Processor of the Month: Lauren Cowan of Carson & Company

Lauren Cowan works for Carson & Company in Bon Secour, Ala. Name: Lauren Cowan Name of Business: Carson & Company Business Address: P.O. Box 30, Bon Secour, AL, 36511 Business Phone Number: 251-949-7474 Website: Alabama Gulf Seafood that your business processes: Shrimp Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised on the Alabama coast. As a kid, I think I took for granted the true paradise that we have here. Living here now as an adult, I appreciate every day to be near the water. How did you come to work in Alabama’s seafood industry? My father, Carson Kimbrough, started the company in 1976, so I have been around the seafood industry my whole life, and spent many high school and college summers working at our processing plant, doing anything from working on the packing line to quality control inspection. I moved off to college, pursued by Master’s in Counseling, then spent several years working in Dallas, Texas but returned to Alabama thee years ago and joined the family business! What types of seafood do you process/handle? Wild caught domestic shrimp. What makes your company/organization stand out within Alabama’s seafood industry? At Carson and Company, we take pride in cultivating trust and building long-term relationships with our suppliers, customers and consumers. As a family-owned and locally operated business of 38 years, we have a commitment to premium quality, consistent shrimp and dedication to customer service. What is something about Alabama’s seafood industry that everyone should know about (but they probably don’t)? As a whole, the United States imports over 90% of the seafood consumed here. Among that, of all the shrimp consumed in the United States, less than 10 percent is actually caught here in the United States. Consumers & fellow Alabamians need to be more aware of where their shrimp (and seafood as a whole) are coming from. If you live in Alabama (or any coastal state), be nosy! When eating out or shopping, ask about product origin – support your local Alabama Shrimp and seafood suppliers! What’s your favorite seafood dish to serve up for yourself and your family? My dad has taught me how to make an incredible “shrimp stew” with okra and corn that is healthy and delicious! I could eat it every week! What are your favorite hobbies? Tennis, biking, boating, horseback riding, hunting & fishing to name a few! If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it? Find more ways to give back to our local community and travel globally to find other opportunities to give back to those who need it the most. If you didn’t work in the Alabama seafood industry, what line of work would you pursue? I would likely work in some area of the nutrition and health industry and find a way to help others live and lead a healthy, happy and positive lifestyle! What makes Alabama Gulf Seafood special? The state of Alabama actually has less than 100 miles of coastline, which makes us a small and niche piece of the seafood puzzle! In addition to this unique trait, Gulf seafood is free from antibiotics or growth hormones, offering a better taste and a healthier choice for consumers.

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