Coffee with Corey: One Love

By Corey Poole

Born and raised in Natchitoches, Kathryn Beaudoin was one of the original crew members when Raising Cane’s opened a new location in the City of Lights. Going through an intensive training session before the grand opening, Kathryn saw the trainers who were high energy and took the time to teach the newbies the ropes, and immediately set a goal to become a trainer herself. Within 6 months she was the NRO trainer for the company. This is where her huge passion for customer service and Cane’s started.

Growing up in Natchitoches meant growing up in her family, surrounded by a close knit community. Kathryn attended St. Mary’s before going to Natchitoches Central. She added that she’s still in touch with the people she started PreK with.

“I just don’t like the big city feel,” explained Kathryn, who lived in Bossier for a few years to work as a shift manager at a Cane’s location while she waited for a position to open up back home. She eventually transferred to the Natchitoches location as an operations manager before being promoted to general manager in 2020.

Then Covid hit and everything changed. The hardest part for Kathryn was struggling through the isolation created by splitting the restaurant into four teams. As family is a big part of the Cane’s culture, it was hard for the crew to go without seeing one another for such a long period of time. The protocol was put in place to keep everyone safe, but Kathryn admits the culture took a hit.

So how did Kathryn wind up working at Cane’s in the first place? While she originally wanted to be a veterinarian, by the time college rolled around, Kathryn chose to get a degree from Northwestern State University in Hospitality and Tourism Management with a minor in Culinary Arts. In between jobs, grades slipping, Kathryn saw a sign on campus advertising that Cane’s was hiring.

What sealed the deal for Kathryn was how the company representatives that interviewed her, learned more about her passions, versus hiring her so they had a body to fill the position.

And through her job, Kathryn has learned about leadership, caring about her employees (their lives outside of work). In fact, she boasts the highest retention rate in her area. 

Her mission moving forward is to become even more actively involved in the community. Kathryn has grown close with the Natchitoches Chamber of Commerce and was recently nominated to sit on its board of directors. She’s grown the store’s partnership with NSU and surrounding schools from Many to Goldonna.

A mission near and dear to the company’s heart, supporting no-fill animal shelters, Cane’s also supports FAUNA (Friends All United for Natchitoches Animals).

Through all her work, Kathryn said she feels a huge sense of self accomplishment at how she’s gotten to known so many people throughout the Natchitoches community. There’s also the 68 employees at the store, who are all like family.

“I take pride in my restaurant,” Kathryn said. “It’s not just a job. I take pride in my community as much as I do my work.”

In her spare time, Kathryn spends time with her husband Brett Beaudoin, and their three boys. They enjoy hunting, fishing, entertaining friends, college football, traveling and concerts. They recently visited Tennessee and plan to go to Seattle this month and on a cruise later this spring. While they’ve seen performances by Luke Bryan, George Strait, and Alan Jackson, Kathryn said their bucket list concerts include Luke Stapleton and Luke Combs.

Kathryn also loves to cook. Her go-to meal is red beans and rice and she once made 4 pounds for the Cane’s crew.

One moment that Kathryn will remember forever is when Rating Cane’s CEO Todd Graves came to visit the Natchitoches location during Christmas Festival in December of 2022.

“This felt like a huge accomplishment to me,” Kathryn added.