For her whole life, Nithy Luangphone, owner of Crawfish & Geaux in New Iberia, has always admired her uncle, someone who has influenced her in more ways than one.
Raised in New Iberia, Luangphone and her husband, Tony Luangsy, run and operate their crawfish and seafood business. But selling seafood at her shop isn’t new. In fact, she was born into it, so to speak.
“It’s a family business,” NithyLuangphone said. “My uncle has been doing this for 20-something years.”
“We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time,” Luangphone said, adding, “We’ve been inspired by our uncle because he has been very successful in the business.”
Taking his approach of passion and love for his work, Luangphone’s Crawfish & Geaux business offers a wide variety of seafood. But what sets them apart from the other local seafood shacks in and around the Teche? In a word: Flavor.
“People keep saying our flavor is different,” Luangphone said. “They love how we season our shrimp and snow crab because we put butter on our snow crab. It’s not too salty but it’s right in the middle.”
Though she didn’t want to give too much away about the seasoning they use, Nithy Luangphone said the flavor — like the business — stays in the family. Originally from Laos, VC Luangphone moved to Louisiana in the 1990s and opened a pair of Crawfish Tyme restaurants in Shreveport and Bossier City.
Crawfish & Geaux opened on March 18 in New Iberia, and Nithy Luangphone said the risk she took in opening a crawfish and seafood restaurant in the area has turned into reward for them family.
“We’re Asian-Cajun, so we know how good food is over here,” she said. “So we put a little twist on the recipe.”
Nithy Luangphone gives all the credit to her uncle, who inspired her and everyone else in the family to chase their dreams and do what they love. She grew up seeing him not only succeed but have a passion for what he does, she said.
“They (her uncle and his family) came here with nothing and my grandparents didn’t even support him because they didn’t think he would do well,” Luangphone said.
But seeing where he came from, how he started, has given Luangphone that same drive and tradition — one she is proud to continue for the next generation.
“We are so proud of him,” she said. “We give him all the credit.