Local andouille maker expands beyond St. John

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2011



LAPLACE – A local andouille and smoked meat selling institution known throughout the River Parishes is primed to expand its reach into new markets with a Cajun Creole roux mix that has been in the works for more than 22 years.

Representatives from Bailey’s World Famous Andouille store in LaPlace on Tuesday celebrated a partnership with south Louisiana-based Rouses Supermarket that will put the roux mix in stores across the state.

“We have always packaged the mix and sold it out of our store and other small mom and pop shops in the area, but the long-term goal was to have it stocked in commercial outlets,” said Bailey’s public relations representative Kent St. Amant. “It is not just a roux for gumbo. There are a least seven recipes in one box. Anything roux-based can be made with the mix.”

Buddy Bailey, one of several family members to run the andouille shop, said the mix dates back to 1989 when he and his mother Vic Bailey began a talking about ways to ensure that the family’s various Cajun Creole recipes would be handed down. Bailey said he spent countless hours in the kitchen perfecting the mix as it is known today.

“It was so important to me that I would have friends outside the family come in and taste it so that there would be no bias,” Bailey said. “Jap Roberts of Mt. Airy, who still works with me today, was one of those tasters. If he didn’t like it, he would tell me about it.”

Bailey said the mix is already sold in about a dozen mom and pop stores throughout the River Parishes, but the partnership with Rouses expands the company’s reach. He said the supermarket chain has given them the green light to sell the product in all 43 of its stores, but Bailey said they would be starting slow.

“We are going to start with distribution in 17 stores in the surrounding Houma, Thibodaux, Metairie, Kenner and New Orleans areas,” he said. “We want to jump right in, but we also want to also make sure we can handle the new demand.”

St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom said Bailey’s expansion into a larger market is a great success story for the small businesses that can be found in the parish.

“We are always looking for new businesses to come into the parish, but we also need to make the existing ones continue to thrive and expand,” Robottom said. “We need to support the ones that are here because they are our lifeline. It is a great day for Baileys and a great day for the parish.”