St. Landry’s Savoie’s wins prestigious Lantern Award

Thursday, July 26, 2018

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“No matter how large we grow, we’ll always be a family company,” he said. “She was a pioneer in the food industry, investing in new technologies and facilities, while still making time to treat her employees like family. That balance between innovation and preserving heritage has been the key to the success of Savoie’s foods.”      


Savoie’s Sausage & Food Products has been named a 2018 winner of a Lantern Award, given to select businesses by Louisiana Economic Development for “excellence in manufacturing and outstanding service to their communities.”

Over some 60 years, the company has grown from a mom-and-pop grocery store to the Savoie Group of companies, which includes the original sausage company, the Savoie management company in Opelousas, the Acadian Fine Foods production center in Church Point, and a distribution center in New Iberia.

According to a company history, Savoie’s came into being when the late Eula Savoie found herself with a farm full of hogs and needed to do something with them. She and her husband Tom had purchased the Little Teche Grocery in 1949 and renamed it Savoie’s Grocery. In 1952 they bought 187 acres next to the store with the idea that they would raise hogs to butcher and sell.

They were apparently good hog farmers. Three years later they had more hogs than they knew what to do with. That’s when Eula’s mother suggested that in addition to selling the pork, that they use the meat to create smoked sausage, boudin, hogshead cheese, and other Cajun dishes to sell in the store.

Those dishes, based on family recipes that had been handed down through several generations, have since become the centerpiece of the multimillion-dollar Savoie’s Companies that are headquartered at the original Savoie’s Grocery site on Highway 742 in Opelousas. Those and a long list of other Savoie’s products are sold in stores across the Gulf South and are used in restaurants across the nation.

“The Savoie’s story, like those of many of the bedrock businesses in St. Landry Parish, began with a good idea and was built through hard work, enterprise, and imagination,” according to Bill Rodier, director of the St. Landry economic development agency that nominated Savoie’s for the award.

“It is not only an example of the entrepreneurial spirit found here, but of the opportunities available to those who recognize the value of our unique cultural heritage —foremost our cuisine and our music. Ms. Eula was one of the first to do that, and showed others what could be done and how to do it.”

Lantern Award winners are selected by Louisiana’s eight Regional Planning and Development Districts, based on the contributions of manufacturers to their communities, including investments in employment growth and facility expansion.

“Manufacturers such as Savoie’s drive Louisiana’s economy in important ways,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “They provide good-paying jobs and have a strong multiplier effect, creating even more jobs outside their facilities. We thank these Louisiana companies for the invaluable contributions they are making in their communities, and we acknowledge and congratulate them for their achievements.”

Eula Savoie died in 2010, but her spirit and philosophy continue to guide the company, according to Freddie Lafleur, president and COO.

“No matter how large we grow, we’ll always be a family company,” he said. “She was a pioneer in the food industry, investing in new technologies and facilities, while still making time to treat her employees like family. That balance between innovation and preserving heritage has been the key to the success of Savoie’s foods.”       

Three things to know about this story:

  1. Savoie’s Sausage & Food Products has been named a 2018 winner of a Lantern Award given for excellence in manufacturing and outstanding service to the community.
  2. Over some 60 years, the company has grown from a mom-and-pop grocery store to the multimillion-dollar Savoie Group of companies. 
  3. It an example of the entrepreneurial spirit found here and of the opportunities available to those who recognize the value of our unique cultural heritage.

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