Domino’s, Groves Café earn top business award

Published 3:46 pm Wednesday, May 1, 2019

GROVES — For the first time in recent history, not one but two businesses will share the title of Groves Small Business of the Year.

Domino’s at 4101 Main Ave. and Groves Café & Coffee Bar, 6039 39th St., have a lot in common — both have community-minded owners/managers, both have grown through the years and both reach out to help others.



George Geisel is a familiar sight in the city of Groves. The Groves City Council awarded him the key to the city for his efforts to feed others during the devastating flooding of Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey.

The Rev. James Lee of Landmark United Pentecostal Church in Port Neches noted how Geisel donates prizes to the church and schools in his area and has some fun with Facebook videos of his Domino’s.

“He works with churches and schools. He is honest and one of the kindest men you will ever know,” Lee said in his nomination letter. “He’s been a member of our church for eight years.”

Rachel Laurents, office manager with Selman Chiropractor Center in Groves, also wrote of how Geisel helps with fundraisers, schools, feeding first responders and more, saying he goes above and beyond to always help people in need.

Geisel was humbled and surprised when members of Groves Chamber of Commerce entered the business Monday with the surprise news.

“I’m honored to be helping the community,” Geisel said.

Ronnie Boneau, executive director of the Groves Chamber of Commerce, left, presents Tina Legendre, owner of Groves Café & Coffee Bar, with Groves Small Business of the Year award, an honor it shares with Groves Domino’s this year.
Mary Meaux/The News

Groves Café & Coffee Bar

Tina Legendre, who owns Groves Café & Coffee Bar with her husband Scott, was equally surprised, saying it takes a lot of hard work, sweat and tears but she didn’t do this alone — she had her staff, family and customers to thank.

Like Domino’s, Groves Café was honored with a key to the city for providing food and coffee to city employees as well as volunteer efforts during Harvey.

The café has gone from two employees to eight in the four years the Legendres have owned it as well as growing from a neighborhood coffee shop to full service deli with dine-in, carry-out and on-line service through Waitr.

Tonya Petix of Port Neches, also a chamber member, penned one of the nomination letters.

“When visiting the city of Groves do not forget about Groves’ hidden little secret… known as the Groves Café & Coffee Bar. It offers a hometown, warm and cozy atmosphere,” Petix said. “Everyone will know your name upon your second visit. Their menu offers many unique flairs. From the around-the-world salads, to sandwiches, soups, breakfast and of course their true specialty, the amazing coffee. It will be very surprising what you will find.”

Don Sodman, chamber president, also penned a nomination letter where he detailed the owners’ community involvement and dedication to the area.

The Legendres have a 2-year-old son and, Tina said, get some help from family members while they work. She teared up talking about how they all come together to make the café possible.

Ronnie Boneau, executive director of the Groves Chamber of Commerce, said both Geisel and the Legendres work very hard to keep their businesses growing as well as helping in the community.

The co-winners will be honored at a banquet along with other Mid and South Jefferson County winners in June.