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CHAUVIN, La. -- A convenience store that has sat vacant and dilapidated since Hurricane Gustav tore off portions of its porch in 2008 has reopened in a remote location on the Louisiana Bayou.
According to a report by Daily Comet. Com, the store's new owner, Scott Price, bought the Dixie General store and has renamed it the Bayou Dock and Shop. Customers have been anticipating the reopening since renovations began a year ago.
"As soon as I got down there, people were stopping by and asking me, 'When's it going to be ready?'" Price told the Comet. "Every day, I was turning down business."
The single-store owner attributes the excitement to his lonely location on La. 56. His gas station/convenience store, which features a gas pump servicing boats on Bayou Little Caillou, has little nearby competition.
"There's not anything 6 miles down and 6 miles up from us," he said. "People up the bayou have to pass us to get to Lake Boudreaux, and the closest fuel dock is farther than 6 miles."
Price actually opened the store before he was even fully stocked, according to the report. He installed what he called a "junkyard" sign announcing the gas was for sale. Then he let people purchase sodas, which were the only item the convenience store could offer at the time.
"All I had was Pepsi products," he said. "I sold about $400 in sodas and $600 in gas that day. The next day, it was $2,000, and the day after, we made $2,500 more. Every day got better and better, and we got nothing but positive comments from everyone in here. They were so excited the store was open."
Because of the lack of competition on the bayou, Price wants to expand his store to "a one-stop shop" to include bait, bulk ice for trawlers, virtual poker, boat rentals and a restaurant. He has already installed booth seats overlooking the bayou for sit-down eating in the back of the building, and hopes to open the restaurant in the next five months. For now, he's happy with the money the shop and fuel are bringing in, he told the Comet.
"I'm so shocked at how well it's doing already. We don't even have a liquor license yet," Price said. "But I've got big plans for this place. Big plans."