Gonzales, La.-based LeBlanc’s Food Stores opened a new concept Frais Marche format for its eighth south Louisiana location this week at the corner of Airline Highway and Duplessis Rd. The 55,000-square-foot new Frais Marche is the LeBlanc family’s first ground-up location since its original store opened, and serves as the anchor for the Lagniappe Centre.
“This location honors our past – particularly our grandfather L.C. LeBlanc and our father, M. Paul LeBlanc – while embracing the future,” said Randy LeBlanc, co-owner of LeBlanc’s Food Stores. “When our grandfather opened LeBlanc's in 1961, he strived for four things from his store: excellent customer service, quality products, competitive prices, and large selection. LeBlanc's Frais Marche is taking these original principals and making them even better.”
Added co-owner Marcy LeBlanc: “This store takes ideas from our family, customers, employees and vendors over the past 50 years and combines them into something we hope the Ascension community can be proud of.”
All five of the co-owners' children have joined the family business, including sons Marcy Jr., Matthew and Lee, and daughters Brooke LeBlanc Knight and Brittney LeBlanc Boyle.
The Frais Marche concept sets this location apart from the others as more emphasis is placed on the fresh food departments that consumers are drawn to these days while still offering the traditional supermarket variety that consumers need.
“It has all of the staples that customers expect to find in a supermarket, plus some ‘lagniappe,’ or something extra, which you will find throughout our perishable departments,” explained Marcy LeBlanc, citing fresh squeezed juices, fresh sushi, salad and olive bars, fresh seafood delivered daily, Cajun specialty meats, gelato, fresh ground peanut butter, a BBQ carving station, over 650 varieties of wine, and even a beignet and coffee bar. (See more photos of the new concept store in the gallery below).
LeBlanc’s Frais Marche will focus heavily on customer service throughout, as well as in its concierge station, which assists customers with special orders or for events held in the new classroom/event space, which customers may rent for parties, meetings or special celebrations.
The new store also offers various educational classes for customers, such as cooking and wine/cheese pairings
Throughout grand opening week, LeBlanc's has been sampling many house specialties, as well as product from other vendors including Hope Cookies, Atlanta Cheese Cakes, Red Stick Spice, Veron's Sausage, Wow Wee and Manda Sausage.
LeBlanc's Food Stores, which is a member of Associated Grocers, hired over 130 new employees for the new store, bringing the total number of local employees to about 800.