Gumbo is one of the most famous dishes from the Louisiana Creole Gumbo's heritage. As varied as the recipes can be, there are a few ingredients that give the dish its identity as gumbo. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)

   

 
 

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Mayor Duggan talks with Louisiana Creole Gumbo owner Joe Spencer and daughter Stephanie Spencer, marketing director for LCG Foods. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us Detroit)

  Authentic Creole Restaurant Opens New Location in NW Detroit

By Karen Hudson Samuels/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT - Louisiana Creole Gumbo, the well-known restaurant that first introduced metro Detroit to Cajun style cooking, celebrated the grand opening of its second restaurant recently with a ribbon cutting ceremony, remarks by owner Joe Spencer and congratulations from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Expanding from its location on Gratiot is “The ultimate test of Detroit’s come back” said Mayor Duggan who told well-wishers that “There are opportunities for people who stay here like restaurant owner Joe Spencer.”

The journey to the new location at 13505 W. Seven Mile in Detroit is one navigated by Spencer’s own drive to tap into what he called the “ecosystem” of programs and grants designed to create economic growth through small business expansion; he has participated in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program that assists companies with development and received funding from Motor City Match.

Most recently Spencer was named the recipient of a $100,000 grant by the New Economy Initiative Small Business Challenge, “It will fund our expansion into the mobile food truck business” with service to begin at the end of the first quarter, 2017. The trucks will package the same restaurant food items taking them to neighborhoods and business areas all over the city.

In thanking the Mayor and his staff for their support Spencer said that before the paint was dry, his first customer at the LCG’s 7 Mile location was Duggan and Council member Andre Spivey. The Mayor said the food was fantastic, “I didn’t need to eat for two days!”

For Spencer whose careers spans time as a local TV executive, the path to the restaurant business began in 1983 with a coin toss between good friends. “I wanted to get into the real estate business” as an investment but good friend Doug Morison suggested looking at a little restaurant as an investment. Losing that coin toss led to the purchase of Louisiana Creole Gumbo from Joseph Strafford, including recipes, secret sauces and a special blend of spices.

Today Spencer says LCG has a full menu of authentic New Orleans cuisine starting with five different kinds of gumbos, from seafood to vegetable and hot and spicy gumbo; four different types of creoles, four types of jambalayas and red beans and rice that can be customized with chicken, green onion, sour cream.

“We also have a delicious line of southern dishes, the things like what you mother made your grandmother made” said Spencer. That would include baked chicken, barbeque chicken; smoothed pork chops, rib tips, mac and cheese, collard greens.

The trend of people not wanting a lot of fat in their diets is something Spencer said LCG is tuned into. Their vegetables are cooked with spices but no meat or pork. And Spencer said they have the best lemonade you will taste anywhere in the country and a delicious line up desserts. “When you come here you’re going to be well fed.”




 
 

 
   
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