By louis
Published: May 9, 2007

It was 1915 when Mr. Alexandre opened his store in my tiny home town. Primarily it was a butcher shop with a large meat case across the back. Behind that were the saws, tables and knives of the trade but most importantly, Mr. Alexandre.

A butcher by trade, Mr. Alexandre also was a great marketer. He knew how to provide value and was respected and trusted by his clients. Always a smile and friendly greeting, but also something called lagniappe [lan yop]. Lagniappe is a Cajun-French word meaning something extra.

For example when a client bought two pounds of ground beef, he would give them two and one quarter pounds. Though it was never even mentioned, the large scale told the story and with a wink he would say, hereís your b[two pounds]b of ground beef, thank you. The client understood that this was a token of appreciation and was grateful.

The store survived the great depression and WWII rationing. When I came along in the early 50's the store and Mr. Alexandre were going strong. There was never a sale, but always value. He never cut corners, are compromised on what he knew was right. He was not concerned with giving the impression of value, rather he well understood how to provide the real thing.

In time Mr. Alexandre passed away . The entire town turned out for the funeral, knowing they had loss a lot more than a butcher.

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