By Cheryl Hackett

The entrance of the restaurant sets a tone as the rich eclectic soundscapes of jazzy, pop, and classic rhythms are played throughout as customers sway to the sounds and blends of New Orleans. The birthright of this establishment is soon to embark upon pushing the Creole cuisine across communities for fifty-five years on July third, two thousand twenty-four. Born on the 28th of May 1924, to Dr. and Mrs. Percy P. Creuzot, Percy Pennington “Frenchy” Creuzot Jr., a New Orleans native arrived at Houston, Texas in 1964. Cumulatively, his years of service in the Navy, World War II, and a 1949 graduate of Hampton Institute (University) located in Hampton, Virginia, were historical endeavors of distinctions. With him on the trek was his wife Sallie Coleman and their three children Percy III, Angele, and John, who is the Criminal District Attorney in Dallas, Texas.

With an ambitious spirit, the motivating force from his former years as a salesperson with an insurance company, graduation apparels and the selling of flavored snow cones were the chronicles of his journey. What piqued his interest were two major highlights that gave way to an assurance of his ability to support an insistent urge of bringing Louisiana cuisine to Texas and to sell his experiences into becoming a business owner. He figured that selling insurance was not a steady way to earn a living for his family, as he learned that his greatest challenge would become his  unpredictable income selling it. Each product he negotiated and sold, were related to a myriad of options for people to purchase. With the blending of his options, Texas fried chicken with  creole intermixtures and Louisiana cuisine, “Frenchy-Creole Fried Chicken became the trademark for his family’s business.

The late Percy “Frenchy” Creuzot Jr. and his wife, Sallie opened Frenchy’s Chicken at the flagship locale on Scott Street nestled between The University of Houston and Texas Southern University. It was in a storefront in Third Ward, next door to Jesse Hearne, a used car lot owner. King marvels at the spelling of his sister’s name and dials her on the phone as she and I  exchange conversation for the correct spelling. The only daughter of Percy Creuzot, he wanted the diner to be named after her, “Etiennette.” Percy Jr. was cautioned from the advice of an acquaintance, “No one will be able to locate that name in a phone book.” Acquaintances gave him the nickname “Frenchy” and the man who started it all, was hooked on his nonstop journey.Thinking back to that experience King’s face was captured with laughter and memories of good times gone, and his inspiration to continue the tradition with his family, friends, and others in his father’s legacy!

55 YEAR JOURNEY - 2

In ushered, a dynamite combination of a Creole fried chicken with a mixture of Louisiana cuisine to balance the slightly modified recipe given to him from a family friend. The original menu was layered with flavored red beans blended with flavorings of French, Spanish, Caribbean and African effects, dirty rice, hot sausage called “Chaurice” from New Orleans and a thick crusty  bread stuffed with fried oysters called oyster loaf. Original generational recipes were prepared by Sallie and her late husband, Percy Jr. The recipes reflected unique flavorings and ingredients tied to a philosophy that were lessons for sharing with their family steep traditions of love and inspiration. The cooking regiments for the Creuzot family used the flagship location which proved clearly the most resourceful site for blending love, values, time, spices, and recipes for their family’s legacy. Percy (King) III, shares his sentiment, “I don’t mind telling you either of the formula that made the family’s area restaurant a must-stop on the fried chicken circuit, you take a little of this, a little of that and plenty of the other.”

King signals that thought while reminiscing about his father’s passion, and his keen salesmanship over the years. From his fortitude meshed with being an exceptional businessperson and surrounding him from every angle, he would launch himself against the darkness of midnight and the wee hours of the next morning and wave his flashlight to take advantage of his competitor, Church’s Chicken daily night closing. It was the signal that showed power, possibilities and promise towards a stern belief that this was his chance and opportunity which gave way to the family business that became a centerpiece for what his beliefs were. His generosity was intense and persistently, he would pull the late-night customers into the tight winding drive through with only chicken and French fries to offer. “When we saw the lights go off, we’d start dropping chicken in the grease.” With his southern drawl and a gentlemanly manner, it was not a strain to notice the smile within the conversation. “My dad would take a flashlight and flag people in from the street.” A flashlight that marked the winning way to the expansion of Frenchy’s Chicken. At times, the younger Creuzot recalled, “The restaurant’s after-hours business would extend until 5 a.m.”

With respect and fairness, “Frenchy,” prodded a command performance that became a nightly unchanging ritual. “Someone would order chicken and my father would collect the money. He knew that once he collected the money the person would not leave. He got the money first, that way he never fried in vain.” expresses King. It became the difference that his family relied upon! Seventy-five percent of the business enterprise was selling fried chicken. Competing chicken businesses began to flourish in the late seventies and Creuzot decided to open additional locations. Black Enterprise recognized Frenchy’s Chicken for becoming a successful and fast-growing, blackoperated business with gross sales of $12 million. During the late eighty’s, Frenchy’s Chicken  established twelve restaurants in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, however oil prices reached an alltime crisis that spun Frenchy’s into a downward spiral. They filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Frenchy’s Sausage Co. was not part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Frenchy’s Chicken incorporates a group of three entities, Frenchy’s Chicken, Frenchy’s Sausage and Frenchy’s Restaurant Group. Franchises are located at Almeda, Atascocita, Cypress, Beltway & Richmond, Acres Home, Katy, Rankin, Longview, and Veterans Memorial. Carl Jones, a former employee of Church’s Chicken advised Frenchy to focus on food consistency across the franchises. The establishment of an In-House Cooking Division simmers the smell of the Pinemont plant with added compliments of red beans, dirty rice, jambalaya, collard greens, peach cobbler, sweet potato pie and other sides that absorb your diet. The 15,000 square foot. plant employs eighty employees on two shifts. The meat, poultry and vegetative products used are FDA,  USDA and there is a 3rd Party Inspector which is important for the regulation, protection, and inspection of approved products sold for human consumption. King Creuzot began laying the foundation for his own career upon graduation from Texas Southern University in 1970, with Ford Motor Company, located in Kansas City, Missouri for five years. An urgent call from his father, indelibly changed the course of his career to return to Houston, Texas to bring forth Frenchy’s Sausage Company in 1977. It began in The Heights in a 2500 sq.ft. leased location and it initially processed “chaurite” which is a Creole sausage. Lotts Bar-be-que bequeathed a homemade links recipe to Frenchy. The overall effects of the recipe drew upon the purchasing of twenty boxes of links that carried a seasoned taste of mix that changed the future of Frenchy’s Sausage Company.

