Village Station: Hot, Fresh and Homemade

This Louisiana c-store aims to offer food that’s better than Grandma’s.

July 08, 2024

In South Louisiana, everyone cooks—and cooks well. But almost no one cooks better than Grandma.

So if you’re going to have a food program in your c-store, it better be as good as grandma’s, if not better.

That’s the mark that Chef Charles Hulin and his partners—brothers Shane and Kerry Broussard, as well as Julie, Hulin’s sister and Shane’s wife—meet at the Village Station each day.

Hulin worked in restaurants and then in food sales. “My experience in the kitchen helped me coach customers on what to do with food,” he explained. He’s brought that knowledge and expertise to the three Village Station locations, which are in Maurice (home to the first store, which the group opened eight years ago), Scott and Duson, Louisiana. The stores draw in customers with their down-home breakfasts, comfort-food plate lunches and local specialty menu item—boudin balls.

Boasting a Big Breakfast
Breakfast is one of the retailer’s most popular meal times, with about half of its food business happening during the morning. It offers classic breakfast items, including sandwiches on biscuits or croissants; sausage, bacon and ham; and breakfast burritos. “It’s nothing special, but it’s all made fresh and is [quick].”

The store gets a lot of big breakfast orders too. “We got a call last week and made 150 breakfast burritos in one location. Next week we’re doing a buffet for a school,” said Hulin.

There’s no rigid adherence to a set menu at Village Station. “Whatever the customer wants, we‘re going to make it. We do both breakfast and lunch all day long,” said Hulin. The store is also known for its plate lunches, which start at 10:30 a.m. “When they’re gone, they’re gone.”

Village Station’s $8.99 plate lunch is one of the ways Hulin gets customers in the door. When most places charge $10 or more for a midday meal, the comfort food plates—usually consisting of an entree like meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy and a side—at an affordable price is a big draw. “We’ll sometimes do 200 plates per store. We have numbers that small restaurants do,” said Hulin.

To continue reading, check out the July issue of NACS Magazine.