Chateau Plaza brings life, happiness and events to revamped shopping center

Kappa Alpha PSI partners with TPCG to host Drive-thru Toy and Bike give-away
December 16, 2021
Where to see Christmas Lights in Terrebonne to Make your Spirit Bright
December 16, 2021
Kappa Alpha PSI partners with TPCG to host Drive-thru Toy and Bike give-away
December 16, 2021
Where to see Christmas Lights in Terrebonne to Make your Spirit Bright
December 16, 2021

As you walk the sidewalks of Chateau Plaza, you will notice families with wide-brimmed smiles enjoying the holiday atmosphere. You will also gaze into festive windows where little girls with big bows and boys in denim blue can be seen enjoying cupcakes at Cupcake Envie. The changing winter winds have brought in this safe and welcoming ambience. The direction of the sails is handled by new owners, Dawn and Barry Voisin.


“One of my dad’s sayings was, ‘You’ll never know if you can soar if you don’t take the leap.’ The scariest part is the leap. We took a huge leap of faith, because there were only seven tenants here in this huge complex and it needed some tender, loving care. There were only about two parking lot lightbulbs working…it was dark. The plaza was not inviting. It needed to be revitalized,” Dawn stated.


Dawn and Barry own American Mattress Outlet. Their original location was amongst the hustle and bustle of Houma where they got lost in traffic congestion. 


“We grew up on the bayou and have always been very local. My dad was a business owner and I worked with him for years and I learned how to run his business. So, we opened a little mattress store, but we didn’t care for our location. We were on Martin Luther King, and we just got lost in the waves because traffic came from every direction. So, we looked for something a little slower paced for our retail store,” Dawn explained.


“We looked at a couple other properties, but they were a lot smaller. Then, one day, we were passing by the plaza, and we saw the ‘for sale’ sign. We called our realtor and we said, ‘Get some information please.’ By the next day, we made an offer. I think it was divine intervention,” She added.


Therefore, the power couple signed papers on the plaza and their new store front on December 21st, 2020. They settled into their new location on Corporate Drive in Houma just before Hurricane Ida dove into Southern Louisiana.


“We dove in head-first. The plaza needed someone that wasn’t afraid to get dirty,” Dawn said.


The couple stayed true to the notion of “dirty determination”.  Within forty-eight hours of a Category 4 hurricane swiping through town, Barry and Dawn put on their work boots, and started helping their neighbors that were within the plaza. 


“We were here within two days of the storm passing. We were here opening up and contacting every tenant that we could. And when I say ‘open’, we were trying to run generators and fans and mopping floors. We wanted to get the stores to the point that when we did open open up, they could start their business. If the tenant was here, we just jumped in and helped them,” Dawn stated.


Within the first couple months of being new owners, the couple dove into hard work and dedication. Chateau Plaza was reborn and truly meant “home” for the store owners and customers.


“The plaza was previously called Corporate Crossing. We changed the name to something closer to our heritage…Chateau Plaza. Chateau meaning home in French,” Dawn said. 


Dawn and Barry became beacons to the community and the plaza by lighting their newfound property with hope. They strive to be avid leaders and friends with the adjoining businesses. When a company moves into the complex, Dawn creates “Welcome Packets” that include a parish pamphlet with a list of phone numbers and contacts. They want to ensure the new business’ success by giving them a directional boost. 


“We treat people the way we want to be treated. We want the businesses to be successful. If they’re successful, we’re successful. We’re rooting for them,” Dawn said. “We wanted to create a community setting. We want to feel like neighbors,” she added. 


The plaza has come together to create a joyful setting for customers by keeping the property clean and shining with hospitality. The businesses work together to polish the grounds with warmth to create a home-like setting for the community.


“A smile is contagious. You remember something if it made you smile. It becomes a memory. We’re not going to let ‘Grinch Ida’ steal Christmas,” Dawn stated.


