337 Magazine - Relaunch -2022

Page 1

Meet the Makers

Finding Joie de Vivre


48 Hours with “ The Local Tourist” Vestal- Our First “ Kitchen and Mixology Chronicles” Cover Photo by: Maggie Lackie Photography

337 Table of Contents Letter from the Editor

Go to the Source

Joie de Vivre

Grab local produce, find the perfect gift, listen to cajun music and collect unique treasures from wood workers and local artists.

Connect with our Culture through The eyes of special guests in ArtMusic- and Cuisine- Featuring Vestal As our Kitchen-Mixology Chronicle Hosts

The Farmers and Artison’s Market at Moncus Park

Off the Beaten Path Get lost in the adorable Breaux Bridge Louisiana and stumble upon hidden gems, local cuisine and pure charm.

Local Business Spotlight Explore the incredible local businesses that are making an impact on our community.

Local Business Spotlight- Wellness Introducing Nurse Kimberly Thibeaux Our own decorated certified nurse who owns Kurma- Holistics A Nursing Approach LLC. Guiding our readers on their journey to wellness.

On the Cover- Meet the Makers Behind the scenes of our shoot at Vestal for our first Cover- Meet the Makers

Get to know Downtown Lafayette in a special crawl Downtown Lafayette has something for everyone the special community found there that has created a welcoming haven for writer Richard Harmon IV

Just Breathe- Ben Pierce Photography Art The Local Tourist Get lost with our editor in her 2-Days-In 337 With a fresh set of southern eyes she will walk you through where to stay- where to eat where to explore and the perfect venues for live entertainment.

Thank you to the Contributors The Spotlights Get to know our unique individuals who are giving back to the community, their interesting stories all share a passion for our southern part of the world. Elisse Nielson- 337 Creative Director- Actor/ Travel Writer Colby Hebert- The Cajun Hatter Tait Martin- WildCat Brothers

Quotes from our locals Don’t take it from us, hear why locals love 337 in their own words and end this story on a note of community and culture.

Walk-Ons Back Cover Story


From the

Editor As I am sitting here at my favorite watering hole in Youngsville, Pour- I can hardly believe the words that I am sharing across this screen- “The New 337 Magazine- Issue One-2022. “ I am quite sentimental about this moment being able to share it so openly with you readers! It does revolve around a birthday, a new beginning and, let’s face it- we are all just elated to be accomplishing life in these crazy times. I for one am so thankful for this opportunity to share the magic of this community that has been impacting me since I have returned back south. - More on that laterSo- here we go…. I am here to share with you this wonderful story of our special part of the world, Acadiana and all of its perfectly complex layers. When we decided to re-launch the magazine we wanted to make something special that highlighted what we felt was missing here - “The Story”. In an area that just radiates a one of a kind culture, with people who set the definition of southern hospitality, and cuisine that is known world-wide due to its unique flavor profile and a famous “pepper.” This issue sets the tone of our “Joie de Vivre”- Let us reintroduce you to our Culture, Art, Cuisine and Music, help you “ get a little lost” off the beaten path and take a journey through the eyes of “My Local Tourist” adventure. We highlight some of the magical souls who have been so kind to give 337 Magazine their time and share their stories- after all- a story is only as special as the person behind the curtain. I know you will fall in love with these magical “makers” and want to know and learn more about their journey to the now. As we dive into the food lover’s paradise that is growing here, enjoy a behind the scenes take on our Kitchen and Mixology Chronicles as we take you on an interactive journey through one of our top new restaurants here in 337.

Maggie Lackie Photography Location Credit- Vestal Restaurant community and am so excited to share their message. They have all been so welcoming and it has been genuinely magical to observe their impact here in 337. I hope that you find a new reason to support our locals, explore the wonderful wellness opportunities at your fingertips, and embrace the fact it is always ok to change your mind, learn a new craft and never be afraid to ask questions. I wish and hope that you find this new issue release will open your eyes to your 337 and get to know the beating heart that is home.This issue reflects the pure culture found here and the community that carries it. Thank you so much for allowing me to share this with you - till next time.

Elisse Nielson Creative Director - Editor - and your Local Tourist.

Our local businesses are the heart and soul of Acadiana and to show our support, I have created a curated spotlight list of businesses that are doing wonderful things for the “May we always have courage and be kind.”

For inquiries contact: Elisse@337media.com



Joie de Vivre Art

337 Joie de Vivre Art Louisiana is one of the most uniquely picturesque parts of the nation if not the world. The mystery of the cypress trees with roots deep in the basin patiently holds the Spanish moss dancing in the wind. The elements allow our wild-life to take center stage throughout different times of the year. Every sunrise is as mesmerizing and one of a kind as each sunset. The character of our culture found in the traditional cottages along

the Saint streets holds the same tone as the homes on stilts along the bayous. The flavors of our culture are in fact the ultimate canvas for the creatives, and our Art scene is inspired by every moment the day presents. Not one artist is alike and there are endless stories to share of where they get their inspiration to showcase their story of this part of the world.

Dana Manly Art


Joie Joie dede Vivre Vivre

“Joie de Vivre” Definition: Joy of Living. Exuberant enjoyment of life

It should be no surprise that this French phrase has been claimed as one of the many “unofficial” sayings here in Louisiana. “Joie de Vivre” is our way of life, fueled by our culture; a culture that is driven and found within our people. Cajun Culture is unlike any other source of a presence in the world. Period. It is set apart by its original flavor profile in its cuisine, the accordion influenced zydeco music, the landscapes that inspire Acadiana Art and the ever consistent soul of the people who call Acadiana home. Culture is universally defined by the people- they share the tale of a time that was once and has passed, evolving

to what we see and experience today. The magical thing about culture is it is never lost, it is in fact- constantly adapting to its surroundings and is found in a new light, everyday. Culture is appreciated and retold to reflect the pace that the area is growing. The level of attraction to the 337 MARKET, this issue featuring the Downtown Lafayette and Youngsville area, is creating a buzz that allows us to welcome and appreciate the new era of culture in Acadiana. When you sit back and connect to your surroundings and appreciate what is there vs. what you may think the rest of the country has to offer you will be


Joie Joie dede Vivre Vivre

reminded just how unique our southern part of the states really are. Yes, we don't have Malibu beaches and year round 75 degree weather - Sure we can’t ski and swim in the same state on the same day. What we have here, is a soul that runs through every element it can possibly touch.

“Culture lives in the air we breathe, the stories within the walls we guard, the voices we hear, the food on our plates and the magical music for your soul.”

- Elisse

May these stories of our “Joie de Vivre” elements and the talented people that give them life, invite you to look a little closer within yourself and tap into what drives you to enjoy life- Art, Music and delectable Cuisine all at your fingertips, here in our 337.

Ben Pierce - Photography


Joie de Vivre Music

Joie de Vivre Music

Music is a universal language that reaches out and touches every individual’s heart and soul. Our ‘Joie de Vivre’ is carried forward every day thanks to music which influences our mood, enhances our energy and brings us comfort. We are fortunate enough to live in the place where Zydeco music was created. Our culture is wound around the storytelling by world renowned Zydeco musicians and what an honor it was to tell this story.

Featuring: Major Handy and MaryEllen Photo by: Maggie Lackie Photography


Joie de Vivre Music

“ Joie de Vivre Music” - Major Handy “ I choose to always be happy, I want to be happy all day everyday, if something does not make me happy, I do not do it- it is that simple.” - Major Handy

In a music studio lined with history and memorabilia of a full life and renowned career, I sat across from what I can only describe as one of the most genuine souls I have been gifted to meet. If these walls could talk, they would explode with tales of musical legends and the history of Zydeco and Blues that evolved right here, in southern Louisiana. Greeted with a kiss on the hand, Major hollers to his wife comically, “ Frances! She’s tall!'' Icebreaker completed. The energy in this home is warm and welcoming but equally electric. When you are sitting on that special spot on the couch across from Major’s “lady in red”electric guitar, you can’t help but realize you are among one of the zydeco royals. Awards casually sit on a shelf to my left and then I saw her…“ Maryellen’’.


Joie de Vivre Music

The pearl white exterior adds a majestic glow to the instrument that defines a musical genre. The gold cursive writing of a name will come to be the behind the scenes star of this first issue. '' Elisse, meet Maryellen.” Major introduces me to the scene stealing Accordion that has lived through many lives and adventures as Major’s second best partner in crime around the world. The first is about a firecracker of a human being, his wife, Frances Handy. The way they bounce stories off of each other that are filled with pure love and admiration gives me hope for finding a soulmate one day. What a life they have led and it really is only the beginning. Major does not plan on stopping any time soon. He was rehearsing up until my arrival for this interview. Little did I know how much of an impact these magical souls would have on me and this journey to discovering the world of zydeco and blues through the story of Major Handy.

As I settle in for this conversation, I find myself so enamored with the “lightness” Major radiates which balances with the raspy gravitas of his voice. I can only describe it as a hypnotic experience.

Joseph “Major” Handy grew up in Catahoula near Saint Martinville, and is known as the “Creole Dalai Lama.” A nickname that is fitting because after just a few minutes in his presence, I understand why. He says growing up,

“ I didn’t do all the hunting and fishing and so on. My brothers did, I played guitar.”


Joie de Vivre Music

A 13 your old Major was visiting cousins in Churchpoint, La where they were playing guitar. When he returned home he was inspired and found a radio station called WLAC Nashville Tennessee. “This was during Jim Crow where the music wasn't mixed”, he says. I was so shocked to hear that this was the only station where he could listen to the music he wanted to hear. Under his covers at night with the radio in his ear, careful to not wake the house, was where he fell in love with the Blues, and the seed was planted. It’s hard to imagine that back in the day, the local radio station was not allowed to play African American music. When Paul Thibeaux at KVOL downtown started playing mixed music on Saturday’s, there was no going back. Major explains how he made his first six string guitar out of “screen door wire” and a cigar box. He hilariously pointed out that they do not make things the same anymore as everything seems to be plastic. His first acoustic guitar came from his sweet neighbor growing up. “ The Barras’ lived down the street from them and he would go and listen to Mr. B play, learning a few basic chords. His neighbor decided that he would sell his acoustic guitar to Major for twenty-five dollars when he was ready. Six months later, he had saved the money and got himself his first official guitar.

To hear the genuine admiration and sincere appreciation of how good his neighbors were to him, it's no question why this positive energy follows him. A self-taught guitar player by listening to music, and humming along while trying to play is a trait of a true musician born to share their soul.


Joie de Vivre Music

Cut to Major in highschool in St. Martinville getting into music class. He was determined to play piano, as he knew everything- EVERYTHINGcould come from a piano. “ A treble clef, bass clef, horns, whatever.”- he says. He wanted to play so badly. “ They wouldn't let me play the piano because my grades were too low… assholes.” he says with a mock anger in his voice. I was laughing so hard because even in his very well deserved frustration, he said it with a grin. As we now know- he has “shown them.” The amount of knowledge that the Handy’s have from their diverse backgrounds and discovering each other unexpectedly in the early 2000’s could supply the south with “an original cultural history lesson.” Frances had a Zydeco tour business and she immediately took to Zydeco dancing as she was an avid Cajun dancer. She hired Major to play one event and the rest was history. In the 60’s, African American entertainers joined a group of music venues called The Chitlin Circuit. This venue provided a place of cultural acceptance during the era of racial segregation. Lafayette was not a big enough destination to be on the “official” music trail, but they did stop and play locally on their way through town. The circuit brought Ike and Tina,Lil Richard and Otis Redding to name a few, as they came through southern Louisiana. This was how Major got the chance to play with Mr. Redding in a last minute magical .

opportunity. The story goes, Otis’ guitar player got a bit tipsy and word got to a young Major that they needed a guitar player, after getting his momma’s permission, he hopped on his bike and rode over

“I need to revisit this chat the next time we visit, with a life they have led, the stories are so intertwined and flowing like a fine wine.- Or as the Handy’s enjoy, a classic Old Fashion.” - Elisse

Major dropped out of school and joined his cousin’s band at 15 years old. Then the gates were opened and he started this escalating growth of becoming the musician he was born to be. One gig after another and he ended up on the road with his own band playing with Rockin Doopsie.


Joie de Vivre Music

All the name dropping he was doing was a fast track Zydeco music education for me. “You know who Clifton Chenier is?” Major asked me. Of course I did not. Major belted out “Ah Sha, (again) we are gonna teach you.” I kindly reminded him that I am like a local tourist and want to learn everything.

It is so fascinating to sit back and listen to two passionate souls share the story of the beginning of Zydeco music from Clifton, merging the blues with the Accordion right here in Opelousas. We really live in a special part of the world. There are not many of the original zydeco musicians left, and as Major marks his 75th year, there is much more we can learn from this legend. All the name dropping he was doing was a fast track Zydeco music education for me. “You know who Clifton Chenier is?” Major asked me. Of course I did not. Major

belted out “Ah Sha, (again) we are gonna teach you.” I kindly reminded him that I am like a local tourist and want to learn everything. It is so fascinating to sit back and listen to two passionate souls share the story of the beginning of Zydeco music from Clifton, merging the blues with the Accordion right here in Opelousas. We really live in a special part of the world. There are not many of the original zydeco musicians left, and as Major marks his 75th year, there is much more we can learn from this legend. He holds such an admiration for the musicians that paved the way for his journey around the world, giving him the ability to share his soulful voice. To watch Major play in the comfort of his studio was one of the most special moments I have been blessed to experience. It was truly magical. What was so special in that moment was when he was singing to Francis; the love these two share is precious and the definition of true love.


Joie de Vivre Music


The next time we met was at Bon Temp Grill in Lafayette. I had the pleasure of watching his band play. Their energy was electric and nothing but joy exudes from these guys when they play. Carmen Jacob on the drums has an ear to ear grin the entire set. Jason Harrington will blow you away with his harmonica skills, and amazing lead vocals. Cal Stevenson has been playing bass with Major for 10 years; that night, Lincoln Landry was on

base and what a genuine gem he is. It’s hardly believable that Major suffered a stroke in 2020. He knows his work ethic in music guided him to power through his physical therapy and succeed in his recovery. Trained musicians know all too well the level of devotion it takes to stand with the legends. I can see that his band is family and as a family they helped him through his recovery.


