Made right here in Mississippi, the story of CJ's Southern Seasonings started 18 years ago and has only grown since then. Cedric and Joan Anderson take pride in their seasonings, and they have been working at their business since 2003. CJ's Southern Seasonings got an unusual start, though, but they have since grown to more than Cedric and Joan could have imagined.
In 2003, Cedric (Retired from the Air Force as a Master Sergeant) and Joan, formerly of Natchez, launched CJ’s Southern Fried Catfish LLC as a mobile concession in San Antonio, Texas. Being the first mobile concessionaire in San Antonio to offer fresh fried fish and seafood, their mission was to provide a restaurant quality product served from a Mobile Concession Unit.
Although CJ’s was primarily located at the Wash Me By Hand Auto Detail/Car Wash on Culebra Drive, CJ’s catered to the town of San Antonio meeting the needs and requests from local churches, auto dealerships, parades in town, family reunions, and other events. CJ’s Southern Fried Catfish was also certified as a concessionaire for Lackland and Randolph Air Force Bases.
Serving fried catfish, shrimp and whiting Filets, along with southern styled poboys, CJ’s quickly became a town favorite for lunch and dinner. Being mobile allowed CJ’s the versatility of going to their customers. The custom built mobile concession trailer wrapped in their CJ’s Southern Fried Catfish logo could be seen traveling daily from location to location.
After Joan accepted an offer to join a major quick service restaurant group, Cedric and Joan closed CJ’s Southern Fried Catfish and relocated to Tennessee. For years, they would receive phone calls asking where they were located. With much regret, Cedric and Joan would inform the customers that CJ’s was closed, yet they would offer to package and sell a bag of their seasonings which on all accounts the customers accepted with great pleasure.
In 2009, Cedric and Joan relocated to Mississippi, and requests for their seasonings continued to grow. To address this growth, they created a Facebook page in 2010 to hopefully garner even more business. After months of steady growth, Cedric and Joan launched their website to better streamline their business. Business was booming, and they soon would enter the world of retail.
In 2011, Humphreys Mayders and Tayders (one of the largest specialty and produce stores in the Pine Belt of Mississippi) became the first retailer to sell CJ’s Southern Seasonings Fish Fry. Since then, CJ's seasonings have been added to 81 other retail markets to include Ramey’s Marketplace, Roberts Inc, The Natchez Markets, Butcher Brewer and BBQ and Rouse’s Markets.
The story of CJ's Southern Seasonings is an "American Dream" story. Cedric and Joan originally packaged their seasonings in their home kitchen. Now, they're packaged at a distribution company in Hattiesburg to better serve customers and to meet the demand.
CJ's Southern Seasonings Fish Fry is the first of their breadings and rubs. Now, along with the fish fry, consumers can find Simply Southern BBQ Rub and Simply Southern Chicken Seasonings. Their breading is an array of uniquely blended spices which lightly coats products and delivers a lasting southern taste to your palette. The secret really is in the bag at CJ's Southern Seasonings.
For information on where to find CJ's Southern Seasonings near you, check out cjssouthernseasonings.com. You can also find recipes using their breading and rub, as well as purchase seasonings online.