St. Gabriel Grocery and Deli supports chemical industry, plant workers

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Chemical plant workers gather at the end of the day at The Pit Too Sports Bar in St. Gabriel. Area workers are known to frequent the establishment along with St. Gabriel Grocery and Deli. 

ST. GABRIEL - On the Mississippi River just south of Baton Rouge in the middle of the chemical industry is a small old country store, St. Gabriel Grocery and Deli.  

“There we know what plant workers go though day to day,” owner Theresa Roy said. “And the special bond they have with each other.”

The explosion at the Williams Olefins plant over the summer didn’t just effect the plant, according to Roy. It effected the entire industry in the area and country.  

“When one of our very good customers came in that works at the Williams Plant, I could see the hurt in his eyes and heart,” Roy said. “It made me realize the closeness that these people in the chemical industry have for one another. I can look back and remember the times when one of them got sick or even died. The love and concern for their fellow workers is extraordinary.”

Roy said the friendship gained over the past 27 years at the store is special.

“It just breaks our heart when someone retires because we don’t seem to see them as often in our day to day life at the store,” Roy said.

Roy has served on the INC ( Industry Neighbor Community) committee and have seen plants do great things in the community. 

“They’ve been here to help in the community,” Roy said.

Roy said they buy school supplies, read to children and provide food.

“Just so people know that they don’t just work here,” Roy said. “They really care about our community. They have raised lots of children, made jobs, friendships and brought money into this community.”

Roy said she also believes they do a good job to keep our community safe and informed. Quite a few local people work in the plants and their families live here, she said.

“And of course, they would want to keep them safe too,” Roy said. “Accidents do happen. We don’t want them to, but they do. I think Williams did a good job at keeping us safe and informed. The explosion was handled well and we are proud to be a part of this family.

“I hope people don’t think of these just as chemical plants, but a place where friendships and special bonds are formed. And we are proud to be a part of it.”