Mississippi entrepreneur is sharing the Luv: Customers lining up for her chicken salad specialties

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Spurred on by the entrepreneurial success of friends, Caroline DeRossette decided she would try her hand at starting a business.

Like others, DeRossette was experiencing the rising cost of everything from gas to groceries. She knew, as a single mother with two daughters, that if she didn’t come up with a way to supplement her income from the chemical plant in Tallulah where she worked, cutbacks would be inevitable.

Therefore, after having a conversation with her youngest daughter, Mageigh, she decided being a business owner was something she wanted to try. And she knew just where to set up shop: Parish Waterfowl Co. at 1100 Washington St. in Vicksburg.

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“One day, I was as taking my youngest daughter to my mom’s house because I was going to be working nights that week, and on the way there I told Mageigh, my youngest, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I sold my chicken salad in Brad and Callie’s store?” DeRossette said. “And she (Magiegh) was like, ‘Yeah that would be so cool. It’s so good. Everyone would love it.'”

Being friends with Brad and Callie Eldridge, owners of Parish Waterfowl Co., DeRossette said, she had witnessed the couple’s success with their downtown Vicksburg business and it inspired her to consider starting a business of her own.

“It opened my eyes to the fact that I could do something like that, even if it’s something small,” she said.

Later in the evening after dropping her daughter at her mother’s, DeRossette said she texted Callie and pitched her idea.

“I sent Callie this pretty lengthy message about how inspiring it had been to watch them come from just a small idea into bringing everything to fruition at their store,” DeRossette said, and then she asked the Eldridges if they liked chicken salad — and if they would be open to her selling her chicken salad out of the store’s coffee shop.

“Immediately, (Callie) was absolutely like ‘Yes, that would be awesome,’” DeRossette said.

This conversation occurred in April of this year, and since then DeRossette said her brand, For the Luv of Chicken Salad, has “taken off.”

Named after her oldest daughter, DeRossette’s original recipe is the Crawley’s Classic. She has since added The Mags, named after her youngest, which features pickles, fruit and pecans, and the Hottie Holly, named for her “hot friend.”

DeRossette said the Hottie Holly is on the spicy side and if you want to turn the heat up even more, there is the DeRo’s, which is named for her brother.

And so far, sales have been good, DeRossette said.

The first two days in the cooler at Parish it sold out, and then DeRossette said she had people starting to contact her wanting to know how they could get larger orders.

“I had no idea it was going to jump off like this, so I was not prepared in the least. I didn’t have bulk-size menus or pricing, so I had to get to work. Because this is my time, I thought,” DeRossette said.

For the Luv of Chicken Salad is sold at Parish Waterfowl Co., 1100 Washington St. DeRossette said she makes deliveries there twice a week. Special-order deliveries for people living in Vicksburg, Tallulah and Delhi, La. are available once a week.

For more information, visit fortheluvofchickensalad.godaddysites.com/contact-us, call 318-434-2399 or email fortheluvofchickensalad@gmail.com.