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Robert Zorn

Robert Zorn is the owner of Ragin' Cajun Collectibles & Best Burger Lafayette.

After the closure of his Breaux Bridge restaurant because of COVID-19, he let his natural entrepreneurial mind take over and started selling burgers in his neighborhood using the NextDoor app. That led to traveling to markets and events and now finding a home every Saturday at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at Moncus Park. He often has a line of people waiting. During Christmas events, he sold 400 burgers in four hours.

Robert also loves collecting (and selling) objects. He loves finding stuff on the side of a road or picking through an old house for treasures. The things he finds come with a million stories and he tells them all well.

What was your first job? Washing dishes at a restaurant when I was 12; I would also clean the fryers and bus tables all for a whopping $3 an hour.

Describe a typical day in your life. My day begins later than most, I get up usually about 10 a.m. I take my 75-pound bulldog Meatball out for a walk, then I go over my list of things I have to do. I tend to work late into the evening. Each day consists of either prepping for an upcoming food event or digging through boxes of my latest pick.

What advice would you give the younger you? Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild ride and avoid the color purple at all cost.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now? It's a three-way tie of events. First would be COVID causing the closure of my restaurant, then my fiancé getting diagnosed with cancer (she beat it), along with my mother’s cancer returning terminally. The impact of those three events are what shaped who I am now.

What values do you live by? The golden rule: Treat others as you wanted to be treated.

What do you most appreciate? My family, from my almost 70-year-old father going on picks with me (we once rescued a pinball machine from a condemned building and the floor was literally collapsing under us), my wonderful fiancé trying to wrap her head around my latest pipe dream, to my whole family coming together on holidays. It's insanely loud but fun. I am the proud middle child of 11 children.

What is your favorite journey? I would have to say raising my sons. They are so freaking interesting. Even though I'm not as cool to them as I once was, it's just really fun to be a part of their lives. I'm forever thankful to their mom, she did an amazing job helping them to become the young men they are today.

Where is your favorite place to be alone? In a shop or building with something that needs to be taken apart and fixed.

What living figure most inspires you? My momma, she still hits me to this day (I highly deserve it).

What was the best advice you were ever given? To listen more; don’t listen to respond, listen to understand. It makes situations a whole lot different.

What book would you tell everyone to read? My sister Heidi put me onto the book “Radical Honesty” by Brad Blanton years ago, and it's still one of my favorites.

What is the best thing about where you live? The food and the people; Cajun people are the best.

How do you "let the good times roll"? I love live music, and I try to attend as many local and regional live music events as possible. I love trying all the cuisine that Lafayette has to offer.

What is your motto? It's a quote from a "Rocky" movie: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. “

How would you like to be remembered? As a fearless dreamer who was not afraid to go against the grain; that I bettered my situation for my family; and as Debbie Zorn’s favorite son.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU? 1. ADD. 2. A never quit attitude. 3. A quick wit.

What is your favorite word? Well, hell (I know, it's two)

What do you collect? I collect a lot. My favorite items in all of my collections would have to be my Andre The Giant autograph from the late '70s and my Bert Lahr (the cowardly lion, vaudeville) autograph from the '20s when he was still with vaudeville, so that auto is 100 years old! Most of his autographs were from after the "Wizard of Oz"  in 1939; he was an older man playing that role, so the fact that the one I have is from a younger Lahr makes it that much more collectible.

What food could you live on for a month? Hamburger Helper cheeseburger macaroni

What would you change about yourself? I'd do better when it comes to mental health and my diet.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with? I've always considered myself to be like Leonardo, the Ninja Turtle.

Describe yourself in five words. Loud, impulsive, adventurous, unafraid and funny.

What is your idea of happiness? Having my entire family live without any worries.

What is your favorite movie? The first "Back to the Future" is the closest thing to a “perfect movie” that's ever been made.

What music defines who you are? I enjoy the band Tool, but to define me, would be probably Cake or Weird Al.

What do you most regret? Most people state they regret not taking more chances in life. That is not the case for me. If today were my last, I could look back on a full life lived and be happy. I've taken chances, with both good and bad outcomes. I’ve lost everything and I've had everything. My only regret would be that I wasn’t more compassionate and nicer to more people early on.

What question do you wish I'd asked? What's the craziest things you’ve ever come across on your picking adventures?

What would the answer be? I've come across so much stuff — a full-size carousel, almost 1 million baseball cards. The craziest thing would have to be a 4-foot, 100-pound animatronic doll from the 1940s. It was most likely in a high-end kids clothing store/toy store. When plugged in, the eyes would raise and then so would the arms. Creepiest. Thing. Ever. I found a wonderful home for it at the Thirteenth Gate Haunted House in Baton Rouge; it's currently in the Doll Room.