Our story begins with one man’s enduring commitment to his dreams.
W.A. James Sr. believed you should do what you love, and he loved sharing great food served fresh with others. He also loved his family dearly and wanted to build a business for them that was so well-established in its values and principles that it would last for generations. As our founder discovered, hard work, persistence, and a relentless commitment to one’s dreams leads to their fulfilment.
Now, three generations later, LaTrelle’s continues to grow and thrive through good economies, and tough ones, by staying true to our roots. We are always on the lookout for great restaurants serving delicious dishes we want to share with the rest of the world, from nationally known brands to locally loved institutions. We ensure that all of our restaurants serve the freshest food possible, and that employees deliver it with utmost pride and customer care. We treat our employees like family because that’s what we are, and food is the passion that unites us, now and for generations to come.
We do everything with excellence, from food preparation and restaurant construction, to the national brands we represent.
We strive daily to exceed customer expectations for fresh food, served quickly in an immaculately clean environment.
We reward loyalty and professionalism and boast one of the best employee retention rates in the business.
We hold dear our relationships with franchisors and airport authorities, and take pride in doing a great job, on time, on budget and in compliance with all contract terms.
Our mission is to have customers, partners and airport authorities associate LaTrelle’s name with the highest levels of service, quality and trust. We do this by representing brands the way they want to be seen, instilling in employees our rich heritage of exemplary customer service, and consistently providing customers with a great meal, well-served.
LaTrelle’s Boutique Beginnings: Gourmet Baked Goods
A visionary entrepreneur and dedicated family man, W.A. James Sr. believed that his wife, Gladys LaTrelle, made cookies and brownies that were superior to all others. As more friends and neighbors gushed about her delicious baked goods, James became convinced his family had the makings of a successful business venture.It was then that he used his extraordinary sales and marketing talents to sell LaTrelle’s baked goods to local retailers, grocery stores and specialty mail order catalogs. Orders for her baked goods began pouring in and LaTrelle’s Bakery was born.
Meeting National Demand
As word of mouth spread, orders grew. James expanded LaTrelle’s Bakery to meet mounting demands. Soon, the bakery began producing and distributing prepared foods to convenience stores, vending machines, and institutions via national food distributor, SYSCO.
Dreams of a Legacy Take Flight
Driven by a desire to leave a family business to his children as a legacy, James set a goal to open a LaTrelle’s bakery at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport. He accomplished this dream in 1985. Encouraged by its success, James began making plans to expand the family restaurant business into other airports.
Continuing a Tradition of Success
Over the past three decades, LaTrelle’s Management Company has become one of the leading owners and operators of top national restaurants and independent gourmet brands located throughout America’s best airports, event venues and cities. Today, the James children continue the success and growth of the family business by honoring the ideals of their father: a love for hard work, an enduring commitment to quality, and a passion for pursuing dreams.
LaTrelle’s first partnered with fellow family-owned restaurateurs, Pappas Restaurants because they shared many values critical to a restaurant’s ongoing success, including a passion for great food and exemplary service. Together, both businesses have over 75 years of experience serving as two of the nation’s leading restaurant management companies.
LaTrelle’s partnership with Pappas Restaurants began when the two saw an opportunity to combine their strengths and compete for the prestigious 12 location contract at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). In a bold move, the partners proposed to the Hobby airport management team to open several brands that had never been featured inside an airport. The airport management team loved their passion and visionary thinking and awarded them with the $250 million contract.
The HOU project has enjoyed incredible success. The partners have seen a dramatic increase in sales, and everyone from the department director and airport management team, to the airlines and the public, has been very happy with the results.
- Cindy James
When Aramark was looking for a partner to manage and finance restaurants in the 40,950 seat Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston, LaTrelle’s was on their short-list of top restaurateurs. Aramark reached out to LaTrelle’s and requested they submit a proposal.
A number of top companies vied for the opportunity, but LaTrelle’s deep experience in successfully operating restaurants in some of the world’s busiest places gave them a true competitive advantage. Aramark selected LaTrelle’s to become their largest partner, a role the company is proud to play.
To date, the partnership between LaTrelle’s and Aramark has been a winning combination for Minute Maid park. Sales have been exceptional, and both local fans and visitors agree that the food and beverages inside the home of the Houston Astros is nothing short of a home run.
First To Come. First To Serve.
We encourage everyone from crew members to upper management to dream big and think outside the box. Thanks to this approach, we have achieved some remarkable “firsts,” including opening the first Subway, the first Wendys, and the first Buffalo Wild Wings in an airport. In addition to introducing several nationally known brands to the traveling public, we’ve also introduced many gourmet boutique brands, eliciting rave reviews from travelers and airport partners alike.
Preparing a brand for the round-the-clock traffic of airports is no easy feat, but LaTrelle’s loves challenges. To ensure our restaurants that specialize in lunch and dinner are able to meet the early morning cravings of airport customers, we work closely with top chefs to create first-ever breakfast menus, featuring original, delicious and always fresh, food.
LaTrelle’s is proud to be the first restaurant owners and operators to introduce these wonderful brands to airports across America:
Big Volume. Teeny Space.
While being first is quite a big deal, we also value our reputation for thinking big on a small scale, or to put it in business terms, we’re masters at producing a high volume in a super small space. We operated the world’s smallest Wendy’s, a 400 square-foot dynamo that produced the highest volume per square foot of any Wendy’s in the system for more than 15 years. We also opened the world’s smallest Subway in the restaurant’s chain, a 144-foot “super” store located in Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Opening in the newly-revamped Terminal B of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in April 2013.
Opening in Terminal E of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 2014.
Opening in Terminal B of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 2015.