Café Du Monde will buy Evans Creole Candy Factory and expand its operations into the French Market candy shop in the coming months, the famed beignet shop’s president said Wednesday.
Jay Roman said the century-old company will close on the sale of Evans’ assets in the “next couple of weeks.” He declined to disclose details of the deal.
“It’s a typical New Orleans story. We were standing and talking to some people and they mentioned that the Evans ladies were going to retire,” Roman said. “We approached them, and it turned out it was a good deal for everybody.”
The agreement came together in just four weeks, he said.
Telephone calls to Evans went unanswered Wednesday.
Evans and Café Du Monde occupy opposite ends of the same French Market building. They are separated by several other businesses.
When the sale is finalized, Cafe Du Monde will begin selling its merchandise, such as boxed beignet mix and souvenir mugs, from the candy shop, Roman said. Patrons still will be able to purchase pralines, pecan candies and chocolate at the candy store.
Eventually, Roman said, Café Du Monde plans to sell fresh beignets — square, French-style, powdered sugar-covered doughnuts — from the Evans space after it is renovated to include a kitchen.
“It gives us some much needed breathing room,” he said.
The Café Du Monde-Evans deal does not include the sale of any real estate. Both businesses lease space from the French Market Corp., a city agency.
The cafe occupies more than 5,000 square feet at Decatur and St. Ann streets across from Jackson Square. Evans operates in about 2,000 square feet at Decatur and Dumaine streets.
The French Market board voted Tuesday to fold the Evans space into Café Du Monde’s existing lease. Under that agreement, Café Du Monde pays 7 percent of its sales in rent to the French Market. The new lease will go into effect when the sale is final.
Café Du Monde has operated at the French Market for more than 150 years, closing only for Christmas and the occasional hurricane. The cafe is best known for its beignets and café au lait — coffee mixed half and half with hot milk.
For many years, it competed with another French Market beignet shop, Morning Call Coffee Stand, but that business moved to Metairie in 1974.
According to its website, Evans was created more than a century ago by Andre Dulac-Evans, who hand-made pralines and other candy. The company was purchased in 1968 by Jay Cuccia, who added hand-dipped chocolates to its offerings.