MORGAN CITY, La. (WAFB) - If you were to sum up how to live a relaxed, enjoyable life by helping others do the same, you’d be talking about the couple featured in this week’s Showcasing Louisiana. They turned their home into the business of fun!
“Ever since we were young, married here, we lived next door in a house I built when I was probably 18, 19-years-old,” said Leroy.
To define true south Louisiana hospitality is merely to say the names Leroy and Wanda Gros.
“And every Saturday that the weather was decent, I’d cook a big pot of something, and we’d drink beer, and a lot of times, strangers would stop by and just hang out and drink and eat and would join us, and we’d just entertain everybody that showed up to have a good time with us,” said Leroy.
Leroy and his wife, Wanda, exemplify everything that is good with south Louisiana.
“And always talked about building, you know, a little place that people could... that we could feed them and entertain them and maybe make a little money doing it,” Leroy said.
But they kept that dream on their dream board for a long time, not wanting to compete with a friend’s business down the bayou.
“I didn’t want to cut into his business, so we didn’t do it,” he said.
But in 2006, that friend announced he was closing down. That’s when Gros’ Marina came to life.
“When we opened, we couldn’t sell beer and everybody wanted beer, and every time somebody asked for beer, I’d give them a six-pack and say, ‘I can’t sell it, but I can give you a six-pack of beer.’ Said, ‘Just don’t forget it when we get our license. Come back and see us and spend some money.’ And I still got people come today. ‘Remember when you gave me that six-pack of beer?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ So now, they’re regular customers, and we do good,” said Leroy.
Seven miles down 4 Mile Bayou Road in Morgan City, Gros’ Marina sits on the southern end of Lake Verret. What was once a dream has blossomed into a full-fledged entertainment venue.
“We’ll have 50, 75 boats tied up and cars parked a quarter of a mile down the road, each side of the road,” said Leroy.
There are live bands on the weekend, gasoline for the boats and watercraft, and to this day, Leroy the ultimate entertainer, still cooks a big pot of something for his guests every weekend.
“It went from an 8-quart pot to a 5-gallon pot to a 10-gallon to a 20-gallon to 30-gallon, and sometimes a 75-gallon on holiday weekends and big events, ya know,” Leroy said.
Hollywood even took an interest, and in 2006, the movie Deja Vu, with Denzel Washington, was filmed at Gros Marina.
“The whole crew’s down here, and we provided them with fuel, Cokes, and everything they needed for the movie,” said Leroy.
The lifestyle Leroy and Wanda created is really what life in south Louisiana is all about.
“I love it. I love what I do, you know. I love entertaining people. I cook. I drink beer while I cook. I drink beer after I cook, entertain, socialize, and have a good time,” said Leroy.
Love what you do and have a good time doing it. Words to live by.