Mello Joy to release Ragin’ Cajun blend
Like another local favorite, Sonic’s Ragin’ Cajun burger, and Deano’s Pizza’s Ragin’ Cajuns-themed pizza, Mello Joy Coffee Co. is now offering customers a dark-roast blend coffee commemorating the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s recent athletic success.
The Lafayette-based company only recently launched the Ragin’ Cajuns Strong Championship Blend on Nov.1 at the university’s homecoming game against South Alabama.
“It’s an inventive way we can promote our brand, and another way our fans can celebrate their Ragin’ Cajun pride,” said Matt Tarver, brand manager for the University.
The coffee is packaged in a small bag that sports the university’s traditional red-and-black colors, as well as the athletics logo.
Football head coach Mark Hudspeth, men’s tennis head coach Mark Jeffrey, men’s basketball head coach Bob Marlin, softball head coach Michael Lotief and baseball head coach Tony Robichaux are all featured in the bag’s design because of their teams’ recent success as the Sun Belt Conference championships.
The company began distributing the coffee on Nov. 3.
It’s being sold by local retailers, like Albertson’s and Rouse’s, as well as the university’s Red Zone Team Shop and its bookstore. Other specialty stores that sell Ragin’ Cajun apparel will also carry the coffee.
The plan is to have the Ragin’ Cajuns Strong Championship Blend in about 25 stores by Thanksgiving.
Mike Gregory, Mello Joy president and general manager, said the idea for a commemorative bag of coffee came shortly after the baseball team’s season ended in June.
The team’s recent success has been one of the University’s best in any sport.
“I have a friend who has a coffee company in Nebraska, and he had done a special bag for the Nebraska Cornhuskers,” Gregory said. “I thought it was really, really cool, and that we ought to try to do a commemorative bag for UL.”
Mirroring the baseball’s team success, UL Lafayette’s football team reigned in its third consecutive R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl last December. The men’s basketball team also earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament playoffs in March. The men’s tennis team won the Sun Belt Conference Championship in April. The softball team made the school’s sixth appearance at the Women’s College World Series in May.
In July, CBS.com ranked UL Lafayette 34th in its Best in College Sports ranking.
An inscription on the commemorative bag reads: “Like the culture of our region, success in athletics is flavored with teamwork, passion and determination.”
“Our plans long term are to continue with the brand, and as this bag runs its course, probably fairly quickly, we’d like to do some new things with Ragin’ Cajuns Strong, maybe celebrate something else or possibly do some flavored coffees,” Gregory said.