Fort Bend County restaurant owner sending help to Louisiana

NEEDVILLE, Texas – One small business owner in Needville is stepping up to help his beloved hometown in southeast Louisiana after the area suffered major damage after Hurricane Ida.

Bayou Boys Po-Boys owner Joel Barrios said he has a special place in his heart for the small and tight-knit region of LaFourche Parrish. He grew up “down the bayou” in LaRose near Thibodaux.

“We hold onto our culture very well. We’re proud of where we come from. We’re proud of our culinary roots. We’re proud of our heritage. We’re proud of our language, and we try to preserve it. There some people still live off the land,” Barrios said.

Moving to Needville, Texas, Barrios established a town staple the Bayou Boys Po-Boys restaurant and catering service has built quite a name for itself. Barrios is still working on getting in touch with his family there.

“It wasn’t until today that I heard from my son. You know it’s been about 3 to 4 days. My dad, I still haven’t heard from, but I think he’s doing alright,” Barrios said.

The community in Needville is ready to help Barrios.

“Joel fed the whole town during the freeze. We had to do something to help his family there in Louisiana,” said resident Patty Meyen.

Barrios is leading a massive effort to collect supplies and food of all kinds to the areas down the Bayou, an area that does not always get the help it needs being in the shadow of New Orleans, a big city.

“The community here in Needville reminds me so much of down the bayou. It’s similar in so many ways,” Barrios said. Barrios is leaving around 1 a.m. early Wednesday morning to bring three trailers full of supplies donated by himself, his business, and the community. All week, Barrios has been collecting supplies. While he usually refers to himself as the dishwasher, groundskeeper and accountant of his business, this week he has another role.”

“I’m the pack mule. We’re getting our supplies loaded up and we’re getting our community to come together,” Barrios said with a smile.

Barrios’ efforts to help are rapidly developing. He’s in the process of establishing drop-off points around Greater Houston and Needville and also creating a schedule for weekly trips. He is also working with Fort Bent County on an operation to serve hot meals.

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