In 1860, Andreas Frey (pronounced “fry”) built a smoker in his back yard. And in a time before factory farms, he sold homemade sausage door-to-door in the French Quarter. Over time, he saved enough money to sail his parents to America, then to open a stall in the French Market, and finally, to pass a growing business on to his son.
At its height, L.A. Frey & Sons sold everything from Bologna to bacon in grocery stores throughout the Southeast and provided wieners to both Lucky Dog and the Superdome. But as the industry changed, international corporations left no room for a family business from south Louisiana. The packaging plant in the 9th Ward and the slaughterhouse in Lafayette closed their doors.
Chef Ray Gruezke’s great-great-grandfather is Andreas Frey, and while L.A. Frey and Sons may no longer be in grocery stores, we at Frey Smoked Meat Co. hope to honor its memory. The memory of a proud, Louisiana company and a proud, Louisiana family.