How Triplet’s Blue Store went from a local hidden gem to a growing chicken empire

If you asked Hue Tran as a teenager what she’d be doing for work as an adult, she would probably say working as far from Triplet’s Blue Store as possible. While other high schoolers hung out with their friends after the bell rang, Tran clocked in for work as a cashier at her family’s business.

Today, Blue Store Chicken is famous locally for its eight fried chicken eateries all over Baton Rouge and Baker. But its roots date to 1993, when it was opened as a convenience store by Tran’s father, Mua Phan, right outside of Southern University. The quiet corner store eventually grew into a bustling lunch spot after Phan added a kitchen to the market. Through trial and error, Phan perfected his signature crispy and spicy Blue Store fried chicken to a science. Customers came flocking through the doors.

“Dad had all of the secret ingredients in his head,” Tran, 48, says today. “Ever since then, that original Blue Store has been really, really busy.”

As business grew, Phan relied on the help of his 10 children to take orders and run the register while he fried up pounds of fried chicken wings and potato logs for the lines of hungry customers. In 1994, Tran moved away to study at New York University and later became a certified public accountant. Years later, she received a call from her sick father. He wanted her to return home and help the family expand their business before his death.

In 2015, Tran quit her job and moved home to brainstorm a growth plan for Blue Store Chicken. By 2016, new locations started popping up like hot oil. Tran utilized her expertise in accounting and taxes to identify properties to expand to. She partnered with her siblings, with each one responsible for their own location.

“Our next generation, my nieces and nephews, are in their 20s right now,” Tran says. “They’re getting ready to have their own lives and families, so to most of them I say: ‘If you finish college and you don’t know what you want to do, if you get stuck in life, then there’s always the Blue Store you can fall back on.’”

In addition to operating her own tax and insurance company, Tran oversees the accounting, legal and administrative aspects of each location. Her siblings manage the day-to-day operations, menu, marketing and design of the individual restaurants.

Blue Store Chicken is still budding. Tran’s family is planning new locations in areas like Gonzales, Prairieville and Central. She is also in the process of exploring franchising options, so cities like New Orleans, Houston and Plaquemine can also have a taste of Blue Store Chicken.

“I want to be like one of those McDonald’s,” Tran laughs. “I’m trying to get where they’re at. Having everything nationwide.”

Blue Store Chicken has given Tran and her brothers and sisters flexible careers and generational wealth. Their family may have started their journey crowded together in a tiny convenience store, but now they each have their own businesses—and their father’s legacy lives on. Find Blue Store Chicken on Facebook


Steven Gottfried

The founder of St. Bruno Bread Co., Gottfried has been on a roll ever since he moved his Old World bread company to a commercial kitchen in Baton Rouge last summer. Gottfried, who studied at the San Francisco Baking Institute and originally launched the business in New Orleans, has already landed his products in roughly 15 local groceries, and his list of partnering restaurants and coffee shops keeps growing. Be on the lookout for his chemical-free old-country, ciabatta and “sammy” loaves around town—and the local debut of his shimmering king cakes.