French Market Foods - Larry Avery - Gumbo and Boudin Trail
I think the boudin is a growing business, but it is not one of the mainstays for the Creole foods and Creole restaurants around the country, because people don’t understand it. Once they taste it, I think they enjoy it and they come back and buy it, but what you’ll find is at first the restaurants carry it, and then people in the area start asking for it at the grocery stores.

French Market Foods

French Market Foods
3935 Ryan St.
Lake Charles, LA 70605
(337) 477-9296

French Market Foods might not be a household name in Louisiana or beyond, but the brand under which most of the company’s products are marketed—Tony Chachere’s—most certainly is. Grocery store aisles and meat markets brim with Creole and Cajun seasoning mixes, but Tony Chachere’s seasoning in particular is as abundant in households across Louisiana as dark-roast coffee and cane syrup. The alliance between the two companies ensures that every French Market Foods product sold under the Tony Chachere’s label is seasoned with Tony Chachere’s blend (thereby feeding the co-dependence between so many Louisianians and the spice mix born in Opelousas). Among the Tony Chachere’s goods prepared and packaged at French Market Foods’ grand facility in Lake Charles are three styles of boudin (pork, crawfish, and shrimp), and two gumbos (seafood, and chicken and sausage). Larry Avery, the company’s president and CEO, and a native of Sulphur, sat down to discuss the ins and outs of production, as well as the heat-and-eat retail market.

Date of interview: September 10, 2007Interviewer: Sara RoahenPhotographer: Sara Roahen