Tag Archives: Bakery

Jeanerette, Louisiana. LeJeune’s Bakery

6 Jan

The Flashing Red Light Alerts Customers That Hot Fresh French Bread is Available At LeJeune's Bakery.

Have you ever had a taste for something and you could not be satisfied until you had whatever it was that you were craving?  Every once in a while I get a craving, or taste, for gingerbread.  If it can’t be had at home how nice it is to run upon a bakery that bakes their own and to get a large piece, along with a cup of coffee, and sit there and enjoy every bite.  Not to mention the smell of freshly baked gingerbread.

A few weeks ago I had to satisfy a gingerbread craving and so I headed off down Bayou Teche to Jeanerette, Louisiana.  Recently I have seen a lot of references to LeJeune’s Bakery and to their famous Ginger Cake.  Every time I hear or see a reference to LeJeune’s the gingerbread cravings start.  Now I have passed the bakery a number of times but have never paid attention to the bakery and I can’t say why.  Well, that situation had to change.  As I drove past the harvested fields of sugarcane I could taste freshly baked gingerbread.

The ride was long. The day was gray and rain was threatening.  Every slow poke along the bayou was on the road that day.  Although long (time wise) the ride was enjoyable.  First on the bayou was Breaux Bridge.  My wife was driving but I was giving directions based upon my faded memory. Slow was the word for the day as many cars and pickup trucks were on the road and all seemed to be out just to enjoy the ride – a slow ride at that. We also passed through Parks, St. Martinville and New Iberia. As we approached Jeanerette the  gingerbread in my mind started to smell and taste delicious.  How nice it would be to sit and munch on some with a nice cup of coffee on such a cool and bleak day.  Soon the time began to be a concern and I was afraid that we would not make it to Jeanerette before the bakery closed.

Late in the afternoon we arrived in Jeanerette.  All we had to do was stay on main street until we got to the bakery.  Pretty soon we arrived and there was not a parked car in sight.   Closed I thought!  Well we parked and I walked up to the front of the building that housed the bakery.  There were some Christmas decorations in the small windows but look as hard as I could I could not see a counter or booths  and worst of all no gingerbread!  The place didn’t even look like it was in business.  There was a lighted sign out front which added to the confusion.  Then I saw a small sign that said “Use Side Entrance.”  Quickly I walked to the side of the building and found a door open!  I walked in and figured I was in the right place because there were pallets of LeJeune’s Ginger Cake stacked everywhere.  There were stacks of bags of flour, a half a crate of sweet potatoes, and a small counter with a cash register.  The counter had a basket of Hubig’s Pies and some LeJeune’s Sweet Potato Pie or Bread. That explained the sweet potatoes!

To the right was what was the front of the building and it was closed off and used for storage but to the left was the place where everything was baked.  In fact a fresh batch of french bread had just been baked.  Finally we caught the eye of an employee and he waited on use.  He was very nice and helpful and answered all of our questions.

I can’t tell you how disappointing it was to find out that LeJeune’s basically only baked for commercial purposes and so there was no coffee nor a table at which to sit and enjoy the ginger cake.  Maybe I had not paid close attention to all that I had seen about LeJeune’s.  How could I miss the fact that there would be no freshly baked gingerbread waiting for me when I arrived?  So, I bought a hand full of ginger cakes and a couple of loaves of the hot freshly baked french bread that was just out of the oven.

All of a sudden a couple of men entered the place and asked for some french bread.  Well, soon we were not the only customers.  As I stepped outside a few more cars pulled up to the side entrance.  When I walked back around to the front of the building I could see why customers were arriving.  There was now a flashing red light alerting the locals that fresh hot french bread was available.  Now I have seen such lights to alert people that hot doughnuts were available but this was the first time I had ever seen a light to let people know the french bread was ready.  Soon more customers arrived and they each pulled to the side entrance and entered there.  They knew were to go!

While there I forgot to ask the fellow that waited on us how LeJeune was pronounced down the bayou.  In some places an R is inserted into the name to make it sound as LeJurne.  Well, that question will have to asked the next time I pass down the bayou.  The rain was falling and the sky was very dark as we started back up the bayou on our way home.  We snacked on warm french bread and ginger cake as the rain started to pound the windshield.  The french bread was delicious and the ginger cake was okay.  Certainly not the fresh gingerbread I had envisioned.  In fact it tasted the same as the LeJune’s Ginger Cake that I can buy at the store that is about one mile from my house!  From now own I will be content to purchase it there and if I want it hot I will pop it in the microwave!  http://www.lejeunesbakery.com/legacy.html