Thursday, December 19, 2013
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – The Grand Opening of McDonalds on Hwy. 51 this Saturday was greeted with smiles and excitement following its closure after Hurricane Isaac. The restaurant experienced substantial flood damage requiring a four foot elevation with the rebuild. St. John Parish Chief Administrative Officer Randy Vincent and Economic Development Director Torri Buckles joined owners Charlie and Chris Valluzzo, McDonalds Corporation Area Supervisor Wade Breaux and Field Service Manager Rickey Breaux for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Also on hand for the celebration were General Manager Debbie Fontana, Director of Operations Robin Casanova, Area Business Consultant Michael Bonnet, Grimace and Hamburglar, Saints Mascot Gumbo, and a host of staff, family and friends. Everyone was treated to pictures with the characters and share in the cake, lunch, and prizes.
“The rebuilding of McDonalds following Hurricane Isaac is a significant moment in the continued revitalization of the Hwy. 51 corridor,” said Torri Buckles, Economic Development Director. “We are pleased that Valluzzo Management chose to re-invest in St. John Parish by rebuilding a restaurant that not only delivers freshly prepared food, but also provides an inviting dining experience in a modern, dynamic, and comfortable environment.”
The store was constructed with the latest McDonalds design, decoration, and cutting-edge equipment. While closed, McDonalds kept their crews employed at sister stores and now have 62 employees working at the Hwy. 51 location. “We appreciate our employees and want them to be successful,” said Robin Casanova, Director of Operations. “We bring in students from local schools and offer incentives for good grades through the ‘Good Grades Great Pay’ program, as well as scholarships and raises per semester,” she added.
The family has been owners/operators for 50 years and today the father and son operate 27 stores in Louisiana. "Catastrophies like Isaac can test a Community and the local businesses that are a part of the Community. We wanted your McDonalds on Main Street @ I-10 to be another example of the strength present in St. John Parish. Simply put, we wanted to come back stronger for our McDonalds family and customers," said Chris Valluzzo.
Visit the new store on Hwy. 51 near Interstate 10 Monday through Friday from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. or Saturday and Sunday from 5:00 a.m. to midnight.