arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

< Back to Oral History project: Southern Gumbo Trail

< Back to Oral History project: Southern Boudin Trail


Ginger and Harvey Gauthier

The motto at Joyce’s Supermarket – “Where Prices are Born Not Raised” – is as unorthodox as its sausage selection, and it points to the good humor and ingenuity of its proprietor, Lowell Gauthier. Approaching his 70s, Lowell still has a hand in every aspect of the business that he and his estranged wife, Joyce, founded in 1969. Several of their five children also work at the store. Ginger Gauthier happily spent her childhood at Joyce’s, napping on 50-pound sacks of rice in a back room when she tired. By the time she turned 12 or 13 years-old she was at the check-out counter, calculating sales tax in her head. Today, she can’t imagine working anyplace else. Ginger’s younger brother, Harvey, recalls watching his father break down whole sides of beef with just a handsaw and a clever. They didn’t sell fresh sausage at Joyce’s back then, but with seven mouths to feed his parents always had a pot on the stove. These days, Harvey sometimes cooks Joyce’s plate lunch specials—perhaps red or white beans, beef and gravy, chicken fricassee or smothered potatoes. And once the temperatures dip to seventy degrees, the siblings say, their clientele starts asking for gumbo, which they make in sixty-quart batches. For the most part you’ll find chicken and sausage gumbo at Joyce’s, though Harvey and Ginger’s personal gumbo repertoire is much broader: duck, hen, shrimp and okra, seafood with boiled eggs, and even squirrel.

Date of interview:
2008-08-20 00:00

Sara Roahen


Download Transcript

Other Project Interviews



The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Bill Smith Crooks Corner

Let’s Stay in Touch

Sign up for the SFA newsletter to have the latest content
delivered directly to your inbox.