How 5 St. Martin Parish Businesses Are Redefining Cajun Resilience in the Era of Covid
The archetype of the tireless resilience and enduring spirit of the Cajun people exists for a reason. It goes back to the beginning of our story in Louisiana, when the first Acadian settlers were exiled from their home in present day Nova Scotia by British forces in 1755. Since then, South Louisiana has seen the threat of rising rivers, in addition to the most active hurricane season on record. So our residents know best that to adapt is to survive, and that you adapt by rolling with the punches.
These five St. Martin Parish businesses have found ways to be innovative using creative solutions, from keeping customers informed by posting more frequently on social media platforms as state restrictions changed from day to day, to expanding their menu offerings and specials to help patrons hard hit by the pandemic.
Louisiana Marketshops at the 115
2942 Grand Point Hwy. Henderson, LA 70517
Visible from Interstate 10, every nook and cranny at owner Jennifer Casanova's shop-slash-welcome center is jam-packed with art, collectibles, decor, and other ware that was all handcrafted by Louisiana makers. When the COVID-19 pandemic kept the store's most vulnerable shoppers at home, Casanova took to the 115's Facebook page to communicate with customers, post new items, and keep spirits high at a time when local artists needed it most.
The Rustic Relic
105 N. Main St. Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
From its storefront in downtown Breaux Bridge, The Rustic Relic contains a treasure trove of handmade collectible wares and jaw-dropping custom jewelry. This year, the Main Street boutique began promoting local makers by hosting outdoor pop-ups featuring local guest artists. They also created an Etsy page to make shopping a breeze for customers unable to browse in person with regular discounts and free shipping.
Lagniappe Antique Mall
124 W. Bridge St. Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
With over 17,000 square feet filled wall-to-wall with inventory, sanitizing the space occupied by Lagniappe Antiques is no easy task; but the store’s staff ensured a safe shopping experience for customers by doing exactly that, as well as enforcing social distancing guidelines and encouraging online commerce with frequent new product posts on the business’s Facebook page,
The St. John Restaurant
203 N. New Market St. St. Martinville, LA 70582
Known around the region for its elegant Cajun and Creole cuisine, The St. John Restaurant offers rotating daily lunch specials, a new specialty cocktail each week, and even gourmet weekend dinner specials. Follow their Facebook page to stay updated on new menu additions and discounts.
Mother's Café VII
222 E. Bridge St. St. Martinville, LA 70582
Just a year after Mother’s opened its doors, the St. Martinville eatery is home to some of the best breakfast in town. Aside from offering weekly menu specials and daily plate lunches, Mother’s posts frequent updates on its Facebook page and offers a special surprise or discount to users who like, share, or tag a friend in the comments.
Café Sydnie Mae
140 E. Bridge St. Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
In the midst of the pandemic, Café Sydnie Mae began cooking up family meal deals for customers to take to-go, as well as daily lunch specials; and, as Louisiana entered Phase 2, a new specialty craft cocktail every week. The famed local steak and seafood restaurant also transitioned to outdoor dining while keeping indoor capacity limited, and was one of the first local establishments to return with live music performances. The café has a robust online presence, and updates its Facebook page with new menu options daily.
For more St. Martin Parish restaurants and eateries to try, visit mangestmartin.com.