Ever since they first started their business in the form of a fried catfish stand in 2003, Cedric and Joan Anderson have been dedicated to bringing their unique taste and quality service to their customers. They would eventually close their catfish stand, but began offering to ship their seasonings to anyone who requested them. Eventually the requests became so numerous, that Cedric and Joan decided to make this the focal point of their business.
They launched a website dedicated to the sale of their seasonings in 2010, and since then, have watched their business boom. They are now sold in over 180 supermarkets and specialty stores, including Rouses, Ramsey’s Marketplace, Roberts Inc. and the Natchez Markets, with a recent pickup by the McComb, Mississippi Kroger Units and the possibility of breaking into the Memphis market. According to one distributor, it isn’t hard to see why.
“As a distributor of Local and Regional grocery companies, I am always looking for those items that would appeal to that customer base. C.J.’s Fish Breading and Southern Seasonings Mesquite Rub certainly fills that need. C.J.’s products are what we call “a notch above” in the grocery industry. Their flavors and service are a great welcome to their grocery categories.”
This rapid growth is incredible to watch, especially to those who know Cedric and Joan best. “I guess you could say I’ve been with the company from the ground up. To watch the seasoning and brand in general go from a family shared secret to now hundreds if not thousands of secret sharers is nothing short of amazing.” said Krystin Anderson, a current C.J.’s employee, and Cedric and Joan’s daughter. “I know their accomplishment list will keep growing and I hope to be a contributor to their continued success.”
Their success is no surprise when you hear customer accounts of how their products taste.
“When it comes to food, I am set in my ways. I want it done right.” says Chase McDaniel, one of C.J.’s many satisfied customers. “My wife and I come to a fruit stand that was having a fish frying event, and we picked up a few to-go plates to take home. Being honest, fish is NOT my wife’s preferred choice, yet I have always enjoyed a good helping of fried fish. Before we got to our house, my wife had cleaned her plate of the fish. She absolutely loved it, as did I. We called the fruit stand to ask about the seasoning, and that is when we first learned of C.J.’s Southern Seasoning. Ever since then, every fish fry we have had uses C.J.’s Southern Seasoning Fish Fry!”
It isn’t just seasonings, either. According to various customers, C.J.’s also makes delicious pecan pies!
“I was originally born and raised in Brazil, and the home-style cooking and seasoning was beyond measure there. However, upon my first trip to the States, Mississippi in particular, I tried one of C.J.’s Seasonings’ pecan pies, and it was so amazing. During my free time, in Canada, I cook and make decorative desserts, etc. So I know what to look for in quality food, and these pies have every aspect of that quality. It is truly the homestyle pie that I could not find in two countries, but was lucky enough to find right here in Mississippi!” says Shirley Ramlho, a Vancouver resident who stumbled upon C.J.’s during a recent trip to Mississippi.
The story of C.J.’s is a classic American success story. As for what led to that success, Joan says “the secret really is in the bag!”. Given the company’s track record, we’ll have to take her at her word.
Cedric and Joan have been married for 36 years and currently reside in Hattiesburg, MS. They have two children and continue to run the business with the help of their daughter, Krystin.