New store coming to former Mayo’s Grocery site in North Lake Charles

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:10 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:12 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Mayo’s Grocery, once located on Pear Street in North Lake Charles, was been closed for many years, but there’s a new vision in mind for the property that will pay homage to the original store.

“It’s been hard really, because you have to go all the way to Walmart,” resident Tatanisha Jackson said. “It’s just been hard. Down the street. We don’t have a lot of stuff.”

This area is often described as a food desert, but there’s a new effort to change that.

“It was great,” Jackson said. “We need that again.”

Lyonna Michelle Veazea bought the property from her brother, Bobby Boutte, who is related to the Mayo family and was a long-time store employee.

The idea is to bring a more accessible store to residents in that area, where there are few options and some don’t have a means on transportation.

In a partnership with her mother, she is currently building a new store set to open in January. It will be called Buck’s Marketplace, named after her brother. She plans to hire employees from the north side and offer healthier, affordable food options.

“It’s definitely going to be designed as a grocery store, but it’s going to have other things, too,” Veazea said. “It’s going to have hair products. It’s going to have household goods. It’s going to have a coffee shop in it and a deli.”

Veazea said she hopes this will encourage other to come to the area.

“And do great things and build some stuff and invest in our community, because that’s important,” Veazea said. “Especially in North Lake Charles. We need investors, we need developers here.”

The project is met with appreciation from local officials. Mayor Nic Hunter said there is a need for additional food options in North Lake Charles. He adds this project is a pivotal and positive investment for the area.