Cherie Menard

In mid-February Cherie Menard was busy making plans for the year’s opening day at the Delcambre Seafood & Farmers Market. The March 4th event celebrates the market’s 10 years in operation and marks Cherie’s decade-long anniversary as a vendor.

The Erath native has been attending the markets, nearly without fail, selling her sweet homemade goodies since the first year. “And…I’ve been in the same location under the pavilion since the market moved locations there,” she adds.

Cherie came to the farmers market the way many bakers do, first handing them out to family and friends. “It started with my sweet dough tarts, and then I decided to see if the public would like them,” Cherie recalls talking about her, now, best seller. Using a recipe of her great aunt’s, she bakes pies that are just slightly sweeter than most, with a texture resembling a soft cookie. Customers can choose from a variety of fillings: lemon, blackberry, blueberry, sweet potato, apple, strawberry, cherry and vanilla or chocolate custard. She gently folds, crimps and bakes about 300 pies for each market, which are usually sold within a couple of hours. “I have a customer who stands at my booth 20 minutes before the market opens, waiting to buy 1 to 1 ½ dozen of a variety,” she says.

Another customer favorite are her personal-size cobblers. Among the cobbler fans, Cherie says is “an older man and his wife who follow me wherever I go, whether I’m at Thibodeaux Feed Store, at the Delcambre market or at a festival. He always buys the personal blackberry cobblers.”

Cherie’s Corner also as a strong following of children who love her candied apples, along with suckers and other candies. In April, she will have her freeze-dried candies, including dried Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, gummy bears and even freeze-dried peeps – all great additions to the Easter basket, by the way.

Between markets, Cherie busies herself catering small events with special orders like crawfish balls and her sought-after meat pies. The flaky, golden 2 1/2 “pies are a party hit.

When she not cooking goodies in her kitchen, Cherie drives a school bus for Vermilion Parish students – has been for six years.

Perhaps her most fulfilling work is feeding the elderly, disabled and needy each month through a program she organized called Hearty Meals (on Facebook). For seven years, Cherie has cooked a main dish, while others have helped to provide a vegetable and dessert. Teens and their families take turns bringing the dishes to homes in and around Delcambre, usually the last Sunday of the month. As to why the end of the month she explains, “Nine times out of 10, the elderly and disabled live on a very fixed income,” she says. If they are on food assistance, by the end of the month they don’t have money for food, and Meals and Wheels doesn’t deliver on the weekends.”

Between donations of can goods and other non-perishable and a lot of coupon clipping, Cherie has managed to keep this vital service going.

Right after her Hearty Meals are prepared and delivered, she jumps on making her sweets for the first Saturday of the month at the Delcambre Seafood & Farmers Market – which she says is her fun time. “I like that the large crowd at the market brings more business for the vendors. The staff works hard at bringing attractions that people will come for. The family atmosphere and the live music are great.”