Joie de Vivre Music

When I saw Major for our cover shoot, he was telling me they had a rehearsal at his studio and ended up talking for 8 hours. I envy this man who has so many special relationships, his ability to bring “goodness” to every moment he encounters and his beautiful outlook on life. May we all get the chance to sit back and realize how thankful we should be for this beautiful thing called life, and listen to some good old Blues and Zydeco from Major Handy. Written by: Elisse Nielson



Joie de Vivre Cuisine

Joie de Vivre Cuisine

From good old fashioned Southern

home cooking to award winning restaurants, Lafayette is home to a unique blend of Cajun spices and mouth watering dishes. Served on a plate of nostalgia to homegrown Acadians, we cherish these provisions as part of the only life we know.

No matter where you sit at the dinner table, one thing is for certain: Cajun cuisine is a main character in the story of Lafayette. It all starts in the kitchen at home learning the basics of a home cooked meal. You learn patience while whisking the perfect dark roux to no end as well as chopping up the Holy Trinity. Each serving is made with a little measuring and a whole lot of love passed down through talk, taste and trial of getting it exactly right. Sunday night dinners are reserved for family and the finger-licking goodness of a messy kitchen and a full belly. Whole festivals have been dedicated to our cuisine. Gumbo Cook Offs, Jambalaya Festivals, Boudin Bashes, are all eagerly anticipated each year for Acadiana residents to sink their teeth into. Weekends exist for us food lovers to compare traditional dishes made by proud home cooks and eyed with hesitancy to anyone who dares to put a twist on a classic (do we really need pumpkin flavored boudin?). Whether we accept the interpretation is not important, but the anticipation and indulgence of our local foods appreciated by our rich Cajun palette is a downright ritual. Beyond the kitchen and competitions of ‘whose brother-in-law boils the region’s juiciest crawfish’, restaurants range from classic dining staples like Bon Temp Grill and Café Vermilionville to new, hip eateries like Vestal and Mercy Kitchen. Dine out for lunch, which you are likely to do at least once a week, and you will notice how many other foodies in Acadiana take their lunch hour seriously.


Joie de Vivre Cuisine

Before you’ve even finished the last satisfying bite on your plate, your mind has already wondered what your next meal will be. With a plethora of choices from breakfast to dinner, it is obvious how passionate we are about our meals. It is not abnormal to eat out multiple meals a day, often several times a week. We have our favorite spots. We like to bring first-timers. We become regulars and scoff at menu changes but we will never turn down the chance to try anything new. Lafayette is known globally for its colorful cuisine. It is part of our history and ever-present in our literature and art. Cuisine is our culture and epicureans from all over visit our little part of the world to immerse themselves in the gumbo pot and attend the crawfish boil they’ve only ever read about. With over four hundred restaurants, how do you even choose? Louisiana is home to world renowned chefs. Lafayette boasts James Beard nominated Chef Justin Girouard of the French Press. Samantha and Cody Carroll are also among the likes of nationally recognized chefs with their own Food Network show “Cajun Aces” and often give demonstrations at local festivals. We are among the fortunate to live in such a literal melting pot of and spice that runs deep within our veins. Those who get to visit and dine with us will be forever changed. Bon Appetit!

Written By: Alexis Captain Marino

Have you ever had the experience of stepping from one location to another and feeling like you have been transported to another place in time? Not necessarily the past or the future; the shift is in the present moment. Something completely different from where you just were where the entire mood has shifted allowing you to feel lost in time without a worry in the world. - That is Vestal-

There is something so romantic about Greek Mythology, the Gods and the architecture, that to this day stands to be one of the most recognizable in the world. Vestal is so intune with the elements in their design, and the elements are center stage.

“Live Fire”- The open kitchen concept here sets the bar quite high, with the restaurant revolving around the impressive “scene stealing” wood-burning hearth.

Imagine the scene playing out as if it was a movie teaser, where the leading “character” is Vestal and the guests are the respectfully needed co-stars. Ext. Night- Downtown Lafayette- 555 Jefferson St.- Vestal Restaurant The neon pink circular sign with its classic cursive trademark- VestalThere is a calmness in the air as the star of downtown takes a deep breath before the camera’s start rolling and the Director yells action. Camera Slate slams closed marking the time of 6:00 pm. Friday NightScene “One and Only.”- Take one. INTERIOR: VESTAL

There is a seamless blend of a warm welcoming environment and modernization that glides along the limestone walls landing on the colorful velvet cushions. kicks into gear. It feels almost electric, all the moving parts co-exist in this w, creating this buzz that makes me wonder how Downtown Lafayette was before Vestal. One thing that stands out the most other than the mind-blowing cuisine and epic cocktails- more on that shortly- is the “familia” energy found here from the team. The comradery here is really lovely to experience and most of it comes from the team that has worked together for the lighter part of a decade. I had the opportunity to sit back and experience the process of bringing Vestal to life on a busy Friday night. The team was so fun to be around as we were shooting the “chronicles.”

As you walk inside the doors, guests exchange the bustling outside of downtown Lafayette for the “aliveness”of the inside. That is really the main word that comes to mind as Vestal has so many moving parts that work synergistically- it just feels alive. room with natural light that places the jewel-toned plush couch in the shoot- captured by the incredible Maggie Lackie) as the night progresses. As the sun sets, so does the lighting, creating a seductive, yet inviting atmosphere. The Greecian inspired dome ceiling is art. The story goes, the hand- sketched mural is a representation of the Roman Festival- Vestalia. Artist Jason Tait perfectly captured the scene or revelry and the restaurant found it’ ’s name. Vesta was the Goddess of the hearth, based on Roman religion.

“They genuinely want to be there, and they are in this together. They all work to lift each other up at the same time as holding on to this humor in knowing personalities so well.”- Elisse

The little jokes and jabs would bring out the fun of the wall.

A fan favorite of mine is her take on an “Old Fashion”- which she has named the “ Dick Whitman” (an ode to mad men); Rye Whiskey, Apple Jack Brandy, Cherry, Amaro and Tobacco Bitters, all poured over the most perfectly clear square ice-cube. There is actually quite a skill to make perfectly clear ice and it is made in The beauty of science and whiskey is always full of fun facts.”- Elisse.

I admire her choice on what liquors she chooses to represent Vestal and her passion for educating guests on the art of mixology. Who knew ingredients like celery and velvet falernum would be paired together with other magical liquors and tinctures, to create a one of a kind adult beverage. At the end of the day, the success of Vestal lies within the people behind the scenes that make this special gem work so well. The collaborative vision behind Head Chef Ryan Trahan, brought to life by designer Amanda Medsger out of Houston, was the goal to create an “escape” for guests from their everyday norm- they did just that. The wonderful wizard to lead this team of creatives and dreamers is the lovely General Manager, Aaron Brinkman. Chef de Cuisine, Sullivan Zant, preps the most incredible looking wagyu steak I have ever seen. That really is the magic of this open kitchen, as there is a front and center viewing bar section where guests can sit and watch the talented team create their art. The cuisine is a lovely mix of seafood and specialty steaks. They offer some of the best oysters I have Their take on a wasabi mionette is a game changer A tartar dish slides across the The masterpiece is collected and brought to the lucky soul about to have

it so well and is timely and respectful with his energy towards the guests. His ear to ear smile and admiration of his team closes the full circle of this family. They really are just that. Respect, hard work, remaining open minded and positive keeps this group ahead of the curve. V from all over the world. It is now a member of our food culture here in 337, reminding us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, an amazing cocktail, delicious cuisine and a warm welcoming environment is the magical combination to happiness.

have been perfected in front of your eyes. Paige Tait Hanson, the Bar Director, has cleverly created names of her cocktails that are meant to put a smile on your face. She would most likely open and invites anyone to ask where the inspiration came from. Each of her cocktails are made with unique ingredients that are meant to work alongside the delicious cuisine making its way to its guests.

“Joie de Vivre”- Vestal Cheers- Elisse End Scene


Kitchen and Mixology Chronicles

The Kitchen and Mixology Chronicles

VESTAL RESTAURANT Cover Photo by: Maggie Lackie Photography





Welcome to our very first Kitchen and

Mixology Chronicles featuring the stunning and magical Vestal Restaurant and their Team.

In this episode we take you behind the scenes of 337’s Top Restaurant Vestal and introduce you to their Chef de Cuisine, Sullivan Zant and their Bar Director, Paige Tait Hanson. They tell you the story of how this adventure came to life in our own downtown Lafayette and what makes them unique and worth checking out. We take you into the flames and along for the ride on a busy Friday night at our new favorite spot- Vestal. “Enjoy!”- Elisse

LOCAL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Local businesses are the heart and soul of Acadiana. Now, more than ever, we have come together to find interesting and consistent ways to give back to the magical people behind the businesses that give us such unique and rewarding experiences. What sets a business apart, is a sense of community; and within that community, respect. Southern hospitality can show itself in many layers, and these select venues who have risen above have created a devoted following that mirrors an extended family. As Lafayette parish continues to grow and shine, a beacon is lit for locals and visitors alike to follow the light and explore. These local businesses have done just that by stepping out of the box to provide a one of a kind experience not only for their patrons but for the community they hold so dear.

Erica and her team save life! Highly recommend you use their services! Not

Amazing photographs from a seasoned

to mention they’re wonderful humans!

professional! Maggie has an eye and a

–Home Sweet Organized

creative passion that will make any event come alive in her photographs. Her work speaks for itself. Love the baby photos! –Maggie Lackie Photography

The staff is very friendly and helpful. Dr. Brytani’s adjustments are ALWAYS spot-on. She has fixed SEVERAL problems with me. She was also the only chiropractor

“I joined almost 2 months ago and couldn't be happier with my

to discover the actual source of pain that

experience. The owner Jacqueline is very involved with the training and

two other chiropractors could not. I highly

always pushes and motivates everyone to do their best no matter what

recommend Dr Brytani and Magnolia

that is. Not only do I feel better, but I feel like I have gained another

Family Chiropractic for the whole family.

little family! Definitely recommend 9 Round to anyone looking for

–Magnolia Family Chiropractic

not just a gym but an experience!” –9- Rounds Youngsville

“I was super nervous about starting here, as I didn’t have any previous martial arts experience and had no idea what to expect. After I attended my trial session, I realized how silly my nervousness was! Everyone — from the coach’s, front desk workers, and fellow members — is incredibly understanding, kind, and

“I get a lot of dental anxiety and this has been the best dentist office I've ever found. Everyone is positive and kind. I always feel like they genuinely care that I am OK during visits which is something I've found missing at other offices. If I could give them 10 stars I would.” - Magnolia Family Dentistry

“We went to visit Nikki today to replicate my favorite lipstick. While we were there we ended up making some tweaks to the color and now I have a NEW favorite lipstick! What a cool experience!! Definitely 5 stars for the experience, the conversation and the perfect color! –Conjure Beauty Lab

willing to work at your level. I am incredibly thankful that Coach E called me to set up my first session, because training here is the absolute highlight of my day, everyday”. –Gladiators Academy Youngsville

Had an amazing deep tissue massage experience with Gabby. Everything went so smoothly. The spa itself is very nice and relaxing. Complete ambience and mood setting. Will definitely be coming back! –Lux Spa

I've been a regular client of Dr. Landreneau for a while, but yesterday I went in with pretty awful neck pain. I couldn't

I love this place. They are very good at what

even turn my head to the left. Dr. Landreneau listened to me

they do, have helped me tremendously with my

and worked on that area for me with his stretching and

natural regime and always superior customer

dry-needling magic. I felt some relief right after and as of this

service. Nichole truly has your health and best

morning I am pain-free. I'm not saying he's a miracle-worker,

interest at heart. Her purpose is to help people in

but he's pretty darn close. I recommend this guy to everyone.

their quest for better, natural health and wellness.

–Landreneau Physiotherapy

–The Natural Path

We have all been there....on the edge of pure chaos...with home organization. Home Sweet Organized has you covered. Erica Doyle and her team of magicians will be there for you to whip any space in shape and create a system that will be effortlessly easy for you to maintain. Their services range from decluttering and unpacking to creating a custom design in your space. What separates Erica and her team is the level of balance between professionalism and kindness. They genuinely love helping their clients and believe in giving back as well. They have been known to get involved with charities, donating their time to families in need.

When they say Feng Shui is important to the energy of your home to give you a sense of peace and zen, they are correct. However, to achieve that level of success can be quite a challenge; whether it be time constraints or simply put, not your cup of tea.

“ Simplifying your life is my main goal by creating LOVE your home even more.” - Erica Doyle, Owner Homesweetorganized.com homesweetorganized@gmail.com 337.884.4061

Jacqueline Richard leads this female run gym that ticks every box for your work out experience. When Jacqueline opened this 9- Round location, her passion came from wanting to help people in a way that was always followed with a positive story. Welcome arms with genuine- non- pressured- support is what any person diving into their self care work out needs to hear. The owners and the trainers read each individual and over time will speak the language you need to hear during your workout. The trainers motivate you from a genuine place and reward your milestones. As there are no class times, guests can come in whenever their schedule allows within business hours, and start their 30 minute workout at their own pace.

The team at 9-Round is a constant voice in giving back to the community. They are so thankful to be well- received in Youngsville that giving back and using their voice is something that they take pride in. If a natural disaster hits our area they are the first to arrange supplies and take donations for families in need.

When you step through the doors of this gym, you are home, and the team is your family. Once you check in and put the cell-phone away, enjoy setting your pace while you begin your wraps. Each pass around your wrist and knuckle allow you to set your intention for this workout. Why are you here? Is it the start or the end of your day? Is it your weekly therapy session?

“I can see the light with my members. Their change is inspiring on so many levels.” Jacqueline Richard, Owner.

The bonus of working alongside this team- Friendship. When you are in control of what workout you want to accomplish, the support system from this team is ready. This, perfectly balanced with motivation and drive, kick-boxing and more gym, is a must-do for Lafayette Parish.