Dawn and Barry have revitalized Chateau Plaza into a shopping center that is focused on bringing happiness to the community, especially after Hurricane Ida. You can see the joy from the shop owners and the landlords “snow” over their thresholds and upon the surrounding area. Some of those snowflakes have crystallized upon encouraging banners over the parking lot of the plaza, while others have patterned into family events and sites.


Betsy Seal-Eschete with Bear and Bee has painted holiday-themed paintings upon rows of windows that reflect with Christmas cheer. Her biggest art project is called, “The Winter Wonderland Exhibit.”


“This is a little different than what I normally do, which is small scale items, but this has been a lot of fun to do. Painting is one of the things I love to do. I hope to make people happy with everything going on right now. I’m hoping to lift some spirits, and this give people a place to go and that Christmas feeling,” Betsy said.


She has created scenes that will touch red noses with festive charm and light-hearted intrigue.


Therefore, an interactive scavenger hunt will be hidden amongst the paintings, captivating children, and adults with holiday festivity. Families can take pictures of themselves with each item listed on the scavenger hunt list, then post the photos to @artbybearandbee on Facebook. The list can be found painted on a window at the plaza. The participants will be entered into a drawing to win a prize. The drawing will take place on Christmas Eve. 


“We definitely want to impact families and our community. We want to be a beacon of joy. It’s all about raising the spirits of the Tri-parish area. What makes you feel better than seeing your child smile,” Dawn said.


Thus, a Christmas Family Movie Night will take place on Sunday, December 19th under the night sky that is lit with frosted stars. As families wrap themselves in comfy blankets under the ebony heavens, flittering “snow” will light upon crowds with wholesome whimsy. 


The event will consist of music and a vintage short film, Frosty the Snowman, from 5PM to 6PM and the animated classic featured film, Dr. Seuss’: How the Grinch Stole Christmas at 6PM. The event is free to the community. It will also entail characters, a snow machine, projection screen, and concession stands provided by Messiah Montessori School Student Council (fundraising initiative).


Dawn and Barry have created a safe and charming setting to shop and mingle. They have also cleaned the previously dusty plaza windows with a small-town shine. 


“That was our grand idea…people should be able to park anywhere and walk the plaza. It should have a little something that everyone should be able to enjoy, whether it be getting something to eat from Cupcake Envie, getting a ‘tea bomb’ from Ms. Starr, throwing axes at Southern Axe, or doing cryotherapy or massage therapy at Houma Health and Wellness. Our kids are in Martial Arts, and we love shopping at La Belle Maison,” Dawn said.


“We want that small-town atmosphere. You should just be able to be a group of teenage girls to eat and get your nails or hair done. And no matter what time of day it is, you should feel welcomed and safe, no matter who you are,” she added.


Thus, “homemade invitations” have been handed out to the community, welcoming the public to stroll the paths of Chateau Plaza to discover the benefits of locality. 


“My dad had a shrimp company, so whoever we sold shrimp to, we would eat at those restaurants. You support the people who support you. Yes, you may spend a little more money at a small, locally owned store, but a huge percentage of that money is going to stay in your parish opposed to when you shop a big corporate store,” Dawn said. 


“When you shop small, you didn’t just help pay for somebody’s second home or their fourth vehicle…you are actually helping a child go to martial arts or gymnastics because that local shop owner has children or grandchildren,” she added. 


When Dawn and Barry signed papers of ownership, they also signed a document detailing their vision of the rebirth of Chateau Plaza and the surrounding community. They jotted a line with a fundamental pen that inked the shopping center with the revival of local businesses and family events. 


The plaza started with only seven tenants (total twenty-two units) and now only have one available storefront. Thus, the couple have overcome many obstacles but have always moved in the right direction towards the light of small-town devotion. 


“What defines your success is how hard you’re willing to work towards something…your moral values and ethics. You have to have that passion. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re moving in the right direction,” Dawn ended.


For more information about Chateau Plaza, a list of their stores, and future family events; visit their Facebook page: @Chateau Plaza LLC  


*Update: Due to inclement weather, Christmas Family Movie Night has been moved to Sunday, December 19th*