Percy Pennington Creuzot, Jr., business pioneer, community leader, and philanthropist, was born on May 28, 1924, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Dr. and Mrs. Percy P. Creuzot, Sr. During World War II, Creuzot Jr. served in the United States Navy. He received an honorable discharge in 1946 and married Sallie Coleman in 1947. They had three children. He graduated from Hampton Institute in Virginia in 1949 and worked as an insurance agent throughout the 1950s. He and his wife moved to Houston, Texas, by the mid-1960s. Initially, Creuzot worked as a traveling salesman at Herff-Jones Jewelry, a graduation supply company that produced graduation paraphernalia (ring, robes, etc.) On his own, he also sold shaved ice treats known as New Orleans style “sno-balls.”
On July 3, 1969, Creuzot and his wife opened Frenchy’s Po-Boys, a sandwich shop that specialized in the Southern cuisine of his birthplace such as Creole hot sausage, shrimp or oyster loaf, and roast beef sandwiches. After urgings from a local businessman, he added fried chicken to the menu. In competition with Church’s Fried Chicken, a larger chain which was located across the street from his famous Scott Street location, Creuzot extended his hours of operation until 5 a.m. the following day to compete with the Church’s store. After hours, he served only his “seasoned” fried chicken and French fries and collected the money first, so “that way he never fried in vain.”
Frenchy’s was so successful that in 1977, Creuzot expanded his business enterprise and established Frenchy’s Sausage Company. The goal was to produce and market Creole foods to restaurants and grocery stores in the Houston area. The successful business was passed to his son, Percy III.
The original Frenchy’s location became a business training ground for Creuzot’s family members. In 2006 Creuzot licensed Glennlock Foods to operate restaurants in the Houston area. In 2010 the company had seven satellite locations for Frenchy’s restaurants. Creuzot personally trained cooks in all of the new restaurants.
Creuzot was active in civic affairs and was a staunch supporter of Texas Southern University in Houston. He was appointed by Texas Governor Bill Clements to Texas Southern University’s board of regents, where he served for twelve years and was eventually elected vice-chair. Governor Clements also named Creuzot to the Texas Private Industry Council. Creuzot was a member of the Houston Citizens Review Board, the National, Texas, and Houston Restaurant associations, and the Catholic Charities board of directors. He was a longtime member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi (Nu Boule) fraternities and the Knights of St. Peter Claver. He contributed to the United Negro College Fund, the Urban League, NAACP, Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, Xavier University, and Hampton University. Creuzot died of a stroke on Sunday, June 6, 2010. He was eighty-six years old. A funeral Mass was held at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, and he was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Houston.