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LeJeune's Bakery | by National Register
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LeJeune's Bakery

Jeanerette, Iberia Parish, LA

Listed: 04/22/2003


Lejeune's Bakery is eligible for the National Register under Criterion A because it is a rare survivor to show someone the look of commerce in the early twentieth century - the way business was conducted in downtowns across America before the days of shopping centers, regional malls and "big box" retailers. Within its specific locale (towns along Bayou Teche), the bakery is quite an institution, and has been as long as anyone can remember.


According to family history, it all began in 1884 when Oscar J. Lejeune opened the Old Reliable City Bakery. He delivered bread first by horse-drawn wagon. By the turn of the twentieth century he had an "automobile delivery wagon," believed to be the first motorized vehicle in Jeanerette.


The word "anachronism" often appears in newspaper and magazine articles about this South Louisiana institution, and it is indeed apt. Historically, small towns across the region had mom-and-pop bakeries that produced fragrant, crusty French bread. But the few that survived into the 1970s fell by the wayside as big supermarkets came to town with in-house bakeries and mass-produced generic products. Lejeune's is the only survivor.

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Taken on May 10, 2010