Do you simply just need to punch it out? No matter what your goals are for each time you enter this safe haven of a facility, you are in a no judgment space where you set your terms and the trainers are there to support them. L OC A TIONS


Eric Scallan, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a professional mixed martial artist, is the owner of the Gladiators Youngsville location. He carries such a sense of genuine passion to help people build their lives through discipline and self-esteem while learning to defend themselves. They build their community effortlessly because of their goal to help students improve mentally, physically and spiritually, by learning core values all in the facility. They offer classes for all fitness and skill levels as well as all ages. The Gladiators Training facility maintains four locations in the state. In addition to the bustling Youngsville locations, you can find the same level of skill and drive at their Lafayette, Breaux Bridge and Crowley locations. The Lafayette location is one of the most accomplished training facilities in the south today.

They focus on “powerful words” monthly and work with parents to continue the character development they work on in class. At the end of the day with the children classes, they are learning how to build character while maintaining and giving respect, then they wrestle it out and have a blast in the process. For any age group searching for a missing piece in themselves, it can be found here, at Gladiators Academy Youngsville. “Nothing gives me more fulfillment than watching a broken man or women improve their lives or watching the kid who struggles in school and lacks social skills flourish.”- Eric Scallan, Owner.”

Classes include: Kids Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts.What shines so bright when you walk into their facility is instilling this message into children. GL A DIA T OR SY V. C OM


Nikki Menard has really created a unique oasis in the heart of Youngsville with her Conjure Beauty Lab. The quaint and relaxing environment erases all stress and worry of walking into a “scene” when you are there to relax and unwind. The lab is where things get really interesting, where Niki uses her passion for esthetics and chemistry to create custom lip-sticks in front of your eyes. “ Literally within 30-minutes.”- Elisse

for the anti-aging enthusiast. Where knowledge is power and truly understanding what each ingredient's purpose is for is a telling talent she can give her guests. Conjure Beauty Lab is also a spa that specializes in Massage Therapy and Esthetics. The team here will welcome you with open arms and embrace the inner you- providing a home-like experience for each guest that walks through their doors. The Conjure Beauty Lab is a magical place, right in the heart of Youngsville.

Her background working with one of the top cosmetic brands for over a decade gave her a special understanding of the importance of color theory and a clean ingredient deck. When Conjure turned two in 2020, the year we all seem to dread the sound of, Nikki took this time to grow her already vast amount of skincare knowledge, by getting her Esthetician License as The Ritz Academy-Aveda Concept in Lake Charles,LA.

After endless hours of research and training she has mastered the craft of creating custom lipsticks in a variety of colors and formulas that are truly one of a kind for each lucky guest. Her impressive knowledge of skincare has made her a go-to source



Guests will find the Epitome of Luxury service with genuine care and the most respect for their clients' experience.

The two Lux Spa locations in Lafayette and Youngsville offer every service from relaxation on the spa side to wellness on the Optimal Health Side. It is all in the details and the detail is divine. Monica Hargatt has created this elevated spa experience with the southern touch of personal care. Guests have a lovely selection of massage treatments and facial options to target key concerns. Kaye Prejean runs the Optimal Health side of Lux covering a variety of med spa needs from detox spa treatments, IV Drip Therapy, injectable treatments and so much more. This team seems to be the guardian angels of the area, as anyone you talk to has had a magical encounter with these women and sing their praises. I myself am one of them and will forever be eternally thankful for their kindness, generosity and wealth of knowledge. When you visit Lux it is an extended family who can cater to whatever your needs are allowing you to check in with your body and reset. To feel welcome and genuinely cared for is why this spa is a must visit for finding your zen, and gaining new friends.



Magnolia Family Dentistry is reinventing the traditional dentist’s office feel for Acadiana residents. They strive to create a family atmosphere. Dr. Chase Dronet is from the small town of Elton and wanted to be close to family so opted to practice in Lafayette. He brought in Dr. Jacob Fleig and Dr. Lauren Becnel who had chosen Lafayette as home and a place to raise their family. Dr. Chris Nguyen hails from New Orleans and chose Lafayette as his new home because the smaller town atmosphere appealed to him. These four wonderful doctors mesh together cohesively to create the perfect partnership. When clients walk in the door there is a unified theme in their description- they enjoy coming to see them, it does not feel like a cold and traditional dental practice. They now have grown to a team with over 30 employees which include 4 doctors and 7 hygienists. When there was an opportunity to build a brand new space, they jumped at it and began the process of designing their new offices. A lot of time and effort went into the design and as a result, they have created a beautiful and inviting dental center centrally located in Lafayette. Their hope is that as a patient, you will feel at home.

Dental Services Offered: Comfortable Dentistry Porcelain Veneers Smile Makeovers Traditional Crowns Digital X-rays Intraoral Camera iTero Dental Impressions

Emergency Dental Care Root Canal Therapy Invisalign Cold Sore Treatment Comprehensive Exams Fluoride Gentle Professional Cleaning

https://www.magnoliafamilydentistryla.com https://www.facebook.com/MagnoliaFamilyDentistryLafayette/

Mouth /Night Guards Oral Cancer Screening Surgical Extractions Wisdom Teeth Removal Teeth Whitening Take Home Trays



Business Spotlight


Vic Manuel with Vicman Homes has provided custom home construction services in the Acadiana area with over 3 decades of experience in the building industry. Vicman Homes is personally involved in each of their projects, from design concept to completion. Throughout the building of your home, they are dedicated to the highest standard of workmanship. Each of their qualified builders and preferred subcontractors have been selected for their individual standards of expertise. They provide you with a fixed price with no hidden extras and make sure that everything you need to know is laid out and explained upfront. Every home buyer is unique and you deserve a space that is catered to your desires and budget. Vicman Homes will work with you to understand your lifestyle and inspirations.

For more information: Contact Vicman Homes at




Local Business Spotlight

Crawfish Season In honor of our beloved “Crawfish Season” here in the south, I thought this story, and new to 337 local, would inspire your next crawfish boil- at home. When I got to sit down with Barry C. Champagne to learn a bit about his journey to discovering his “Spice-N- Ice” product, we became instant friends. As someone “new” to Crawfish boils and all the “fixins” that go along with it, I became really interested in the element of “why” this is such a popular event here in Louisiana. Barry painted that picture quite clear for me- it is a gathering of family and friends. The Crawfish Boil is the party and the red hot little tails, mixed with all the seasonings and sides, dumped on a table are the guests of honor. Friends roll up their sleeves, enjoy a cold beverage and lengthy conversation in what many seem to feel is the best season here in the south. Let me introduce you to your new “Cajun” best friend- Spice-N- Ice Seafood Boil.

Spice-N-Ice Seafood Boil Down in the Bayou Country of Southern Louisiana, Barry Champagne started noticing all of the different methods that his family and friends would boil their seafood. Everyone had their “secret” techniques to season and cool down their boiling pots. Some would add ice to the pot, which diluted the seasoning. Some would shake seasoning onto the seafood, burning mouths instead of adding flavor. Others would spray the outside of the pot, which wasted resources. They would constantly add ingredients and test the taste to only hope they would get the flavor just right. Barry thought there should be a more efficient and consistent way to boil seafood that embraces bold flavors without wasting time or resources. That’s how he came up with the idea to combine the seasoning and cooling processes. He began playing with the concept and developed a flavor profile that everyone seemed to love, and then, Spice-N-Ice was born. A growing interest in his technique from fellow Cajuns encouraged Barry and his brother Kevin to put the product into tasting competitions throughout Louisiana and Texas. Not surprisingly, Spice-N-Ice flavoring won the “People’s Choice” Award on multiple occasions. I will say there was a lot of fun in the creative “discovery” of this idea, but I will let Barry share that with you over the next Crawfish Boil he hosts.


SPICE-N-ICE Local Business Spotlight

SEAFOOD BOIL The Champagne brothers believe that everyone has the right to create the perfect boil, and their next mission is to make Spice-N-Ice available for all, stay tuned!

Spice-N-Ice is a perfect blend of citrus and spices used to enhance the taste and prevent overcooking of boiled seafood in an authentic Cajun fashion. With Spice-N-Ice, you kill two birds with one stone by seasoning and cooling your boiled seafood in the same step. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced boiler, the combination of our Dry Seasoning and Liquid Concentrate is sure to take your boil to the next level and give your seafood the taste you’ve been looking for. “ I wanted to show my kids that if they have an idea that they think is worthy, you should give it a shot. I wanted to teach them the value of keeping Cajun Culture and tradition alive and what better way than the seafood boils that are so special to the people in South Louisiana. It can be done with old and new creative ideas, and that is Spice and Ice.” - Barry Champagne

There is something so special witnessing a person light up when they share a story they are proud of. It is even more magical when food is involved, as it is our universal love language. To cook “well” is a gift, but to share the stories of life and love- well that is a crawfish boil.

“Hey….. it’s Joie de Vivre.”- Barry Champagne

Spice-N-Ice Seafood Boil

is available in Rouses locations: Youngsville, Lafayette, Houma and Thibodeaux. www.spice-n-ice.com


Local Business Spotlight

“Bold- Engaging- Automatic.” These are the words that our cover shoot photographer Maggie Lackie describes her work. I would have to completely agree and raise her, “ConfidentInspiring- A true People person who knows exactly how to get the perfect energy out of her clients for each shot.”- Elisse

When Maggie came on board to shoot the First Cover of the new 337, I think we were both equally excited as we had the same vision for what we wanted to accomplish. The destination was perfect and the people were a beautiful blend of powerhouse key players here in Louisiana. ( Image 3337 cover photo) Her energy on set really sets the tone for the shoot to come, and within that, her vision and passion shine the brightest. The ability to give direction that is to the point but understanding of each individual's needs is a beautiful dance to witness. Her level of professionalism blends so well with her vibrant personality which makes even the most nervous client feel at

ease. This makes perfect sense as Maggie has been building her brand for over 8- years. When you shoot on location, especially a top restaurant prepping to open, Vestal, time is of the essence. The day was perfect as Maggie was able to let the cover shoot breathe the way it needed to unfold as well as get the shots in a quick and “ We got it” way. I believe that is what makes the best photographers of human beings, is knowing when you got the shot and when to move on. Let’s get to know a bit more about the driving force behind -Maggie Lackie Photography-

How do you success? Howdefine do you define success? Success for me is for knowing made a I made a Success me is Iknowing differencedifference or impact.orWith my With my impact. business, business, I have hadI have the privilege of had the privilege of being a part of many and lives and being a partpeople’s of many lives people’s part of incredibly moving important part of incredibly moving important moments.moments. Giving them the gift stillgift of still Giving themofthe memoriesmemories through my pictures through mymeans pictures means what I didwhat withImy didtime withon myEarth time will on Earth will be forever.beThat’s success. forever. That’s success. What genre of photography do I What genre of photography do I specializespecialize in? in? I specialize in newborn, lifestyle and I specialize in newborn, lifestyle and family photography. family photography. Was photography always something Was photography always something


Local Business Spotlight

knewyou youknew wanted youtowanted do? to do? authenticity authenticity of my clientsinessence in of my clients essence as a profession. Not as a profession. I have always I have alwaysmy work.my work. I want them to in see them in I want them to see them n creative beenatcreative heart and at heart a deepand drive a deep their drivemosttheir most flattering and authentic flattering and authentic tilize that to utilize to mythat advantage. to my advantage. form. form. tography Photography actually just actually fell into just fell into e for me place at for the me right at time. the right It’s time. It’sWhat is the What is the most rewarding part most rewarding part n the best beenthing the best to ever thing happen to evertohappenabout to myabout job? my job? me. The clients different clients The different I meet onIameet dailyon a daily basis. able to different dive into different basis. I am able Itoam dive into you have Do you rolehave models? role Who models? Who cultures and cultures ethnic groups ethnicand groups and see and see uencesinfluences you? you? worldsofoutside of my norm. Photograworlds outside my norm. Photogragrandfather My grandfather is one of my is one main of my mainphy has opened phy hasmy opened mysoeyes to so many eyes to many models. roleHis models. demeanor, His demeanor, work workbeautiful beautiful opportunities. opportunities. cs andethics morals and aremorals insurmountable. are insurmountable. aughtHe at ataught very early at a very age early how age howWhat inspires Whatyou? inspires you? ortantimportant hard workhard is. work is. am a biginbeliever in energies People. I People. am a bigI believer energies vibes. caninspiration pick up inspiration and vibes.and I can pickI up at kind What of culture kind ofdo culture you try dotoyou tryinstantly to instantly aftersomeone meeting someone or after meeting or ivate cultivate within your within business? your business? being somewhere. being somewhere. I am constantly I am constantly pe people I hope seepeople my love seefor mybeing love for being to createthat images inspired toinspired create images are that are tive increative my work. in my I have work. developed I have developed bold, authentic and emotionally bold, authentic and emotionally utiful beautiful relationships relationships with my with my captivating. captivating. I am alwaystoinspired to I am always inspired omerscustomers that's allowed that'sme allowed to grow me to grow make people feel. make people feel. h my clients. with myI value clients. capturing I value capturing the the

What's the best way to connect with you or the business?

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Local Business Spotlight

Ben Pierce Photography When I was able to come across the mesmerizing landscape photography of Ben Pierce, due to many people referring him to the magazine, I knew he was the perfect person to come on board. When we were able to speak on the phone it was a wonderful conversation getting to know how his passion for photography and showcasing the wonders of our Louisiana geography grew into this beautiful career. His work is caught in moments, and those moments build stories. Let’s get to know more about this magical magician behind the lens captivating ouur 337 readers with his photography art of our “one of a kind” part of the world.

Ben’s Journey to his calling Ben Pierce was raised in the heart of Cajun country, Lafayette, Louisiana and is a graduate of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at LSU. A student of art and design, but never one of photography, it wasn't until Ben left Louisiana following college that his passion for landscape photography was born. Living in Asheville, North Carolina and while working for a landscape architecture and land planning firm, Ben was tasked with documenting the project environments he worked in so that the designs his firm was creating would have accurate examples of the natural environment that would aid in influencing their designs.

Beyond documenting the environment, Ben also felt it was important to take pictures of the surrounding Southern Appalachian mountains so that his family and friends back in Louisiana could fully grasp the beauty and diversity of the region. One day, while on a remote mountain trail in search of a hidden waterfall, Ben realized that just taking "snapshots" of the mountain scenery wasn't enough to grasp the majesty of the region, nor was it enough to tell the whole story of his experiences exploring the region.


