On Tuesday, the Big Blue Crawfish and Cajun Market had a ribbon cutting ceremony with the mayor of Opelika to embark on their new business journey from a food truck to a new storefront.
The new storefront is located on Pepperell Parkway in Opelika.
Clint Rogers, the owner of Big Blue Crawfish and Cajun Market, said the chamber team, several other local business owners and a handful of his customers, also met out in front of the store for the ribbon cutting.
There to support Rogers was his wife, Kim Rogers, their son and daughter.
Although the restaurant was not open for business on that day, some king cake was served during a meet-and-greet gathering.
Big Blue Crawfish and Cajun Market specializes in boiled crawfish and boiled shrimp. However, it also has other Cajun favorites like gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice and, more recently, a crawfish chowder.
Now that it is in a store, Rogers has been able to add sandwiches to the menu, like muffulettas, which he said he couldn’t do with the food truck.
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As of now, the store is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the restaurant's Facebook page.
However, Rogers said his business inventory can go beyond the store’s limits and pre-order items are available.
In about two weeks, he will be selling sacks of live crawfish until the end of June as a pre-order item, and the king cake mentioned earlier can be a pre-order item as well, Roger said.
“The goal really is to bring a taste of Louisiana to the folks here in the area,” Rogers said.
Rogers found his passion for Louisiana-inspired food after graduating from Auburn in hospitality management in the hotel and restaurant management option.
“But moving to Louisiana after college, [I] just really kind of fell in love with the cuisine," Rogers said. "My wife is from Louisiana, so she’s definitely been an inspiration to help run the business as well."
When he and his family first moved back to Auburn in 2005, they started hosting crawfish and shrimp boils. He noticed folks seemed to really enjoy it and decided to make it a business, Rogers said.
“We thought we would give it a shot as a business, and it started off with a food truck and here we are now, three and half years later in a building," Rogers said. "It’s just kind of crazy.”
As far as future plans, Rogers said he is still trying to get the feel for the store and is working on plans for how to balance the store and the food truck.
“So far the response has been really good," Rogers said. "People have really enjoyed seeing the new items we have brought in. We still have our food truck as well so that’s kind of the wild card — we’re trying to figure out what the future holds there.”
Rogers said he is hoping to make the store more of their home base and use the food truck for private events to do some boiling on site.
Rogers encouraged people to look at their social media, specifically their Facebook and Instagram, for the current food truck schedule and any business updates.
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