COPYRIGHT 2020 © PRESERVATION ALLIANCE OF LAFAYETTE
Mr. Maurice Heymann opened the Heymann Food Center in 1937 during the middle of the Great Depression, at a time when opening a new business would have been impossible to finance for most people. Heymann Food Center was the largest grocery store in the Lafayette area at the time it opened, and it remained the most economical choice for grocery shopping until the end of the 1980s. Mr. Heymann offered items at below cost and on many occasions deferred customers’ payments until they were able to deposit funds into their bank accounts. During World War II, the Heymann Food Center actively participated in the United States rationing program, through which Americans were asked to conserve on everything that was needed to provide supplies to US soldiers. Rationed items included medicines, food, gasoline, clothing, tires, and all objects made with metal. During that time, Heymann Food Center offered generous bonuses for returning empty bottles, cans and tubes. Today, the Heymann Food Center building serves as The Children’s Museum of Acadiana, a hands-on participatory museum serving children and their families, schools, and community organizations by providing interactive exhibits, special services, performances, and children’s workshops.