Local Business Spotlight

From that day forward he became fully invested in the artistic storytelling aspect of photography and began to strive to capture the essence of the places that he visited while paying more attention to the natural treasures that surround us. Upon returning to Louisiana thirteen years ago, Ben immediately thought about the Louisiana cypress swamp landscape as his next photographic subject. He believed that the swamps of Louisiana, though iconic, have not been viewed in the same positive way that the mountain and coastal landscapes of the country have. Since that time, Ben has aspired to capture beautiful images of the swamps in order to help shift the belief that they are unattractive and uninviting environments.

By capturing these picturesque images, Ben hopes that through his photography that the perception of swamps can be seen for what they truly are—stunning, diverse, and valuable ecosystems—and that by changing this perception ultimately more people will rally to preserve and protect these amazing wildernesses. Besides paddling around the swamps and bayous of Louisiana with his camera, you can also find Ben utilizing his photographic skills to rally more people to visit our swamps through the two outstanding swamp-focused organizations in which he serves as executive director. Louisiana Swamp Base is a non-profit that immerses young people from across the country into the mystery and wonder of the Atchafalaya Swamp during 5-day/4-night, 60+ mile canoe adventures and McGee’s Swamp Tours, a world-renowned tour company located in Henderson, LA, that introduces school groups and tourists to the beauty of Louisiana’s iconic cypress swamps.

htps:/w .facebok.com/bsawmpbase w .benpiercphotgraphy.com htps:/bsa wampbase.org/ www.benpiercephotography.com bsaswampbase.org @bsaswampbase


Local Business Spotlight - Wellness

Wellness Welcome to the Local Business Spotlight “Wellness” Section - We are so excited to be working with such a talented team to guide our readers through a variety of wellness options that can be implemented in your everyday life. As an avid fan of all things homeopathic with the emphasis of “getting to the source” of the issue is why I am so thankful for this group of talented individuals to share their expertise with 337. This section is here to encourage our readers to focus on their mind, body and spirit with an emphasis on self-care. Most of the readers exploring this section will notice we are focused on working with “Health and Wellness Professionals” who treat the root cause of an issue- the source. As an athlete growing up, I learned from an early age how important a combination of treatments were to help my body function and recover. I grew to love chiropractors, understood the necessity of physiotherapy to recover from a variety of “inconveniences” and developed a passion for homeopathic health. I am completely blown away at the growth in our own 337 in this department, even more surprised that in my hometown of Youngsville, which was once a village, is home to a “Rainbow Row'' of wellness treatments and professionals who excel in their craft. I hope this special section highlighting our local businesses- Health and Wellness, will give anyone in need of a change- mental or physical- the courage to explore and learn from these wonderful, passionate and highly educated 337 locals who are an arms reach away.

Photo Credit- Ben Pierce Photography


Local Business Spotlight - Wellness

Introducing Kimberly Thibeaux Our own decorated certified nurse who owns Kurma- Holistics A Nursing Approach LLC. Guiding our readers on their journey to wellness. “When I was able to sit down and chat with Kimberly, the common theme of the conversation was her passion and sincere desire to truly help those in need. She understands how overwhelming dealing with a diagnosis can be to a new patient and she strives to help them understand the psychological process by providing guidance and hope with alternative solutions.”- Elisse


Kimberly Thibeaux

Kimberly is a certified nurse who owns Kurma Holistics A Nursing Approach LLC. When I sat down and chatted with Kimberly, the common theme of the conversation was her passion and sincere desire to truly help those in need of answers to their health issues. She understands how overwhelming dealing with a diagnosis or health issue can be. She strives to help them to understand the psychological process by providing guidance and hope with alternative solutions.

Let’s get to know this wonderful woman by giving our readers answers to questions they may have about health and wellness.

What makes you different in what you do? As well as being a registered nurse. I also am a board certified holistic nurse and a board certified health and wellness nurse coach. Having me as a part of your health care team is guaranteed to be beneficial to your wellbeing. What kind services does Kurma - Holistics offer? I offer Health and Wellness Nurse Coaching Sessions, such as Wellness Beyond the Diagnosis, Food Harmony Program, Couple’s Wellness Program, Holistic Smoking Cessation Program, and a Perioperative Program. You can rest assured that your care will be individualized and unique compared to any other type of health and wellness care that you have received before. By creating a personalized care plan, each client is given


Local Business Spotlight - Wellness

therapeutic tools and are empowered to incorporate positive lifestyle changes. These changes can enrich their mind, body, spirit, emotional health and wellbeing. What would be your advice for someone who may be facing a health challenge? Have patience and grace. It takes time to get your body back into balance from a disease state. Health and healing takes time and effort. Having grace with yourself along the way is crucial to your success in recovery. For someone who may be brand new to natural health and are unsure of consulting with a wellness coach, what guidance do you have for them? My advice for someone who is unsure about natural health is to let your natural health practitioner create a personalized care plan which will enrich their mind, body, and spirit. Ask questions, and voice your concerns. Not every natural health practitioner does the same thing but depending on your situation and desires, they should be able to point you in the right direction to fulfill what you need for your health and well being. What is your main goal in helping a patient on their healing journey? I am here to support my clients on a journey to making lifestyle changes to be their best self. By getting to the cause of the disease progression that is occurring, and then you remedy what is going on, your body will begin to restore balance, or homeostasis. The old saying “you are who you’ve been waiting for” is very true. You are the expert on you! This statement is vital in the work that I do with my clients. You know you best and can learn new ways to truly nourish your body. Why is this Health & Wellness so important? Sickness, disease, and/or disharmony in the body is inevitable. Health & Wellness is important, not only for prevention, but for

knowing how to react in the healthiest manner should disease arise. Each person’s needs are unique. As a coach, I can help you recognize the limitations and obstacles that are burdening you and help you learn what is therapeutic for you. What is the most important pillar of Health & Wellness? Learning self-empowerment is crucial to your health and wellness journey. By getting the therapeutic support that you desire, you will be making a lifestyle change; and not just a temporary habit change. Therefore, it is so important for you to take control of your health. What to expect when you choose care with Kurma Holistics? • Evidence Based Practice (tools, principles, education, etc). • You will gain awareness as to what is nourishing for your body, mentally / physically / emotionally which will in turn create a healthier lifestyle that you desire. • Help you to create therapeutic relationships with people, places, and things in your life. • Learn to recognize how you experience the negative stressors in your life and gracefully grow through the positive stressors. • General emotional wellness and support for what is going on within you; body and mind, helping you to holistically cope no matter what stage of life you are in.

Kimberly graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2012. She has continued her education in natural health sciences throughout the last decade of being a registered nurse. She became a Board Certified Holistic Nurse in 2017 and then a Board Certified Health and Wellness Nurse Coach in 2020.



Local Business Spotlight - Wellness

Youngsville, La was lucky to welcome Magnolia Family Chiropractic early this year. Dr. Brytani Brady Laird relocated her practice to the ever growing area, as this is home for her and her husband, PJ and their four children. She speaks so highly of what a community we have here and is loving the welcomed energy and support her patients are bringing her. There are many approaches to what field of focus one can take on in Chiropractics, and Dr. Brytani is classically trained in many of them, however, she takes pride in being a mother and uses her life experience to emphasize using her skill as a Chiropractor towards children of all ages, with a focus on pregnant mothers. Her first hand experience benefiting from this practice gives her a compassionate edge for her clients, and it shows in her work.

Youngsville, La was lucky to welcome Magnolia Family Chiropractic early this year. Dr. Brytani Brady Laird relocated her practice to the ever growing area, as this is home for her and her husband, PJ and their four children. She speaks so highly of what a community we have here and is loving the welcomed energy and support her patients are bringing her. There are many approaches to what field of focus one can take on in Chiropractics, and Dr. Brytani is classically trained in many of them, however, she takes pride in being a mother and uses her life experience to emphasize using her skill as a Chiropractor towards children of all ages, with a focus on pregnant mothers. Her first hand experience benefiting from this practice gives her a compassionate edge for her clients, and it shows in her work.

“I love family, which is why I opened a family-based practice with a heavy focus on pregnancy and pediatrics. When I started chiropractic school, I had a 4-month-old baby and when I graduated, I was 4 months pregnant with another one. I experienced firsthand how amazing chiropractic care was for pregnancy and pediatrics then and knew that is what I wanted to focus on. We learn in school how to treat everyone, but I knew if I wanted to be the best, I needed more knowledge. I started taking extra classes and seminars that focused solely on pregnancy and pediatrics. Chiropractic care during pregnancy can be an important part of a mom’s journey. Finding a Webster Technique Chiropractor is a must. The Webster Technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of pelvic imbalance. Pelvic imbalance during pregnancy can cause the mother discomfort, such as sciatica, hip pain, symphysis pubis dysfunction, round ligament pain, and back pain just to name a few. Pelvic imbalance during birth can affect labor progression, leading to unnecessary intervention.”

—Dr. Brytani

Her support for the universal development of a child from birth is what I find so essential and beautifully brave of her to fulfill her voice in this arena. As someone who believes in every aspect of natural health, I find it so fascinating what she is able to accomplish with life, from the time a baby is in the womb to precisely discovering a cause for behavioral changes, and infants’ sleep patterns. . Her training in discovering the root cause which could affect a child for life is one of the most magical gifts I think a Dr. can give to her patients. Her success speaks for itself, her gift is incomparable and her patients are her biggest advocates. Imagine a world where everyone took one second to look for the “cause” and create the effect that molds a life- indefinitely. This is what Dr. Brytani is giving to our community.


Local Business Spotlight - Wellness

“As far as pediatrics, there are multiple things to look for depending on the age we are referencing. My moms who see me throughout their pregnancy get a free baby exam. I recommend bringing in their baby as soon as they can but if no problems are present I suggest bringing the baby in within the first month of life. This is so we can correct anything that may cause a problem later. Birth can be traumatic for a baby due to the fact they were crammed in mom’s belly for 9 months. When it comes to babies, we look for imbalances from left to right. Do they favor one side over the other? Are they unable to latch onto mom or is one side easier to feed on than the other? Do they seem tense and never relax and straighten those legs and arms? Do they have a weak suction? Are they gassy or constipated? Do they have colic? Do they hate the car seat or being flat on their back? I have attached a great sheet I wrote on “How to tell if my baby needs to be adjusted?” for you.”

—Dr. Brytani


This is a muscle spasm that occurs in the neck and upper shoulders. It is commonly found in infants who have a difficult birth or one where forceps, vacuum, or a C-section was required. A baby with torticollis will have their head turned or tilted to one side and refuse to turn or tilt their head in the opposite direction.


Babies who have spinal misalignment may refuse to feed on one side, or have trouble latching, swallowing, or vomiting. Your chiropractor can also examine the tongue, gums, and palate for any abnormalities such as a tongue or lip tie.


Often when a child has a neck or lower back misalignment, riding in a car seat may be uncomfortable or painful which will cause them to cry, fuss, or try to wiggle to a more comfortable position. Newborns are especially sensitive to their car seats while using the head rest pads, which can force the neck into a painful position.


This would be if baby moves one side more than the other, moves some joints but not all of them, or if they stay in a fetal position. These are all signs of a misalignment or joint dysfunction. They can occur in the spine, arms, and legs. Your chiropractor will test for all possible causes and provide necessary referrals.


These are signs that the cranium is not aligned properly on the neck. This occurs commonly during birth. especially if forceps or a vacuum were used. This may also go hand in hand with refusal to sit in a car seat and feeding problems.


Signs include protruding abdomen, excessive crying (more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week), vomiting, gas, and poor sleep patterns. A spinal misalignment can interrupt the nerve signals from the brain to the intestines, stomach, and colon, which causes digestive problems.


When the bones of the neck are misaligned and the muscles are firing abnormally, they can interrupt the drainage from the inner ear, causing an accumulation of bacteria resulting in an infection. Your chiropractor can help align the neck and with symptoms of an ear infection.


Although it seems like common sense, trauma is frequently overlooked in newborns and infants. Any falls, bump, motor vehicle accidents, or even temper tantrums that include violent flinging of head should be assessed by a professional. Even the act of passing through the birth canal or any birth "trauma" should be evaluated by a chiropractor. Infants do not have fully formed bones, and they do not possess the muscular control or strength to guard against injury.


Medically named Plagiocephaly, it is seen in babies who were "stuck" in the birth canal or born by C-section, vacuum, or forceps. You may see flattening of one side of the head, uneven ears, one prominent cheek bone, different shaped eyes, uneven jaw, and limited movement of the neck. In severe cases this can cause development delays, feeding problems, and severe sensitivity to having the skull touched. This is most commonly treated by very gentle therapy to the cranial bones.

Dr. Brytani is on the steering committee for the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition and the Vice Chair for our local group, Acadiana Breastfeeding Coalition. She has a deep passion and understanding for breastfeeding mothers and genuinely cares to help them on their journey. She makes it a point to work with many Occupational Therapists And Pediatric Dentists locally to connect these mothers so they can succeed. To step out of her practice and be an ally for her patients should speak mountains of her compassion and drive for her world of wellness.

“I will say I have found a new passion for moms who want to breastfeed. I am a huge advocate and supporter. I breastfed a baby who was in the NICU for a long time, and I have breastfed 2 babies who had tongue and lip tie revisions. One I breastfed till she was three and the other I am currently still nursing, and we are on month 26. I also tandem nursed 2 of my babies for 10 months, so I have a passion for moms who want to tandem nurse and moms of twins and multiples.”

—Dr. Brytani Her path into the world of Chiropractics was found due to a sport’s injury she went through and so she has a deeply rooted understanding for athletic related injuries. She is vocal on the importance of prevention which is why she speaks on how vital it is for active children to be regularly seen and adjusted to prevent injury. “If they are imbalanced, they are at a higher risk for injury. Between my 4 kids, we have baseball, football, basketball, ninja, and gymnastics going on and I always make sure they are good, especially before games or competitions, which is what I recommend to my patients.” —Dr. Brytani

I find the best practitioners are the Dr’s who understand the importance of collaborating with other treatment plans, as not one individual is the same as another. “I am not the chiropractor who just adjusts, I do manual therapy, instrument assisted therapy, cupping, kinesiology taping, and more to help achieve success. There are times when the patients need more and that is when I refer them for massage therapy. I have different therapists that utilize different techniques and that is so important. “ —Dr. Brytani It is quite apparent with many referrals to her practice from a variety of business professionals that she is on her right path here in Youngsville and we welcome her with open arms! “When you start care with Magnolia Family Chiropractic, you instantly become family. We love getting to know each of our patients and love making them feel at home while they are in the office.“ —Dr. Brytani www.magnoliafamilychiropractic.com

What if you knew there was a magical place in Youngsville where your most deceiving body aches and pains- the pains you feel will never be solved- could be in fact taken care of? Tucked in the adorable downtown of the “Original Youngsville '', along what I like to call our “Rainbow Row '' of Health and Wellness, is the wonderful Landreneau Physiotherapy. This Business is making waves in the industry by giving people their lives back one body healing process at a time.

