September 18, 2002 - "Miss Eula Savoie's Sausage Kitchen"

Warm as a country kitchen -- this world famous factory is just as down-home as your grandmother's smoke house. Drive over to St. Landry parish to meet the energetic grandmother who has spent 50 years at the helm of Savoie's Sausage.

An iron paddlewheel turns the mixture of oil and flour in a giant iron pot. First you make a roux. Imagine a five-pound bag of flour. Multiply it by 100. That's how much roux Eula Savoie makes every day. Not bad for a lady who started with two Magnalite pots on the kitchen stove.

Miss Eula also makes 17,000 pounds of sausage and andouille every day. That started out small, too, back in 1949 -- as Miss Eula puts it, "One hog, two hogs, three hogs -- then it wound up to where we would buy hogs." Those hogs now end up in everything from tasso to seasoned pork roast.

In Eula's kitchen, dozens of workers cut meat and add seasoning by hand. There's a lot of this hands-on attention at the home of Savoie's Sausage. And for Miss Eula, still running the show at 76, "home" is the word -- and family. "It's home," she says. "It's home for me because, like I said, I was raised down the bayou, down a little country road. I get wrapped up with the people who are here."

Miss Eula knows every one of her workers by name -- an old fashioned way of doing business just as homey as the wood-frame country store where it all started. The store's still here, too -- thanks to Eula Savoie, still asking folks into her kitchen after 50 years. Miss Eula's homey kitchen does ten-million dollars in business a year. She was named Louisiana's entrepreneur of the year in 2001.