Wayne Marcus Roy Sr. was born in Abbeville, Louisiana on November 8th, 1957. He was born to Saul and Yvonne Roy who also lived in Abbeville, LA.
Wayne started working at the old store in 1973, where he worked before and after school. Wayne came to love the old store and the people that came in and out. Wayne's father (Saul) worked for a bridge building company, they were always moving around. When his work took him back to Abbeville in 1975, Wayne decided not to move back with them, so Mr. Aubrey LePlace semi-adopted him so he could stay in St. Gabriel, graduate from Sunshine High School in 1976 and still work at the store.
In 1978, Wayne left the store and went to work at the Ormet Plant in Burnside, LA. In 1980, he married Theresa White from St. Gabriel and Tabatha (1st child) was born in August 1981. Wayne was laid off in December 1981 and went to work for Industrial Plant Maintenance, one of the few companies that Mr. Aubrey LePlace owned at the time.
In 1985 Wayne decided to change occupations and went to work for Borden Dairy in Baton Rouge, LA. The hours were early, long and hard for Wayne and his new family. With two small children, Tabatha 5 years old and Marcus 2 years old, it became really difficult to come home at 5pm go to sleep and get-up at 1am. On his days off he would work at the store helping with whatever needed to be done.
In 1986 Mr. Aubrey LePlace asked Wayne if he would like to take over the store. If he could make a profit in a year he would sell it to him, and he did! It didn't take much discussion because this was something Wayne really wanted. It would take long hours, but Wayne absolutely loved the store. We bought the store in 1987 from Mr. Aubrey and the property from the LeBlanc family in 1993.
When we took over the store, of course we had two small children, (Tabatha & Marcus) and lots of long hours. In 1986 business was slow, so Wayne decided to start opening the store at 5am. Some nights he would get home later than 9pm. Soon business grew, I would get up with both children and take them to the store with us at 4am. The children had a room in the back of the store with a bed, television, table, chairs, and desk, everything they needed plus a store full of goodies. As Tabatha started school at East Iberville Elementary in 1986, she would catch the bus at the store and return there in the afternoon.
In 1975 Susan Loupe began working at the store, and thank God she still does! Susan has made over a million sandwiches through the years. She can make a sandwich faster then you can decide on what you want. She is a true sandwich artist.
As Theresa worked longer hours and with the family living in Gonzales, LA. it became a difficult routine to also raise children, so they moved to St. Gabriel in 1994. This move would be a return to St. Gabriel for Theresa having grown up there.
In 1987 our youngest daughter Lindsey was almost born in the store! After the close call, we set up a baby bed, swing set, and high chair in the store so Lindsey would be comfortable and we could continue to work. When she would cry there was always someone in the store to pick her up, so she became really spoiled. Wayne and Theresa's children were all raised in St. Gabriel Store, not by one set of parents, but by an array of loving characters who traveled in and out of the store. Susan Loupe and Lela Comeaux, employees were always there to to help with the children and Wayne and Theresa too. Lela Comeaux started working at the store in 1973. Ms. Lela worked at the store until she was 95 years old. She walked to the store on days she works, (when we let her), cooks for her family on Tuesdays, works in the office, and her wash room is outside. She cooked us home style grits every Thursday. Mrs. Lela sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 97. Lela and Susan were a blessing to us! We could not have made it without all the people that worked at the store through the years.
Thank God for grandparents, Theresa's dad and mom (Shirlyn and Mary Senn-White), Wayne's parents Paw paw Roy and Granny, Paw paw and Granny Senn (Lloyd and Sally) helped through-out the years with the children. When Lindsey was about 2 years old she was walking real well, she walked behind the counter and kicked down a shelf of groceries, Wayne looked up and said; "she's gotta go". My sister Debbie White-Quebedeaux, who lived down the road from the store and had boys the same age as Lindsey, agreed to watch her. She needed to play with other children.
In 1999 Wayne was elected to the Iberville Parish Council. The home rule charter came into affect and the Police Jury was replaced. Wayne always loved helping people and tried his hardest to help anyone with a parish problem, he served on the parish council for 12 years. The store is in the middle of St. Gabriel and he is always there to listen to a complaint and get the job done. In 2015 Theresa was elected to the Iberville Parish School Board were she enjoys helping the children of the community.
When Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the morgue was set-up in Carville, Louisiana, in close proximity to the store. Everybody had to do their part due to the amount of damage. When people were able to escape all the sadness and death they came to St. Gabriel Grocery. A place to have a Coke or a beer just to relax. We met lots of really special friends at that time. They instantly became part of the family and will always have a special place in our heart!
Wayne and Theresa's oldest daughter Tabatha has since moved to Los Angeles, California after graduating from Northwestern State University in Louisiana. In California, she received a master's degree in Theatrical Hair and Make-up design. She is now a Personal Assistant in Beverly Hills, CA. They love her there because of her Southern hospitality and work ethic she received while growing up and working in St. Gabriel Grocery.
The son, Marcus has built his own business, which is attached to the store; "The Pit Too" sports bar. The sports bar came along due to the ban on smoking where food is served. Of course, St. Gabriel Grocery has a deli inside, during the summer and winter months the elements keep people from stepping out on the porch. His bar has captured the Southern hospitality that St. Gabriel has possessed for well over a hundred years. Marcus also works in the store when he is needed.
Lindsey works at the store full time and plans to take the store over one day, just like her father. She loves to bake and makes the homemade cupcakes sold at the store. She was given the nickname Duck by store regulars when she was small so that is why her cupcakes are called Duck's Desserts.
Our children were raised and are still raised with lots of love from lots of people. We have met many friends, and continue to add to the St. Gabriel Grocery store to this day. We have and continue to work lots of hours, but St. Gabriel Grocery is our life and a labor of love...