RE: A new venture
First, congrats, Raine, on your new venture. I wish you every success (and will be sure to stop by when I'm in your neighborhood).
I may be going out on a limb here but, to me, your most important back-of-house person is your prep cook, whether that's you or someone else. A good prep cook can whip up a batch of hushpuppies in no time. If you want to distinguis your operation by the quality of your food then be careful what (if anything) you select from the giant food service providers. For instance, I've had Sysco's frozen hushpuppies cooked in their 'oil blend', and that's what they taste like--food service hushpuppies cooked in food service oil. Their mayo is lousy to me--as well.
I'm not saying don't use them necessarily (they're great for paper products!) just be aware--you don't want to compromise your fine looking (and tasting, I'm sure) product. If you have to charge more to make your product the way you want to then do so--and note it proudly and prominently on the menu. Too many places fail by starting out good, then lowering the quality of their ingredients to save money. They rarely last long after that.
Again, best wishes and best of luck to you.