What started as a dream for a couple to be their own boss has grown into two hardware stores that provide big city service without in the small towns of Abbeville and Maurice.

Gerrod Brasseux and his wife, Nikki, began their journey in January 2016 when they restored the old Star True Value Hardware, 300 S. State St. in Abbeville, and reopened it as Brasseux's Hardware. Last month they expanded into Maurice with the town's first full hardware store, a 7,250-square-foot building at 9611 Maurice Ave.

"We wanted to do something in Maurice," Brasseaux said. "We saw that the growth was here and wanted to get in on the front end before everyone got here. Maurice has been very welcoming. A lot of people knew we we're going to be opening here almost a year ago and people would stop me on the street and say, 'We heard you're coming to Maurice. We can't wait.'" 

The Brasseuxes come from a long line of entrepreneurs. Gerrod Brasseux's father owned a restaurant and his grandfather owned a small grocery store and a doughnut shop in Abbeville. Nikki Brasseux's grandmother owned a grocery store and a drive-in.

Brasseux's Hardware provides tools and paint but also carries fryers and cookers, drink and party mixes and beauty products. It also features an arcade cabinet for kids and the young at heart to play classic video games while others shop. 

"With our store in Abbeville, it's been there for so long that we wanted it to have that hometown hardware feel and not feel like you're in a strip mall," Brasseux said. "That's kind of the brand we've established. We're 'boutique hardware.' We're your local hardware store, but we have cool stuff here, too."

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