“ Our goal is to eliminate your pain so that you can return to doing the things that you love.” - Dr. Kevin Landreneau

When you walk in the door of their facility you are greeted by the lovely Lizzie Landreneau and her husband Kevin. This duo is the perfect definition of support and partnership. The “ shoes optional” environment sets the tone perfectly, this is a safe place and they want you to feel welcome and comfortable. They have successfully made their three year mark in their new location in Youngsville. This is a process that gives results. Dr. Kevin works uniquely in dry needling as well as deep tissue release, joint adjustment and manipulation, soft tissue manipulation alongside a variety of manual therapy treatments. The average visits needed vary between 2-4 as they have the drive and ability to help their clients in the least amount of visits possible. They understand that time is valuable and their results are proving that this process works. It is changing lives by giving people their sanity back and they genuinely are there to help. Dr. Kevin will spend a full dedicated hour helping his clients get to the “ source” of their issue. They pride themselves on giving their clients 100 percent of their time, as they only will see one client per time slot. What I really love about them is their sincere dedication to what works best for their patients and how they can deliver that to them, in multiple ways other than the therapy. They are individual in the sense that they do not work with insurance companies for the reason being, it would drastically sacrifice their patient quality time. They would need to see 20-30 patients a day offering 20 minutes of hands on time. Their main goal is finding what the problem is and what is important to focus their hour on. They are in the business of helping people by healing them in the ways that will truly benefit them. Dr. Kevin will treat around five patients a day they receive his sole, undivided attention which sets him apart from the physiotherapy-insurance masses.

“ It is really super simple, 80 percent of people are just tight somewhere. So I just find the tightness and get it out.” - Kevin Landreneau They tend to see people succeed in 2-4 visits with their method. Traditional physical therapy is typically 12 visits, 3 times a week for 4 weeks. A majority of that time is on stretches and exercises, where patients do not get that solid hands on time that Dr. Landrenueau will provide. The clientele they seem to attract understands what they need to do to continue the progress he has made for their bodies. There of course is a time and place for those patients who need more guidance on post treatment care, and they are ready to provide whatever is needed. In the long run with insurance copays and deductibles, their clients save money with them as their goal is efficient treatment and minimal visits to get them where they need to be. The final bonus of not working with insurance, drum roll please, YOU DO NOT NEED A DR. REFERRAL TO SEE THEM. This is huge! I know we have all been there in the limbo land of needing to book a completely separate and not necessary appointment with your general practitioner just to get in with the physiotherapist they work with. Most of the time in their industry, they hear stories of patients getting the run around and multiple treatments that will most likely result in surgery. They pride themselves on surgery prevention with their treatments at Landreneau Physiotherapy and know that many surgeries could have been prevented if they would have seen him first. There are quite a few clients that will come to see Dr. Kevin as a last resort before considering surgery. His skill set is aggressive and can be slightly intense, but “surgery and the recovery that goes along with it is much worse” he says. They are wonderful in helping prevent neck and lower back fusions, rotator- cuff, knee and plantar- fascia surgeries. There is extensive research that shows conservative management is extremely beneficial in recovery; not including the traumatic instances. They both are vocal that, of course, there is a necessity for surgeries when the candidate fits the profile, they would just love to prevent that if possible. You can call them directly and get in as soon as possible. If they have an opening they will even take you the day of. This is the icing on the cake for me- real time care.

“ People have also been overcompensating for that tightness over the years, so he works hard to find the source.” - Lizzie Landreneau Their prices are insanely reasonable compared to the ever growing list of copays and deductibles via insurance.

60- min 157.00 30- min 91.00

“ The best advice is for people who notice an issue, to come in right away before it becomes more serious and he will most likely be able to fix the problem in a solo visit, versus letting the issue spiral.”- Lizzie Landreneau He is a great asset for those who understand the importance of body maintenance, especially those who are athletic and in-tune with sensing something is off. This level of work does not have to be as intense, sometimes not even needing any needling, which makes the process easier and effective in preventing an issue growing into a problem.

They are a team who strives to focus on the source, what is causing the problem. Even if someone is to go the surgery route and did not address the cause to that drastic effect, you could essentially be defeating the purpose and will in fact continue to have issues.

“It could be a simple as have a desk job where sitting all day is causing your hips to be tight therefore creating a chain reaction of issues”. - Lizzie Landreneau To sit down with them, shoes are off and the environment is open and relaxed. What lovely zen energy they give off in this safe space they have created. I feel like I have known them for years and they are not shy about sharing their knowledge. I absolutely loved his analogy of our bodies.

“ We are like a big organism, a whole forest going on, we need to look at the overall forest, the trees and their branches down to the roots. It really is the whole nervous system we are treating. Crazy science.” - Dr. Kevin Landreneau They aim to manage expectations as everyone is individually different. They are so thankful for the growth due to their word of mouth and referrals. They are on cloud 9 when they can treat someone for the first time and they walk out feeling changed, but they ask their clients to give them potentially 2-4 visits.

Results Driven Therapy- giving the

patient their own choice to tackle their body goals. You will hear from Dr. Kevin within 10 days on a follow up. “How’s it going?” Which is so wonderful for a patient to know that they are important to them. His genuine want to know how his patients are doing stems from the desire to always improve. They believe in giving back to this community and they are working every day to better understand what works for their patients and how to deliver at a 100 percent level. A level that works for any person who walks through their door. I had to ask what was the hardest case they tackled? They both start running through their brains and land on a gentleman who had to basically crawl out of his car. He was not someone who was very active, so they are always curious how their body will respond. It was a case where the patient let Dr. Kevin “work and work he did”. Together they powered through. After the first visit he stood up and walked out. The second visit he was on his way to an overseas trip and came back with a souvenir for his saving grace of a team- The Landerneau’s. The reward is priceless, to be able to help someone in so much pain who is so lost, it’s everything. It reminds them why they do this and why they love it. When I see anyone for my body, especially an injury, education is key. As I was chatting with them they both bounced conversation off of eachother in a relatable way while explaining all the possible root causes of common pains. I agree 100 percent with them that knowledge is power, and the more we as patients can be educated, the better equipped we are to know how to treat our bodies. For those ailments that we can’t handle or are lost in translation- There is Dr. Kevin and his dream team partner in crime- his business partner, fellow physiotherapist and wife- Lizzie to the rescue.

www.landreneauphysio.com www.facebook.com/LandreneauPhysio

In the world of health and wellness and Youngsville - one name - one business has been circulating around me with countless recommendations, The Natural Path and Nichole Moore. After a third, highly respected friend of mine mentioned her name and location was the source of their clear happiness and health, I had to meet her. Little did I know “our mutual acquaintances” wanted her to meet me, and the rest was history.

When you walk into The Natural Path, the store radiates positive energy and is full of feel good aroma’s and colorful products tucked perfectly in every nook available. One could easily roam around the store for hours building quite the list of questions. Thankfully, the staff and team led by their Doctor of Traditional Naturopathy and Certified Natural Health Professional, Nichole, are in perfect hands to have all and any questions answered.

The location also is home to a beautifully quaint salt room, where guests can sit down in plush chairs and enjoy the incredible benefits of their “ Salt Session''. ”The 45 minute experience promotes balanced breathing, better sleep and what we all love, healthier skin. Dry salt therapy, Halotherapy, is an all natural treatment that uses micro particles of salt that are inhaled through the air and work wonders on the mind, body and soul. Of course I knew I needed all of this in my life and it started with sitting down with the wonderful woman making magical health happen in 337- Nichole Moore.

After learning she relocated with her family on a new adventure down south from Michigan at the age of 18, I dove into getting to know the driving force behind the Natural Path brand. What led you to this path of wellness, leading to the launch of the Natural Path?

“Like many other natural health professionals my own health issues were what catapulted me into a natural healing journey. When conventional medicine didn't have an answer I had an encounter with an MD that was naturally minded. Natural health actually worked and my life was better than it. had been for as long as I can remember. From that moment on I was sold out on natural health and the role it had in long term benefits it could provide!”

What would be the first step you would recommend to someone coming to see you who is wanting to reset their health and wellness? “A consultation is a great first step. It allows me to meet you, find out some of your current challenges, history, and what your day to day looks like. This is an opportunity to get to the root of the issue. Be prepared to make changes if necessary, but it will be worth it! I would never ask a client to do something I wouldn't or haven't done myself. I am right there with you on this wellness journey.”

Nichole has received training and certification in testing and simplifying genetic interpretation. This allows her to know what to look for via bloodwork to get you on the right path of “ balance.” I was blown away by this after asking a few questions on my own health . Her goal was to find where I stood before having me purchase supplements that I may not need. This is a true tell-tale sign of a genuine person who wants to see you succeed in your wellness journey, and wants to get it right the first time. Is there a main question or concern that new clients present themselves with to you, and what would be your advice to someone curious about coming to the Natural Path? “Questions and concerns vary so much. I think people are afraid of price points in natural health. They may think it's a process that costs thousands, but honestly most everything can be done with great water intake, food, movement, and sleep. Everything else should be supplementing those foundations of wellness.” What makes your products stand out from other wellness destinations, making The Natural Path the go to source? “We carry mostly professional lines. These products are superior to most consumer brands. They contain higher quality ingredients typically with higher concentrations so you are getting what you are paying for. These companies subject themselves to pre and post production testing as well as supply chains that don't compromise for profit. That's huge when it comes to products you are ingesting for a purpose.” You are such a lovely and passionate soul, I am so thankful that so many people have sent me your way! What do you love most about what you do and offer and what are your future goals with the Natural Path? “I love love love my clients. Everyone that walks into our shop is family. We know our clients, what is happening in their lives. We know their families & friends. We strive to make sure you get products you need that match your goals. Education is #1! When we educate our clients they are empowered to make choices that influence them and their families lives.” The Natural Path is preparing for their spring and summer seasons. They are always on the top trends in their field and I highly recommend following them on social media, where they are actively posting advice and keeping their followers in the loop of specials going on.

When you have one body that you rely on to get you through the days, weeks and years, give back to it with proper guidance and nutrients. It will never fail to impress me how the smallest change in your daily regime can feel like the world has shifted- for the best! The Natural Path and the lovely Nichole Moore truly care and will move mountains to get their clients where they need to be in a manner that is comfortable, safe and effective for each unique individual.

https://www.naturalpathla.com https://www.facebook.com/Thenaturalpathla/ https://www.instagram.com/thenaturalpathla/

“There is pure magic in the silence found within our nature’s playground.” Ben Pierce captures the moment perfectly. Ben Pierce Photography

“Just Breathe- You are loved- You are worthy- You are exactly where you are meant to be- Just keep going and smile.” Elisse Ben Pierce Photography



What does a Traveler- WildcatMajor- Cajun Hatter have to do with our 337? Each individual that has graced the cover our way of life here, by contributing to our magical culture, in their own individual way. They have come together on the common



ground that an awareness of what we truly and highlighted. In a way they are all bringing something extraordinary “back” to 337 from their life experiences in travel, evolution and pure passion.

Whether you can have the pleasure of…. Listening to the renowned Major Handy take you on a journey of the sound of soul through zydeco and blues with Maryellen at his side… Stumble back in time and witness the elements of Cajun Culture infused within a one-of-a-kind hat with Colby Hebert, The Caj¬un Hatter- New Iberia soul layered in creative mystery. Discover the new destination of Gator Cove’s Wildcat Brother’s Distillery, one half of the team- the creative genius that is Tait Martin. Sit down and get to know our new Creative Director and Editor’s story from her journey in the entertainment world of Los Angeles to following the Yellow Brick Road home- and bringing a new life to our 337.

the beautiful respect of 337. The incredible Vestal was the perfect host for this Cover Shoot and thanks to the uber talented team of Maggie Lackie Photography and Matthew Valentin’s videography, the best stage director for the day, my sister, Marissa Grubb who handled so much- our readers get the behind the scenes experience of our epic day.

Video toWatch




Elisse Nielson


e Ma n i z a g a M r Ou

Maggie Lackie Photography

Youngsville native Elisse Nielson returned to her roots last year from a successful career in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles. With an optimistic outlook, she has jumped right into the next episode of her life by becoming the creative director for 337 magazine. Her love for travel, getting lost in moments, and discovering the people ‘behind the scenes’ is the theme she hopes to infuse into the conMaggie Lackie Photography

tent of this magazine.

ever. And so began a whirlwind of many Over a decade ago Elisse set her sights on Los

small goals and accomplishments: Getting

Angeles. She recalls that her goal of becom-

an agent, headshots and going on audi-

ing an actor was conceived in middle school

tions, all the while working in the retail

economics class. After considering many oth-

industry to pay the bills.

er careers including studying law, she would always return to her dream of acting.

The phone call from her agent was kind of surreal when she learned she had booked a part in the music video “Summer

“I had plenty of discouragement from well

Nights” by Rascal Flatts.

meaning friends” she said. “They said it was going to be hard, and dan-

Before she could even bask in the enjoy-

gerous, and you're going to have to wait tables

ment of that project, she booked the lead

and hope you can get your big break”.

in “Tainted Rose”, an independent feature

Instead of taking their advice, she turned those

artist from O-Town.

words into a challenge, which made her more determined than

IT WAS LIKE THE UNIVERSE WAS SAYING OK... .. lets go! It was a pretty gritty and emotional role, but the whole cast and crew were just pure magic and we became this family for a few weeks. It was a beautiful story based on real life events, an amazing Culver Studios and I was so nervous. Wine was involved. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. It was also a reminder of how much I still had to grow as an actor, and boy did I!” Another fond memory was being cast in Al-

networks. It is all about “stepping stones” in

vin and the Chipmunks.

the industry. Networks need to know you are

"I was booked as a front row super fan.

always available, and dependable.

