Gas Station Gourmet: Blake’s Deli

Seafood specials and southern cooking draw customers.

May 06, 2024

By Al Hebert

There are over 150,000 convenience stores in the country, and many of them are alike. But it would be hard to replicate the close family feel and culture at Blake’s Deli in Louisiana, where the owners of the second-generation family business make customers and employees alike feel like they’re right at home.

Brothers Randy and Bubbie Robichaux took over the company their father Blake McDonald started more than forty years ago, and now own two locations—one in the Adventure Truck Plaza in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, and the other in a truck stop in Vacherie, Louisiana.

Blake himself can still be found cooking each day. His homecooked southern menu and weekly specials draw in customers for breakfast burritos, the deli’s famous po’boys and seafood plate lunches.

At Blake’s Deli, it’s all about making the customers feel like part of the Robichaux family too.

“We have great customer service. It’s a small company, so it’s easy to be hands on. … You can’t do that at a big company. People that work for us care,” said manager John Henry Robichaux, Randy’s son.

Blake’s became well known for its po’boys—a sandwich on French cut bread, loaded with mayo, pickle, tomato and a choice of protein, often including ham, roast beef or fried seafood.

And in a town where seafood is king, the overstuffed shrimp po’boy is Blake’s most popular menu item. “Mr. Blake started that in the 80s. It’s almost a pound of shrimp. It’s popular year-round,” said Bubbie’s son, Nick Robichaux, general manager of both Blake’s Delis.

The roast beef po’boys are also a hit, and Blake’s makes its own roast beef each day, shredding it by hand and also using it to make homemade gravy. The deli outsources the bread baking, but it’s baked fresh each morning, said Nick, noting that “bread is the most important ingredient in a po’boy.”

In this part of the world, customers also love Blake’s plate lunches, which Nick said saw a huge bump in popularity because of its to-go nature during Covid.

“We always did them, but not to the magnitude we do now. Customers found out we had good, home cooking,” he said. “Seafood Friday is our most popular day, and the special is shrimp stew, served over rice with potato salad, sweet peas and fried fish. We also do a seafood stuffed potato, shrimp fettuccine and a shrimp and sausage jambalaya.”

To read the full article, check out the latest Gas Station Gourmet in the May issue of NACS Magazine.