Currently, Frenchy’s Sausage produces over 78,000 lbs. of sausage weekly, both pork and beef blended with seasonings with a machine that grinds and mixes from the lift into a stuffer. Glowing with pride, located in the frozen meat section of H-E-B are the sausages, creole gumbo, Aunties Rice Dressing, and etouffee base that represent the Creuzot Family Sausage Division. Frenchy’s Sausages are sold in HEB, Joe V’s, Food Town, Foodarama and Fiesta. In 1990, Sallie Creuzot changed the brand color’s identity from brown, gold and yellow to create a design to feature brighter and bolder artistry of blue and gold to lift and soften the innovative creativity within the company. The expression of changes highlights the bordering of the letterform embroidered for Frenchy Sausage logo, “good ole creole. The lower-case letter l in creole is distinguished as: creoLe” in boldness as it features with dark lettering the state the Creuzot Family is rooted, Louisiana. Frenchy’s Chicken Division wears the original logo of white lettering layered below in bold yellow, the words Since 1969. Like the classics of music, the matriarch placed in motion the identity of Frenchy’s brand that continues to symbolize the acknowledgement of its’ continued rise in the poultry industry.

The Information Age ushered in a new dynamic under the leadership of King’s daughter, Coline Creuzot, a YouTube singer. Her technological and touch dynamics has become the true identifier and essentials for success in today’s markets. She identifies and uses a variety of social media platforms to spread information quickly, a technological app, that tracks the time customers are in and out of the drive-through with improved efficiency, a holding space for Uber Eats and other drivers to get in and out in real time effectively for pick-up of orders, and a kiosk will be added for customers to order upon entrance into the facility soon.

The company continues to make progress and overhead towards the bludgeoning manufacturing companies and the automation of poultry. The adaptation of the changing accession continues to rise and menus for companies in the poultry industry must adhere to the purchase of “boned-in or boneless” poultry. “Regulatory changes, technological disruptions and evolving consumer preferences are the greatest challenges in the poultry industry. Featured continuously is Frenchy’s signature portion of the chicken, “wings.” They cost more, but commercially, the sales are steady.” states King. The boudin ball and rolls remain popular picks and, in the future, boneless chicken sandwiches are in the wonderings. Sallie, the ninety-six-year-old matriarch of the Creuzot dynasty, regularly visits the current location on Scott Street in Third Ward. Angele and sibling John pioneered with the progress of the restaurant in previous years. Cousin Novelle Jones, the lone employee who opened and remained with the company after fifty-three years of service has recently retired. Currently, the CEO of Frenchy’s is Ernest Hunter, a former acquaintance of King’s wife, Cheryl, has labored with the company for three years. Leading aside King is his business partner since 1989, Anthony Gaynor and King’s son, Percy “PC” Creuzot knows and understands all facets of the company from the processing and business side of the organization.

King singled out the importance of The Creuzot’s Family legacy in volunteerism and their steep ties to the community. Percy “Frenchy” Creuzot Jr. shared a patriarchal presence as a philanthropic citizen whose proven loyalty supported Texas Southern University, the state of Texas as a Board of Regents for twelve years, Catholic Charities, The Greater Houston Visitors &  Convention Center, and other entities with involvement and a great deal of influence. Continuing the personal stake in the community, King extends the importance of giving back, “This community has given so much to Frenchy, and it would not be what it is.” They have made us who we are, and it is imperative to give back.” He echoes for the Creuzot Family, “Everyone in the family feels the same way. It is who we are and what we do!”

The family continues to maintain a legacy steeped in reminiscences, memories, and celebrations long past the fifty years plus! Kings maintains his sincere obligations to lead and continue the legacy for generations to explore! Leading the helm of Frenchy’s Sausage Company is a family person, who plays golf and collects vintage cars from early to mid-eighties. Unquestionably, the lineage of the Creuzot Family, continues to safeguard the vitality of Percy Penningston Creuzot Jr. and Sallie Coleman Creuzot’s dream! The pain and pleasure of arriving to this newly built site in December 2022, designed by Architect Paul C. Heisler of Houston carries the charm of the French Quarters, the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans. This is a narrative of a soulful journey with vast promises that await in a luminous horizon. The foresight of Percy Creuzot, Jr. an icon and his conquest lives on! Indeed, he gave his family a good start as his legacy runs forward! Frenchy’s Chicken is clearly a forerunner marching on characterizing a long unwavering relationship with time!

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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