Even though it was just an extra, it has al-

“I don't think people outside of that world

ways been fun when someone calls me and

realize just getting an audition is an accom-

says they just saw me in that movie. It gave

plishment. I know for the series “New Girl”,

me my Screen Actors Guild- SAG- creden-

they had thousands submitted, saw 11 girls,

tials I needed to join the union. SAG is what

and then went up the ladder all the way to

all of the networks book through and it is an

network (FOX) for approval. Again, it was

honor to be a part of it.”

a surreal moment when I booked New Girl

In the entertainment industry there are

opposite Damon Waynes Jr. Damon was so

endless factors that need to happen in order to book a role, especially when dealing with

was great.”

She remembers each intoxicating high and the roller coaster feeling that followed when she would book a role. YOU HAVE TO REMIND YOURSELF TO BE... ...present and enjoy the ride, and appreciate how far you have come.” That journey of hard work and passion was paying you are always chasing the next best thing, how can we learn, be humble and appreciative of each opportunity?

Having an opportunity to work with a the ins and outs of what’s involved on the other side of the movie camera. David Fincher has directed several successful girl, the list goes on and on. She was working on an HBO series playing Terri Nun from the 80’s band Berlin. ( most people know the song “Take your Breath Away”-from Top Gun.) The show was based on David’s life and the evolution of his directing career. Even though she spent many days

A couple of other career highlights was having an opportunity to work on a Lifetime movie

the project, they ended up suspending

with Rob Lowe. She had actually auditioned

the series to work on something else. Thus the roller coaster of excitement and disappointment was real. However, she

directly with Rob. When the project started, she

was able to learn the art of movie direction

spent hours in the hair and make-up chair be-

from one of the best.

coming the ultimate 90’s girl covered in tattoos.

The incredible thing about living in Los

“Rob was such a gentleman. He’s very dreamy,

Angeles is that everyone there is creative.

and very much a family man. During our

Collaborating with co-actors and cinema-

breaks on set he was making plans for his wed-

tographers on projects was common.

ding anniversary.”

When she stepped away, she discovered put together a team for the project.

traveling was a way to ground herself in visiting the oceans, lakes, deserts and moun-

“It was so epic because we had the best team. It

tains. It was then that she also discovered

was fun for us because we got to play a char-

she really enjoyed travel writing and the

acter we wrote and created, and I was able to

world it represents. “ I make a point to take

use my martial arts training. I had this insane stunt choreographer who helped me with knife really great time.” The movie industry in Hollywood was changing though, as well as the city of Los Angeles. From politics to the ignored homeless camps under every underpass, beautiful L.A. was losing its luster. I STARTED TO QUESTION WHO I WAS AS A... ... person and what my message was going to be in this life. As I was transitioning between friend groups and moving away from unhealthy relationships, I started to see things more clearly by rediscovering my independent self and I became drawn to solo adventures. I began to let go of being held hostage waiting for the next audition, and decided to live life more

the world- it is really a magical connection to experience.” THROUGH ALL MY LIFE EXPERIENCES FROM WORKING... ... as an actor and director by telling stories through a lens, I discovered my talent as a travel writer, sharing adventures inspired by the people I visited around the world. I wanted to in me and what I wanted to share.”

At a dinner party one evening, she met the Editor of Communities Digital News- Travel. She was soon approved to be a columnist in their travel section, and was able to write and tell her stories from her travels to Scotland, London, California and Canada.

Jump to 2022 and Elisse was settling back

The journey for her is just beginning once

into the Youngsville community. As a “ Lo-

again. She is very vocal that Karma is real.

cal Tourist”, Elisse wanted to bring to light

Everything happens for a reason. She is so

what sites and sounds the locals or visitors to thankful for gaining quality time with her Acadiana should discover and connect to.

family as they have been her biggest fans her entire career. As she is equally theirs as

“Our incredible community here is what sets

well. She speaks so highly of them and how

us apart from the rest of the world. Joining

special these moments are. That this is the

the “new” 337 has been full of inspiration

silver lining in the Covid-era, quality time.

and excitement. Eric Smith, the owner, has

She is so appreciative and feels lucky for

been fantastic to work with and really sees

the new people who have come into her life

my vision, with nothing but support! I want

surrounding her with positive feedback and

to bring a new interactive approach to this

the most sincere support.

magazine and we have big plans for the future.”

IF YOU BELIEVE IN ME AND THAT IS MORE SPECIAL... .. They believe in me and that is more special than they will ever know. The wonderful souls who work at Pour in Youngsville have been my sweet sounding boards, they feel part of my family. Hearing the words “ I am so proud of you” from someone relatively new in my life, to be so supportive, is a mountain moving to me.


JessieCo Photo



337 The Spotlights

Colby Hebert “The Cajun Hatter”

Tucked perfectly along Jefferson St. claiming prime real estate, I quite literally stumbled across the storefront Cajun Dreams are made of. “ The Cajun Hatter”- Patrons slow their steps and find themselves in a trance as Cajun Music echoes into the bustling streets of downtown Lafayette. The intoxicating fragrance of Palo Santo fills the air and casts the final spell needed to convince even the most un-interested soul, that they are meant to be right where they are As you walk inside you are immediately transported to Cajun Country. The window display was lined with Spanish moss and elements of the bayou letting me know in its “laissez-faire” way-I had walked into something unique and one of a kind. The energy was a balance of southern pace blended with a luxury brand that only seemed to be whispered about in the hidden alleys of the best kept secrets of society. This store is home to hats and not just any type of hat- This is the “Cajun Hatter’s Hat Shop.”

Photo by Ben Pierce

The walls are lined with a variety of colorful hats in special shapes and unique elements that allow each one to stand out. They all carry a signature “Cypress Fleur de Lis” that is strategically placed along the trim of each masterpiece. This is the “signature” of “our hat maker” and this is the story of Colby Hebert - The Cajun Hatter.

The store is brilliantly designed to highlight all the elements of the process of creating a one of a kind work of art. The front room is framed by cajun memorabilia that has been specifically chosen to highlight the incredible culture found here. Each piece of decor tells a story and seems to carry a perfectly balanced energy of history, beauty that is deeply rooted in mystery.

A picturesque hand-painted mural that sits under a tin roof frames the passage from the entrance to the sitting room. The transition is seamless yet you have instantly been transported to a vintage parlor that would be found in an “Old Hollywood Cajun Mansion.” The source of the “mossy” fragrance is found in the Palo Alto incense sitting along the vintage bar top. Noire Rum from the creatives of Wild Cat brothers distillery, is the drink of choice that fuels the conversation.

As I take my seat in the plush velvet vintage chair that I think is too beautiful to sit on, rum in hand, I patiently wait to meet this mythical man I have been hearing about. Once I discovered this “maker” it was like the universe was telling me at every corner that I needed to meet him, and this story was meant to be told. Everyone knows about “him” but the tales and descriptions did not even touch on the presence I was about to encounter.

“ I like your hat.” - he says. I quickly countered that my favorite black hat that I love does not even compare to the colorful accessories he is renowned for.

“ I just love seeing people in hats, whether they are mine or not, just people wearing hats, I love it.”- he says. That is a sign of a true maker- a genuine passion for the craft, no matter where it was found. To wear a hat is to make a statement, it is a definition of a personality and is individual to each energy that chooses to embrace it.

We quickly get into a topic we are both passionate about, Culture. Our culture. What is so unique to 337? This well traveled local of New Iberia has all the answers and I quickly get lost in time listening to his adoration of “home”. We have this kindred connection to understanding what traveling around the world and living outside of where we grew up gives to a person. Appreciation is what matters most, and that can mean many things for different people, but for us it is our connection to family and home. This is what fuels our excitement for telling the stories of “the makers”.

He quickly dives in

-“Cajun Culture can change and re-invent and evolve.” He feels that we are in one of these hyper-focused peaks of the next wave of evolution of what it is going to mean to be cajun.

“On one hand we had an era that stopped carrying on the traditions due to outside world distractionsOn the other, we surprisingly have this new generation that is being pulled to tap back into their roots, whether that be through speaking the language, the music, cuisine, or grounding with the earth.” - Colby Hebert He has this driving force of wanting to take an active role and be on the forefront of involvement with bringing back the Cajun culture to this generation. This inventive and original gusto was a major reason for pulling Colby and his family back to Acadiana from New Orleans.

“What is the new Cajun”-

is a question that he applies to his process. What does it mean to be Cajun and how does that reach his growing kids? It is an extraordinary gift to be able to bring his children to his grandparents house and make them traditional treats that take him back to memories of his childhood. In doing so he is carrying on the tradition of his culture to his family, and that is indeed a significant prize to share.

Let’s talk about Hats Yes, Colby makes hats, and yes there is an art to the way of the hat, but how does his craft raise the bar in this once dying industry? Well if you ask me, that is the understatement of the century.

“To me, Colby is the bar to be feverlishy reaching for.”Elisse To create such a statement piece that reflects an individual's personality is such a wonderful gift to give. Colby takes his ability to thrive in this arena and elevates it, by sharing the story of Cajun culture through the elements that he infuses in his work.

“Being back in Acadiana for a year and having hundreds of locals walking around wearing my locally made Cajun Hats is just incredible.” he says.

He just radiates this connection with the culture and takes the utmost pride in being able to participate in telling this original story of Cajun cultivation- all being shared through his hats.

How did this gift find its footing? I asked. There is always a beginning to the story. It was so refreshing talking to Colby about this because we both evolved essentially through the entertainment world. He worked on both sides of the camera as well, but it was his love for creating costumes working within the art department that turned the light bulb on for him. As he rapidly grew his skill in that field his drive and work ethic led him to explore his creativity in working his own designs. Clearly he represents a style that he owns very well and should be a reminder to the rest of our world that our wardrobe choices and accessories are a direct reflection of our souls, so do it well!!

His passion for hats was always there, but when he had his “lighting bolt” moment in 2016, he began his journey in the hatting world. To do something well, one must learn and respect the process and Colby did just that. Through extensive trial and error he mastered his steps to fine tune his process and was no stranger to collaborating with his mentors. All his work has allowed him to finesse his brand. His first shop was opened in New Iberia on Church alley, with a few “blocks and hand tools” and the Cajun Hatter store was born. As he grew so did his store as he and his wonderful wife decided to test the waters in New Orleans with their second shop opening. There is such a sweet sentiment he emits when he talks about his family and especially his wife, Ashley Poirrier Hebert.

He so eloquently says, “ My wife Ashley has been instrumental to the success and growth of our business through her unwavering support and contributions to the shop that she has always executed with great humility and selflessness.” As the world was “rearranged” as I like to say, and New Orleans was not responding ideally to the new world, they decided it was time to bring their family of four back to where it all beganAcadiana. His interpretation of downtown Lafayette is that it is for the creatives and he is so impressed with the growth here.“Knowledge is power and

ignorance is bliss, if you don't know what is here, what can be discovered here, you will never be able to experience what is truly a gem here.” He believes that this is the epicenter of Cajun Preservation that is emphasized in the music, arts, and cuisine. Our own magical cultural hub. The story is what matters most and the story is always being written. What separates Colby is his dedication to immerse himself in the culture of southern Louisiana and find the unique layers that tell the story best. His approach is that his work is an expression of his art and each hat is carefully crafted with the energy of the hat maker who creates an essence of the hat wearer. He is extremely focused on staying as local as possible by implementing ingredients that promote the culture and geography of this singular part of the world. The base fur felt material of the hat is made from beaver or nutria, he says “The beaver of the swamp.” The design infuses rare ingredients found here, like Louisiana brown cotton, alligator skin and the renowned wood of the cypress tree. Truly a one of a kind “ Swamp Chic'' aesthetic that will last a lifetime.

His shop is a designer's dream space where every corner is filled with secret elements of times long forgotten. Vintage suitcases from the 1940’s are full of ribbons from Martin’s Hat shop that was part of a world in a different time, where a hat was part of the day to day, and crafting was in full swing. Others are home to upholstery material that carries a different weight in the design and gives the most charming accents to his masterpieces. Boxes are stacked with custom hats ready to find their forever homes, and a singular hat sits on his station as he concentrates on one “story” at a time

A singular cypress “fleur de lis” is placed as the final touch in the trim and I can’t help but feel I have a sense of who the owner is. His gift as a healer is in this space, and he gives all his light to capture the honest energy of those who share their journey to “the hat”. His incredible works of craftsmanship are found on many celebrities and locals alike, but this story is dedicated to our “Cajun Hatmaker” and his love for our “Joie de Vivre” and preserving our culture through his work. As I walked to my car, I could only sit and think of what an immensely pleasant surprise this moment with my “first” maker was. It was as if I encountered this enigma that manifested itself to be in this exact moment in time. 2022- the year of evolution and grounding. He reminds me to continue to live in the moment, embrace my surroundings and just breathe. His aura is pure, his presence is unfaltering, his kindness is genuine, and he will continue to carry the torch of our very own 337. He is changing the way our culture is discovered and passed on, one hat, one person and one story at a time.

In the words of Colby Hebert- “Happy Hatting.” -Our Cajun Hatter.

337 The Spotlights

Wild Cat Brother’s Distillery - Featuring Tait Martin- Our Rum Maker “Cool kids on the block is an understatement. Gator Cove is the address and Wild Cat Brothers is the destination”.- Elisse


Photo by Ben Pierce

This is the time of “ Making the Map '' and Wild Cat Brothers has set the bar where creativity meets intelligence and offers the flavor packed gift that keeps giving- Rum. Future plans spanning across the country are fueled by snake oil, rogue peacocks, and sugar cane dreams. CEO Tait Martin and Chief Distiller David Meaux have created an award winning rum that can pull the deepest of Bourbon lovers down the rabbit hole into their Gator Cove Haven. This is the introduction to the Wild Cat Brothers Distillery and they are here to stay.

Tait Martin is one side of this crazy train that is taking the south by storm. He considers himself a “ Recovering Professor and scientist” and is using his colorful resume and creative genius to push the boundaries of the mixology world.

