Ruth – Since 1986 locals have been stopping at Goulas Grocery, the mom and pop grocery store located between Breaux Bridge and Parks, to pick up fresh cracklins.
With a heavy heart Eddie recently told the Teche News that he was clsoing his store. “It was a very emotional and difficult decision that was not easily made,” he said.
“The physical demands of cooking cracklin six days a week and operating a small business has taken a toll on my physical health,” Goulas added.
Watching Eddie cook one pot of cracklin (which takes an hour and 45 minutes per batch) you notice just how physically demanding it is. On the average Goulas cooks 2,200 - 3,000 lbs. of pig skin a week, selling close to 50 lbs. of cracklins a day and more than 100 lbs. on Saturdays.
Goulas was able to raise his family and operate a successful business for the past 26 years. But now with his three children grown and on their own it’s time for a new adventure.
Eddie’s parents, LeeRoy and Ida Goulas, along with his sister, Sandra, operated the cash and carry convenience store when it opened in 1981. LeeRoy and his brother, Dale Goulas, began making and serving cracklins at the store.
Soon Eddie was learning and perfecting “the technique” of cooking great cracklins. He admits that when he was growing up in Poche Bridge “I didn’t eat cracklins, I just never found any I liked.” But he fondly remembers his Uncle Ned bringing cracklins when visiting from Baton Rouge.
Looking back, Eddie has fond memories of the regulars who visited with him through the years making him laugh and listening to his jokes.
He remembers Olden Hebert, who lived nearby and would visit with him almost everyday. When Hebert walked from the store to the area where Eddie was cooking cracklins, he would say “Ed-DAAAAY what ya doing?”
“I’m afraid to leave, I’m gonna miss it, this is my lil world,” said Eddie with a heavy heart. “But I’m preparing for the next phase of my life.”
Regulars from all over were disappointed to see the sign from Eddie and Dianne posted at the register saying they were closing July 7.
•“What am I going to do? These are the only cracklin I like. I drive from Lafayette just to buy cracklin. This is the only place I buy my cracklin, I even bring them to family in California.” – Gayle Dartez, Lafayette
•“What are we going to do for some good cracklin?” – Harold and Gloria Comeaux, Lafayette
Eddie has started a Monday to Friday job as a machinist and Dianne is looking to go back into the banking industry. They are extremely grateful to everyone who have supported their business through the years and will miss the day-to-day interaction with their customers.