For delicious pizza, wings, sandwiches, poboys, and other yummy treats, you can’t go wrong with a visit to BJ’s Pizza and Deli in Lafayette. While originally part of a Louisiana chain, BJ’s was bought by the current owner, Kamal Borchalli, in 1991 and has been locally owned and operated ever since.
This restaurant has a strong connection to and love for Acadiana and the staff is full of hardworking and special people. One of those special staff members is Jill Carter, General Manager at BJ’s. She was happy to share her connection to this restaurant and what makes it such a treasure in Acadiana.
“I moved to Bayou Shadows in 2001. The following year, I was walking past BJ’s Pizza and Deli one day and saw a hiring sign. I applied and started here as a regular employee, and then I worked my way up to night manager and so on. Now, here I am in 2018 as a general manager almost 16 years later.
I actually met my husband here at BJ’s. We’ll have been together 15 years in October. It’s funny, because actually several of our employees have met their spouses here. There are a lot of love stories floating around.
Our staff here is like family. We all treat each other well and know each other well.”
how would you say BJ’s Pizza and Deli is involved in the local Acadiana community?
“BJ’s is a part of Eat Lafayette every summer. We also participate in Dine for the Diner every year where ten percent of our sales go to St. Joseph’s Diner for one day out of the year. Also, we do discounts for UL (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) students, police officers, and military. It’s just a way for us to give back and say thank you to the community.
When one of our employees, William Kline, passed away, we held a huge fundraiser to help with funeral expenses and provide support. We ended up donating somewhere between two and three thousand dollars.
Events such as that fundraiser are part of what is so unique about shopping local. I hope people realize that supporting local business is huge for your community. You’re helping me support my family and everyone who works here. The majority of us who work here have children and families, and when you support a local business you’re helping to take care of that family. It just makes you feel better to know that you’re helping people in the community that you may see at the grocery store or out and about anywhere.”
Over the years, what have been some of the highlights for BJ’s Pizza and Deli?
“The event we held for William Kline was definitely a strong moment for us. Oddly enough, that was the most profit we’ve made in one day here. It was a crazy and extremely busy day – people had to wait up to an hour for one pizza. But, no one cared or complained. Everyone who came in that day knew it was for a good cause and they all wanted to help. It was heartwarming and it made everyone involved feel good.
Another great moment was at Pizza Palooza in the Oil Center in 2017. We won Best Pizza Crust at that event, and it was just a lot of fun.
We also enjoy the events we get to do outside of work like Eat Lafayette and Taste of Lafayette. We get to see other local restaurants and local customers. It’s fun for us as employees to work as a team outside of the restaurant.”
What sets BJ’s Pizza and Deli apart from other non-local pizza places?
“Our dough is made fresh every day. I hear that at several chain places, the dough is shipped in. But our dough, our sauce, and several other items we make here daily. We use our own dough and sauce recipes that you can’t find anywhere else. Every time you eat here you know you’re getting a fresh pizza.
Our sauce seasoning comes from Cajun Wholesale– a local business. We have catfish that we get from Guidry’s in Henderson, Louisiana, we get our shrimp from Delcambre, our bread is from Acadian Bakery, and all of our produce is local. So there are a lot of items we get locally.
Another thing that sets us apart is that we’re not just a pizza place. We have sandwiches, salads, wings, poboys, and a good variety of other foods. There’s something here that will please everyone.”
Indeed! With the large variety of fresh foods, warm customer service, and strong ties to Acadiana, there’s no reason not to eat at BJ’s Pizza and Deli. To keep exploring Acadiana, choosing local, and start getting rewarded for it, download Towny. Towny’s the app that guides you local, for free!