ALL IN THE FAMILY
At Champagne’s Marche in Leonville, third-generation owner Richard Champagne and his wife, Angela, turn out some of the best king cakes in Cajun Country. The supermarket, which Richard’s grandfather opened in 1926, is well known for its smoked sausage and boudin, but its king cakes have gained a solid following since the Champagnes introduced them in 2000.
Richard’s mother took a king cake baking class and started making them to sell at the store. The king cakes were so popular that they decided to build a bakery in the store, and today, Champagne’s Marche sells about 3,500 king cakes a year.
“When we started [selling king cakes], our kids were young, and after the first year, my wife got very involved, and we had a lot of late nights,” Richard says. “Our kids knew to bring their mats, and they’d sleep in the aisles while we worked and got things ready for the first day. It was a lot of hard work and long hours … and it’s really been a good thing for us.”
The dough is made in the traditional cinnamon roll style, giving it a light yet moist texture. The king cakes, which are only available for pickup at the store, are finished with a coating of white icing and purple, green, and yellow drizzles. Champagne’s Marche offers 18 different flavors, including Bavarian cream, amaretto pecan, strawberry cream cheese, and pecan praline.