When my dear friend and uber talented artist, Victoria Lane Alleman, told me I need to meet the wonderful human that is Tait Martin, she told me to prepare for quite a fun experience. This was quickly encouraged by the first of many text conversations with my new favorite person, “ Ready to plan world domination” - Tait. I knew the game was afoot and I could not wait to meet this mysterious visionary.

It has been many years since I have crossed the property line of Gator Cove and I can honestly say this team is giving this local landmark a very respectful make-over. Cultural preservation is a motivating force that these gentlemen have inherited and are proud to maintain.

As I cross the construction line from the front property, I make my way to the original building’s top floor and find myself in the land of Rum and Wilderness -executed in Acadian flair.

The log cabin inspired space oozes a cozy vibe that is the perfect layer to invite guests in, and stay a while. The “star attraction” rum bar is located when you walk in on the left, and then I hear- “ Hey Boo”. An instant connection was formed and what was a scheduled one hour meeting turned out to be a 3 hour conversation on world domination, Acadiana Culture, how to make waves here and all things Louisiana Rum.

The journey of the Wild Cat Brothers began in college when David and Tait bonded through the realms of fraternity survival and, I'm sure, debauchery. The pair have stayed in close contact over the years after their fraternity days, and when the lightbulb turned on, they came together to make some magic happen. Who knew this “Recovering Lawyer and Professor” were about to begin an adventure in the world of flavor invention and elevated intentions.

In 2011 David Meaux developed the recipe for the award winning Suite Crewe and “LuLu” his homemade still, was the mastermind that brought all the clean and local ingredients together, beginning the journey we are all so thankful for. David decided to test the waters outside of Louisiana and get a true idea if they were on to something unique.

The Washington Cup Awards in 2013 gave them the news they were hoping for- winning one of five Washington Cups. This platform is a place where all liquors compete against each other and Tait says, “It's the only true way to know where they stand. After all, friends love free booze and it's become quite challenging to get honest opinions” . Award in hand and sharing the title with the great Buffalo Trace’s Pappy Van Winkle and top vodkas on the market, they knew they were onto something and continued on the path of excellence to see what was next.

French style rum is a drastic departure from English rum, as it is made from sugar cane juice - not the god awful molasses we all seem to think Rum is made with.

“Agriculture- Water and Yeast”. Tait Tait’s Tip for smelling and deciphering what is a good liquor with clean ingredients, is the tequila-like smell you pick up. If you are not getting that “scent” chemicals have been added to alter the quality.. Lesson learned!

They consider themselves a cocktail distillery and their business is taking off in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville- to name a few. Lafayette is quite the “drinking town” he says and they are working hard to help expand the flavor pallet here. Many of the top mixology bars downtown are carrying a variety of Wild Cat Distillery Rum. The bread and butter here in 337 is the classic daiquiri and not the drive through kind.

“ I am still getting adjusted to the immense amount of drive through daiquiri shops here in Louisiana. This is the only place in the states I have visited that has this wizardry”.- Elisse

Tait says this is a traditional 2-1-1 Daiquiri. 2 Parts “good rum”- 1 part fresh squeezed lime juice- 1 part clean sugar cane simple syrup.

My personal favorite and Wildcat’s best seller is Noire- known as Bourbon’s Cajun Cousin in their booming Kentucky market. Noire is also one of the stars of this issue’s behind the scenes shoot of the cover as well as the Cajun Hatter’s sip of choice in his shop downtown. I learned quite quickly why so many people favor Noire as their Bourbon of choice, knowing darn well this is a Louisiana Rum. I am sure the Buffalo Trace barrels they use to make this scene stealer adds the perfect smoked flavor.

Now, Tait Martin is one of our Maker’s for more than being the rum master he is- each of the Maker’s in this issue are bringing culture, awareness and energy back to our beloved 337. I look forward to keeping 337 in the Wild Cat Loop as the master milestones and continue to aim for new horizons.

Tait took me on a renegade tour of the Grounds of Gator Cove as most of the area is in its renovation phase. The front building that sits at the edge of the entrance area is nearly ready to host the official distillery that will relocate here. They plan on inviting guests for a unique experience through the process of creating their Cajun Rum. The Brother’s are already hosting Thursday night Happy Hour events that bring talented musicians to the distillery to play live for guests while they enjoy custom cocktails and food truck snacks.

You may get the chance to see Major Handy play here from time to time. If you are really lucky, sit on the patio for storytelling time with Tait and listen to a downpour hit the tin roof. I think that was one of the most southern moments I have ever encountered. Great conversation among new friends and southern energy. What I find so special about this tour and getting to know Tait is his exuberant energy and genuine passion for what this space will really bring to the area. As Gator Cove- Wild Cat Brothers Distillery sits quite centrally for most of the parish, this cove along the water is the ideal space for any adventure to be had. He has this vision that his home away from home will be the place to be before your evening out on the town. However, what Tait has planned for this elusive location, would easily sway me to stay long past sunset. The property is quite endless and has the potential of so much more than just a libation. Of course, Rum is the star, but the venue will become a space for creatives, movie lovers, art experiences and a true haven for open minded and happy individuals. The potential is endless but I can say- think Tiki Bar- think speakeasythe mystery has been laid out for guests on a silver platter and the twinkle in the eyes of the team of Wild Cat is fueling the process to come.

Tait takes me on a tasting rollercoaster of their eclectic snake oil experiments from last year. This is what separates the greats from the moderates, stepping way out of the box and reaching for the stars of flavor and adventure. Tait believes why not? Why not infuse King Cake with Rum? Why not let the creative team go crazy and come up with a new infusion for every month of the year. He does admit that when December came around, they were ready for the chaos to “ C'est fini.”

He has a unique pulse on our blossoming area here in the south, and with that understanding comes a plethora of ideas of awesomeness for growth. We started diving in on our world travels, and what seems to work beautifully in these other places. The constant thought process being, how do we bring that here?

I can honestly say that in my few encounters with this magical soul, I feel so truly lucky to have earned his respect and most importantly, his valued time. The creative genius that lives in these walls is only elevated by the brain that is “ Tait Martin.” As his retirement from a life of endless lessons and careers, this is only the beginning of his closing act. However I feel- the show will go on and we are only in the beginning of greatness here with the Wild Cat Brothers.


With over 60 vendors and

food prepared by talented chefs.

growing, the farmers market is stocked with produce and meats,

artisans. Meet woodworkers, soap makers, jewelers, and

delicious prepared foods and

artists. The artisans’ work is top

more. There are some great

notch; their work is reviewed

stories behind these talented

and approved as being good

hardworking folks. To see a

quality and ‘hand made’ in

complete list of vendors and


learn more about the market, go

With this many vendors each

to : marketatmoncuspark.com

week your experience will never

In addition to all the amazing

be the same.

For woodworkers, check out: Trek turned wood: Beautiful wooden bowls, ink pens and a variety of handcrafted one of a kinds gifts. Extreme Cypress: Their reclaimed cypress and cedar boxes crafted in whimsical shapes will make you smile. They create puzzles (for

Sinker Cypress: Tables, trays, made from -

all ages) as well as comfort crosses.

you guessed it!

For jewelry and amazing gifts, visit : Adorn, Rolling

Garden District Soapery: Their all natural soaps and

Stone Jewels, and Sliding Delta Studio. Amazing

fragrant candles make great gifts or treat yourself to some

jewelry, silver and gems. Look for the amazing,

great smelling nourishing skin care products.

Enjoy beautiful works of art from Seneca artists studio : originals and prints on canvas, old cypress driftwood, as well as pen & ink drawings.

Elizabeth Harper, the artist, has a beautiful selection artist who’s booth is called ‘nothing but a sewing needle’. He uses a very unique etching technique -

Magnolia Studios: one of a kind pressed botanicals preserved between glass and crafted into jewelry, sun catchers, and more.

Since there are so many vendors to visit and a wide variety of foods to sample, plan on coming back and making it a part of your Saturday morning routine. Inglewood Farm, established in 1836, is an organic farm growing nutritious vegetables year round. They also have a pecan orchard.

T Moise Farms: A small farm specializing in pasture raised Berkshire pork, honey, and pasture raised poultry and eggs. All natural, no chemicals. Acadian Slice Pies: Handmade sweet and savory hand pies.These pies are so creatively named - there’s the ponchatoula pop-tart chock full of strawberries, or a delicious breakfast pie called the wakey-wakey.

Sages Sea Moss.

Ciao Bella for your pups and pays extra special attention to your

moss gel. Bien-Aime farm:

furry friends. Make a day out of your visit to the farmers and artisans market by meeting and shopping with the

produce grown with love. A great selection of colorful delicious produce. Gonsoulin Land and Cattle Co:

moncuspark.org, then press ‘plan your visit’. There Artisans market. The kids and the pups are certain to enjoy their day, too!

Urban Naturalist: A plant nursery specializing in Located at: medicinal), and natives.

337 Off the Beaten Path


Welcome to Louisiana’s Outback

Outback Map


different birds, 35 amphibians and reptiles, 132 species of fish and thousands of migrating butterflies. The nature trail is an amazing blend of people and nature, and a

oad trips make great memories,

rare opportunity to view, and photograph,

and 2022 promises to be a

wildlife in their natural habitat.

good year for them. Our bayou state has one of the nation’s

Cameron Parish is also home to more than

oldest scenic byways; the Creole Nature Trail.

26 miles of natural Gulf Coast beaches

This All American road in Cameron parish

which are, for the most part, untouched

travels through a rugged area known as Loui-

by development, perfect for photography,

siana’s Outback. Stretching from Lake Charles

shelling and picnicking.

to the Gulf of Mexico, these prairies, marshes

Holly Beach to hunt for a wide variety of

and waters both salt and fresh are home to 28

shells as well as driftwood.

Head toward

species of mammals, more than 400

Here’s a link with more information:

https://www.visitlakecharles.org/ creole-nature-trail/attractions/ beaches-shells/

Creole Nature Trail

If you’re heading west off I-10, stop at The Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point at 2740 Ruth St., just south of Exit 20 in Sulphur. Adventure Point is a fun, free attraction with hands-on displays that give you a glimpse of the wildlife found in bayous and marshes. There are adventure guides to answer any questions you may have.

Download a free app in advance called“Creole”


to get the full Louisiana’s Outback experience!


Once downloaded, the app uses your device’s GPS to let you know how far away you are from a wide variety of sites. Scroll through the app till you find “Welcome to the Creole Nature Trail”.

If you’re driving from Lafayette, you may want to set your sights on the Cameron Prairie Wildlife Refuge. It is an hour and a half drive away. 4,000,000 ducks and geese fly from as far away as the arctic circle to spend winters in south Louisiana.

You can press on anything you are interested in seeing, and there will be a map on how to get there as well as an informative video.


with a full tank of gas and plenty of snacks, because, well, you are driving through the outback! From the Creole Nature Trail Adventure point, you can head south towards Hackberry, and you’ll end up at Holly Beach. To see the trip brochure and map, click here:

The welcome center is closed, unfortunately, but there is a driving trail called Pintail drive just south of the Visitor Center, and it is chock full of wildlife! https://assets.simpleviewcms.com/simpleview/ image/upload/v1/clients/lakecharles/Creole_Nature_Trail_Experience_Guide_Final_37e4b87978c7-4929-ac20-a9158eea2abb.pdf



ou may see birds like the Northern pintail, ring-

turtles can be difficult to see, so be very

necked ducks, and snow

careful when traveling through the marshy

geese. Graceful wading

areas of the refuge. Along the way, visitors

birds like ibis and herons are also com-

can travel through three National Wildlife

mon sights.

Refuges (Sabine, Cameron Prairie, and Lacassine) which encompass 250,000 acres.

Be on the lookout for the roseate spoonbill, a small wading bird with pink plum-

Keep heading south and you’ll arrive at Ru-

age. A wide range of raptors can also be

therford Beach. It’s about a 2 mile stretch

seen at the refuge, including merlins,

of beach with some port-a-potties at the

kestrels, and peregrine falcons.

entrance. There are a few spots to park when you first drive up onto the beach but the

Swamp rabbits and cottontail rabbits are

sand is too soft to drive on and you don’t

both abundant, as well as opossums and

want to get stuck. Some parts of the beach

mink. White-tailed deer can sometimes

are literally covered with seashells!

be seen grazing in far-off fields. The refuge is also home to some more dangerous aquatic creatures. The alligators will generally keep to themselves when humans are around but don’t get too close! Snapping


ead to Grand Chenier after

The Creole Nature Trail is also great for-

your beach visit and stop

seasonal fishing, crabbing, and shrimping.

at Booths Grocery on 5647

Fishermen from around the country dip

Grand Chenier Hwy, Grand

their lines and casting nets in the trail’s

Chenier, LA. Booths has survived multi-

lakes and rivers in search of flounder,

ple storms and is the only store in that area

redfish, and speckled trout, a trio locals

of the Outback. Pick up your snacks and


continue to make your way to Rockefeller

People from outside Louisiana are at-

Refuge, located along Hwy 82 in Cameron

tracted to this area because it’s unlike

and Vermillion Parishes.

anything they’ve ever seen before. It’s a

Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge is one of the

wonderful opportunity to experience na-

most biologically diverse wildlife areas in

ture in Louisianas’ very own outback.

the nation. Depending on the season, this refuge is a stopping point for migrating

Written by:


“ ”

Discover Downtown Lafayette


afayette, the pulse

footing in late nights out,

of Acadiana, and

conversations over dinner

downtown the heart of

it all. Where drinks know toasts,

International and taking pictures

plates are happy, and culture is

at the Lafayette sign located in

at its core. I was lucky enough

Parc Sans Souci.

to come Lafayette from central Louisiana for school at UL, and I haven't thought about moving since. It's hard to leave once

College may have brought me downtown, but I never felt like a stranger there. I still feel at

you taste the food, experience make a family of friends.

my haircut, and spend my best nights. Sounds great right? Let

Speaking of, downtown is

me give you a few spots to try

where most of my friendships

out to start your relatio ship with downtown.

