerin of Lagniappe Baking was awarded first place in the Catapult pitch competition. Madison Saunier of Guidry’s Cake Shop took home second place, followed by Anthony Hietbrink of Rockets LLC in third and Taylor Moore of Grey Bird Baking Co. in fourth place, respectively.

2023 Beauty, Fashion, & Jewelry Graduates

2023 Beauty, Fashion, & Jewelry graduates include Voudoodolls Beauty, BeyBeauty Collection, Sposh, Violet’s Herbs, Phos Incantation, Marlence Custom Clothing & Alterations, Bridge Street Ink, Salt and Steel, Electric Gemstones, and Urban Coyote Designs.

Zahra Chibberton of Violet’s Herbs won first place in the Catapult pitch competition. Donald Hardy of Bridge Street Ink earned second place. Karla Allen of Sposh came in third place, and Marwan Pleasant of Marlence Custom Clothing & Alterations received fourth place.

The Catapult Fund is a partnership between the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Capital One Bank, and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Greater New Orleans and River Region.

About The Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Greater New Orleans & River Region:

The Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Greater New Orleans & River Region at Xavier University of Louisiana is a business consulting and assistance provider serving a seven-parish region. SBDC at XULA areas of expertise include culinary/restaurants, seafood/fisheries, music, retail, wholesale, services, international trade, disaster response, recovery, and business resiliency. SBDC at XULA is part of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network of SBDC’s. The Louisiana Small Business Development Center network is hosted by Louisiana State University, and a member of the National Association of Small Business Development Centers. LSBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development and participating universities and community colleges.

About The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation:

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation invests proceeds from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell and additional funds that we raise for year-round programming in education, economic development and cultural enrichment.   Education programs include the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music, the Tom Dent Congo Square Lectures, the Class Got Brass competition for school brass bands, a youth audio workshop program, youth vocal workshops, and more! Economic Development initiatives include the Community Partnership Grants, the Catapult Fund accelerator program and Sync Up entertainment industry workshops. Cultural enrichment programs include the Jazz & Heritage Concert Series and annual Foundation Festivals: the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, the Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival and the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival.  Importantly, these are free programs that the Jazz and Heritage Foundation has developed over many years to ensure that we give back to Louisiana. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation also owns radio station WWOZ 90.7-FM and the Jazz & Heritage Archive.  In late 2014, the Foundation opened the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center – an education and community facility named for the late Jazz Fest founder George Wein and his wife Joyce.  In March of 2020, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation established the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund – a statewide relief fund to support Louisiana musicians who were affected by the pandemic. In the last two years the Jazz & Heritage Foundation has been able to provide relief funds of more than $2 million dollars supporting musicians, music industry gig workers, Black Masking Indians and other indigenous cultural practitioners. To learn more about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, please visit us online at