Joseph Stafford brought Creole cooking to Detroit in (October) 1970 when he and his wife Margarine opened Luzianne Creole Gumbo shop at 20151 Gratiot Ave., on the edge of Detroit’s Eastern Market. Stafford learned to cook from his mother on Bayou Lafourche near Thibodaux, Louisiana in the southwest part of New Orleans. The recipes Stafford used then are the same recipes when you will find when you walk into Louisiana Creole Gumbo today –
Now a Detroit culinary landmark. In 1982, the Stafford’s retired and entrusted the restaurant to a management group led by Joe Spencer, under the name of LCG Inc. Today, Joe Spencer and his family are keeping Joseph Stafford’s recipes, legacy and love for this great city live alive and well with new locations throughout the city of Detroit.
ABOUT LCG Inc.
Through its restaurant, Louisiana Creole Gumbo, LCG Inc., has two locations in Detroit, with room for expansion; through its catering division, provides food for various events and also contracts for food service to a number of Michigan-based companies such as the Detroit Historical Society and Aramark with eight locations including: GM’s Tech Center, FCA, Ford Tech and Nissan, serving 500 customers daily. LCG Inc. employees 22 full time employees (FTE) at their Gratiot location and will employ an additional 15 FTE at their Seven Mile location.
LCG Executive Bios
Joe Spencer, President, LCG Foods – Born in Washington, D.C., Joe Spencer is a veteran television executive from Detroit. He started his broadcasting career in 1972, when he joined the WWJ news team, becoming one of the first black producer/directors in the city of Detroit. In September 1975, Joe Spencer became the program director at WGPR-TV 62, the first black-owned television station in the United States. Under Joe’s leadership as program director and general manager, WGPR, grew into a nationally known media organization. Seeking additional opportunities to invest in Detroit, Spencer and business partner Doug Morrison, found a few real estate properties to invest in and the chance to lead Louisiana Creole Gumbo. Not able to invest in both at the time, upon the flip of a coin and with no restaurant experience, the two decided to go all in and purchase LCG from Joseph Stafford in 1982, while still working in local media. In 1994, Joe was involved in the successful transition of WGPR’s audience development into WWJ-TV, owned and operated by the CBS Network. As director of programming for the newly acquired CBS affiliate, Joe helped develop a totally new on-air philosophy for the station, while continuing to implement strategy, until leaving CBS in 2001. With the continued guidance and mentorship Stafford provided to Spencer, in the kitchen and out. Spencer was able to grow the Louisiana Creole Gumbo franchise. After completing a number of programs through SWOT City at TechTown, Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 small-businesses program and securing additional financing through Motor City Match, and NEIdeas, Louisiana Creole Gumbo continues to build upon its brand in Detroit.
Additional members of the LCG Management Team:
Stephanie Spencer, Marketing Director, LCG Foods
Donovan Spencer, Operations Director, LCG Foods
Troy Spencer, LCG NW Kitchen Manager
Tiarah Winston, Manager, LCG NW Store