Is the secret in the sausage? One grocery store’s 60 year success story

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PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La -  Plaquemines Parish is a Louisiana parish with lots of traditions.

When it comes to making groceries, people like one place in particular.

WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood is in Belle Chasse, Louisiana ready to take you shopping for everything that's delightfully delicious.

The place is Balestra's. It's a grocery store.  And a lot more.

It's at 7902 Highway 23 in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

Balestra's has been in the grocery store business in Belle Chasse, Louisiana since Ralph and Anthony, the original Balestra Brothers opened it here in 1959.

That's almost sixty years of selling everything.

Everything from beef jerky to bananas.

Ralph Balestra knows everything in the store.  Ralphy Balestra is the son and the nephew of the original Balestra Brothers.

Wild Bill Wood figures Ralph Balestra knows what the secret to the success of sixty years at Balestra's.

Ralph Balestra says, "the secret to the success at Balestra's is customer service.  Everybody here gets treated like family.  Nobody is a stranger ever at Balestra's."

As Wild Bill wanders around Balestra's, he wanders back to the store's famous meat market.

Wild Bill sees sausage being ground out by what looks like the mile.

The sausage that's always a favorite among customers is the green onion sausage.

The green onion sausage along with everything else in the meat market could be the secret to the success here.

At least it's part of the recipe.

Or maybe it's the fried chicken that's sizzling in the deli at Balestra's.

Some people say the fried chicken here is the best in town.  Maybe the best in the state.  Maybe even the best in all America.

It's battered in salt, flour, pepper garlic powder and a few other spices.

Chef Amy Boudreaux's job is to make sure every piece is worthy of a prize.

She says her customers depend on it being golden brown, crunchy and crispy.

Of course, if there really is a secret to the success at Balestra's in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, nobody will say.

But Ralph Balestra says, that's why it's a secret.


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