Richard’s Downtown Lafayette Crawl Reve is there for the early birds.

ready to have a nice chit-chat while they get you together. Hungry? Mom and pops like Pat’s and Dwyer's have lunch covered. Day out with the kids? The Children’s Museum of Acadiana and events like the Artwalks are waiting for you. Looking for something to do? Hobby shops, bookstores like Beausoleil and so much more have you covered. Looking for dinner? If you're feeling a little bougie you can stop at Vestal or Tsunami. If you just want a quick bite and a margarita, Agave is always there for you. Speaking of, Bolt is fresh when it comes

be happier! It feels great to see a place that’s home to me and my community be somewhere they can be recognized for all their hard work. Like hosting two drag queens from RuPaul’s fame alongside local

Just like Bolt is home to me, there are coun less spots waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Then after all of that, there’s the nightlife that keeps Acadiana going to the early hours of the morning, friends laughing together at the Legends and Marley’s patio, and

“ Just as the spokes on a wheel connect the center and outer parts of a wheel, the Hub city connects the best parts of Acadiana and its culture. Bringing in the classic ideas of love, manners, and respect while bringing out new ideas of acceptance, understanding, and individuality to the surrounding area.


T h e L oc al T o ur i st

The Local Tourist 48 hours in 337 Louisiana is not just New Orleans- hello Lafayette Parish and your picturesque wonders. Welcome to cajun country in the southwestern part of Louisiana- Cajun country with a sophisticated twist.

Photo Credit

Ben Pierce Photography


ouisiana is a one of a kind other worldly experience right here in the USA. When someone asks me what stands out as a solid representation of this unique state, the

list is so much more than New Orleans. The pictures that dance in my mind are the mysteriously stoic cypress trees standing their immortal ground in the glass like waters of the basin. The soul-awakening smell of the chili pepper found at the renowned Tabasco Factory plant located on Avery Island. The potentially risky hunt for the pink egret in the jungle gardens. The “joie de vivre’’ way of life of the locals and their genuine fect ingredient to the distinct sound of cajun music. The smell of cypress being molded into the most adorable puzzle or trinket box. Fried Beignets balanced by powdered sugar, the slow burning of a roux for Gumround the senses out quite nicely. This is my Louisiana, and she is not just New Orleans.

Photo Credit Ben Pierce Photography

1 Day 1/ Act One Opening

Let’s get a little lost and explore two days in Acadiana.


fter landing in

Let’s just say I was only pre-

the most ador-

pared for one of the seasons of

ably quaint La-

the day.

fayette Regional

Airport, I patiently waited at one of the few baggage terminals for my trusted pink hard shell luggage. Why is there an undeniable panic when the luggage arrival light kicks on and the “sound the luggage gage will not be there.

I grabbed a convenient rent-

It never fails to either be this

al car and began my journey “The Cajun

nail bite moment of searching for my life in the pink bag,

Getaway.” Lafayette and the

or my blind optimism that it

surrounding areas are taking

will be there. That being said, nothing beats the moment she -

options are a bit sparse, unless you plan to stay downtown in

ing and is in one piece.


The weather in these parts

That can be another adven-

of the south are known for

ture, this journey is about

checking every seasonal

quality moments and connect-

weather box in the span of

ing to the culture found here.

a week or possibly one day,

Local Love.

pack accordingly.

SIDE NOTE WEATHER: I have experienced a torrential downpour (no umbrella and rain gear), to intense heat and humidity that shifted into gusts of wind with the arctic tundra 15 degree temperature dip to close the day.

“As a local tourist, I went to school here and when I look at the growth, the bustle in the small town of Youngsville, that is now one of the top places to move to in the states, I am proudly in awe of it all.”

The one bedroom home is Follow the GPS guide to your

stocked with everything you

destination, down the gravel

need for your stay including

driveway and facing the most

what is needed to complete a

adorable pool courtyard, you

southern breakfast! Or break-

have arrived at your very own

fast for dinner! Plenty of eggs

Cajun Gateway owned by Jan-

are waiting for your classic

ice and David Leblanc.

craving in an adorable basket in the refrigerator, as well as, orange juice, bacon and biscuits. The dreamiest bedroom is the

Staying in an Air-b-and B

answer to whatever mood your

of this level really elevates

day of travel has evoked, the

the experience of Louisiana. Guests can genuinely relax and

decor welcomes the relaxing

feel like they are in their Cajun

visitor for a night of zen. The

home away from home. Janice

“draw me in and stay a while

and David Leblanc are a phone

leather couch” is perfect when

call away and are incredible

you need to regroup from adven-

human beings.

tures in Acadiana. The house is

This property was made to entertain. As you walk into the plan, the warm tingling feeling is inspired by the decor that seems to connect to “home.” Leather sofas surrounded by dim lighting and throw blankets add a cozy layer to this “ Alexa” operated house. What a blend of charm, modern, and of courseCajun.

Alexa equipped and makes op-

They reside in the front house

pertating the radios, and televi-

and have the B and B equipped

sion quite fun. They really have

with endless local places to

everything covered.

visit and enjoy the secret gems of 337.

renowned hot sauce. The

sitting in a luxurious garden.

tour is an easy going walking

The statue was gifted to Mr.

excursion followed by tasting

Ned from friends in New York

incredible sauces and Tabas-

and is rumored to be over

co infused delights in the gift

900 years old. It oversees the

shop. Most people know about

breathtaking grounds lined

the traditional sauce, but the

with historic oak trees layered

variety is endless in the store!

with moss.

From marinades, to jelly’s and

The gardens are also home to

To book your one of a kind

tabasco infused ice-cream,

one of the oldest timber bam-

stay, these links will take you

every venture is surprisingly

boo groves in America. Mr.

through the steps to your very


Mchlhenny had a true passion

own “Cajun Getaway.” Hop in your vehicle and make https://abnb.me/0mcwvaxn2ob

your way to the next stop the


Jungle Gardens. This driv-


ing path has designated are-


as where you can walk and

Intermission“Local Tourist Adventure”

explore read them carefully. I can honestly say I had a close encounter with a gator when I was “lost in translation” enjoying the grounds.

“The world famous Tabasco Factory and the Jungle Gar-

Every spring thousands of

dens.” It is quite a country road

white egrets and the mysterious pink egret, make their way to the protected rookery

this is so lovely. You can tell

that was developed with only

you are getting close when the

8 birds in the early 1900’s

marshes start to make an ap-

founded by E. A Mcilhenny-

pearance. Avery Island is abso-

aka- Mr. Ned. What a beauti-

lutely adorable with the rolling

ful site to see such an exotic

hills, rolling due to the salt

group of birds claiming the

domes found here. The tabas-

island as their home.

co factory has a distinct sharp

Not far from the bird sanctu-

smell thanks to the red pepper

ary, take the path that leads to

working its magic in the

an impressive Buddha shrine

for plant life and worked with the USDA to plant over sixty varieties of bamboo. of the cultural evolution found here in Southern Louisiana.

The ClosingExplore New Iberia


ontinue the historical adventure to New Iberia’s downtown. New

Iberia is absolutely adorable and uniquely layered in culture. Southern Louisiana’s own melting pot with settlers that are French, Spanish, Native and Af-

Museum Lovers Stop in the Bayou Teche Museum and walk down memory lane with memorabilia and artifacts that tell the story of the town’s evolution along the Bayou Teche.

rican American. This blend has created a culture that is special to Cajun Country. Historical buildings along Main st. are

This spot caters to whatever

elevated by the colorful Azaleas

you are craving in an evening.

and unreal ancient oak trees that

Enjoy a charming night on the

are decorated in Spanish Moss.

town before heading back to

It feels like you have walked

your Cajun Getaway.

back in time here, its charm is perfection.


Preservation Bar and Grill A little taste of New Orleans energy is found here on Main St. New Iberia. The exposed brick and dim lighting is quaintly romantic. Incredible cocktails and delicious bites are to be had here. Enjoy dining on the patio as they are frequently hosting live music.

Day 2/ Act Two Opening


Lafayette and Youngsville Excursion An easy 15 minutes from the Cajun Getaway will place you in the fastest growing town in Louisiana, Youngsville. Grab brunch at the newly reopened Bouree Restaurant. The town is buzzing with excitement as and it is the only local brunch

spot. The Crab Cake benedict is perfection.

Make your way to the heart of explore the eclectic Farmer’s Market. It seems to attract all walks of life, including all the puppies! From delicious bites, fresh produce, singular homemade ingredients and incredible craftsmanship it is found here.

Each vendor radiates an element found here in Southern Louisiana.

Moncus Park and Lafayette Farmers and Artisan Market

This is a refreshing way to start your Saturday and get a special perspective of the hardworking individuals showcasing their passion for this part of the world. Great spot to grab a gift, sip on

Side note on Cuisine Cravings

IntermissionDowntown Lafayette


Now that the world has become Art galleries, and cuisine that represent the culture found in 337.

For a truly unique encounter, stop over at the Cajun Hatter hat shop. If you are lucky enough to catch Colby Hebert please say hello, but the wonderful women who manage the storefront are so lovely. They wear his hats well! You will be very tempted to create one of


your own. on’s Seafood is technically a historical landmark here and the

location on Johnston St. is just so. When food is live and Cajun by its culinary genius order the chargrilled oysters here and thank me later! “They also have a well sought after Old Fashion if you feel like diving in that direction”.

Souci Fine Craft Gallery are a great place to start.

The scene has grown immensely since I’ve been gone and wowjust wow. As my sweet friend Richard Harmon wrote in his downtown crawl, “Downtown best parts of the city and Acadiana as a whole. Friendly, unique, and loving, downtown’s heart beats the same as its culture”. Richard Harmon IV

Oh the Arts! The Acadiana Center for the Arts and Sans

back to this new normal, the Downtown Lafayette events are in full swing! If you time it right you can catch a live outdoor music event revolving around festival season and Downtown Alive.

Tsunami Sushi is a strong-

Of course, my absolute favorite restaurant has to be Vestal. I was blown away! It all started when I got back in town in late July 2021 and my best girl friend and owner of “Home Sweet Organized”, made a reservation to celebrate me coming home and I could not believe what was happening before my eyes. Decor, ambiance, cuisine, service and the cocktails!! I felt like I was not in “Kansas” anymore and was transported to the new restaurant opening in Los Angeles. I was so lucky to have a conversation with

the owner, Ryan Trahan, at a later

hold of consistency and Rock

time. This led to the amazing cov-

N Bowl has created an adult

er, and our Kitchen and Mixology

playground with style and

Chronicles. Trust me- Go There.

class in a renovated historical

However, Central Pizza is epic,

bank. I couldn’t believe how moody and just “cool” this place was.

back to a themed dive bar in Los

Closing -Time to unwind

Angeles Elevated Amazing. This polynesian fusion of their life travels and passion for creating something that was their own oozes from every single element. The menus’ are written on two chalkboards, guests order at the bar, and sit back and enjoy the show.

The new kid on the block who is making major waves and setting the new tone for how to create a I am a fan of ending my evening at home, and that Cajun Geta-

vibe, is Maybe’s Lounge. Under the same ownership as its direct

way is calling my name. Howev-

“wall sharing” neighbor, Pour.

er, I strongly suggest you work

Matt and Brad have created a

your way back to Youngsville

true original space that is as

and catch a lovely Saturday at

inviting as it is mysterious. The

Pour Youngsville. Sugar Mill

area was in dire need of their

Pond is an elite destination and

creative genius. When I walked

the locals do not disappoint.

in, again, I felt transported

Incredible craft cocktails and amazing service. This group works like a family and the energy is addicting. Enjoy one of their up and coming cocktails from a mixology competition and do not be afraid to ask for a fabulous Mocktail either. This team will woo you with genuine conversation and their southern souls.

Food is phenomenal! For a two man show most nights, Chef Brad is insanely talented. His drive comes from food he loves to eat and wants to bring that spam, sushi grade tuna and magically seasoned chips would be the baseline for your new cravings!

I have to say growing up hereleaving for over a decade and exploring the new 337 has not been a let down. The wonderful people here in Southern Louisiana can easily make this a destination in itself. Get lost in the history, the one of a kind culture, discover the cuisine that is known worldwide, and say hello. You never know what will come from the response of a kind hello and here in this 48 hours with your local tourist, I honestly can say


I do not regret one single hello att is a mixologist with an award winning resume and a

well traveled soul. He came out of retirement to launch this space a place where you try something brand new and will fall in love. This once yogurt shop kitchen has two sous vide machines and more they are kings of this growing castle and will not disappoint. This part of Acadiana is a hub of serious cuisine, quality conversation, art, passion and a strong indication of what Southern Hospitality is all about.

that led me to many life altering conversations. I think I will stay a while I look forward to exploring and continuing to become reacquainted with a fun 48-hours in adventure. Boat tour next?

Your Local TouristElisse Nielson

Quotes from Locals “Louisiana and Lafayette in particular is unique due to its culture. The culture is what we eat, our music, how we dance to our music. Mainly- It’s the compassionate people. I am a pretty well traveled man, and there is nothing like this area.”

“I really love the community support here. Especially this past time with Covid and working, the level of support and love for the local businesses and the people was so inspiring to see.” - Yen..- 27

- Dominick Park- 22- YoungsvilleLafayette Native

“There is more heart here than people realize- found in our neighbors, in the food we share and the music we love. Our festivals are unlike anything else as they are full of spirit and soul. I feel like there is a bolder voice found here when it comes to saying hello or helping a stranger. I carry this with me on my travels.“

“Being someone who travels around on the hunt for outdoor activities, I really love exploring the local parks and hiking around. To be able to fish and explore all day and end the evening at a local spot with a beer. The people here are nice, the food is one of a kind and the culture- well it is the culture.”

- Drew Valdez- 24

- Phil - 43

“We may not have all the amenities that other parts of the world have, but we are not far from getting there. International airports, a six hour drive to the Ouachita Mountains- but I will say- Kayaking on lake Martin is quite an escape.“ - Matt 33

Contributors “Thank you to our incredible Contributors- without their drive and dedication to this new vision for 337 we would not be where we are today. Their talent is unmatched and this took a village to bring this to life. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.” - Elisse

337 Media, LLC - Publisher

Richard Harmon IV - Writer

Maggie Lackie - Photography

The incredible designers

Elisse Nielson - Creative Director-Editor

Roxanne Grubb - Co/Editor

Alexis Captain Marino

Ashlin Augustine-


Graphic Designer

Ben Pierce - Photography

The entire team at Pour Youngsville

Matthew Valentin - Videographer

My dearest friends and Family

Thank you for allowing me to bring you all the new “337 Magazine”

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