FAMILY TRADITION — Darlean’s Market and Café earns success, recognition

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Arthur Thomas and sister Ledetria Beaudoin followed family footsteps when they dove into the restaurant business.

The siblings were children when their grandmother had a restaurant on 7th Street in downtown Port Arthur.

“We found a lot of her recipes, modified them and decided to pick up the trade ourselves,” Thomas said.

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Thomas and Beaudoin are owners of Darlean’s Market and Café — a catering business recently named Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year by the Small Business Development Center at Lamar State College Port Arthur.

Thomas, a Navy veteran, spent 10 years in the military and afterwards attended Olympic College in Washington state, where he earned an associates degree in culinary arts.

After he returned home, he took over as executive chef at Holiday Inn Beaumont Plaza and was kitchen chef at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in 2001.

The catering business began in October 2021.

The foods

Darlean’s offers a variety, such as barbecue, Mexican cuisine and a lot of southern-style cooking.

“The same as our grandmother,” he said.

For example, Thomas found his grandmother’s bread pudding recipe, modified it with few changes and now it’s a staple.

He also serves boudain balls, stuffed catfish and crab cakes. Many saw him and his crew at Port Arthur Rotary Club’s Taste of Gumbo dishing up creole-style delights.

Darlean’s has also catered a maritime event at Port of Port Arthur, a Southeast Texas construction group gathering and numerous occasions in Houston at 366 Lounge.

Having a full time job along with being a member of various organizations, Thomas enjoys help from his sister and wife, Angela. He also has help from various other family members.

Earning the title of Veteran Owned Small Business of the Year means a lot to the culinary expert, but it was a shock, he said.

The future looks bright for the business. Thomas plans to start with a food trailer and may transition into a brick and mortar building.

The food truck would allow the business to go to places in need, such as Sabine Pass. As for downtown, he would like to try his luck and support one of unused locations.

To contact Darlean’s, call 512-590-2512 or email