If you’ve visited Arnaud’s Cajun Kitchen on Montgomery Avenue, you likely saw owner Floyd Arnaud and his wife Brittany hard at work.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Floyd was raised in Louisiana. His Cajun roots are as much a part of him as his work-ethic and dedication to his company are. He grew up middle-class with an older brother that tortured him just like most sibling relationships. His family was vested in basketball, and Floyd always had ambitions of playing in college.
On the surface, it seems like the man behind the window of the food truck serving shrimp and corn had a pretty average childhood. Perhaps he did, at least until his father passed away during Floyd’s senior year of high school.
“I finished out high school just kind of in a daze dealing with that loss,” Arnaud said. “When I graduated [in 1986], it was kind of a transition. ‘What do I do now?’”
The answer, like most people after high school, was college.
“I went to LSU for a semester,” Arnaud said. “But I didn’t really learn anything there other than drinking and getting high. I tried on my own several different ways to get that lifestyle under control, but it spiraled way out. I lived in a life of addiction for 12 or 13 years.”
Floyd credits 2002 as the year he was “radically saved.” He worked as a paramedic for about five years and was part of a faith-based ministry program for just over a decade.
“I feel in love with the Lord,” Arnaud said. “I committed my life to saving other people. I started [a ministry] of my own in 2005, and grew that up until 2012. That’s when my wife and I moved to [Texas]. We were both kind of in between careers. We prayed, and one way or another were led to start this trailer.”
This is Arnaud’s Cajun Kitchen’s fourth season in Huntsville.
“We didn’t know Huntsville was what it is,” Arnaud said. “We didn’t know the whole college town, jail systems feel. We didn’t know the variety of backgrounds of the people here. It’s a small town, but it’s also a big town. We really enjoy that.”
Floyd said his wife Brittany puts out some applications and explores other options at the end of each crawfish season, but always ends up back at their food truck. He credits her for so much of their success, saying she is over qualified to run a food truck but also admiring what she does for him and their company.
“I told her this past season, ‘Baby, you know what the difference is between our kitchen and anybody else’s kitchen?’” Arnaud said. “The way that we serve, the way that we care. This is not just a little food trailer to us. It’s an opportunity to serve people and bless people.”
Arnaud’s food truck began as a single establishment, but since its inception other food trucks have set up on their property. There is a vision of turning a couple of food trucks into an entire food court.
“We want to put an awning over this whole thing and give it a semi-closed-in feeling,” Arnaud said. “We’ll expand the food trailers and build a play area for kids in the back. Brittany said ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have some food trailers and a food court and a place for people to hang out?’”
Floyd and Brittany will continue to follow this dream until they are steered in another direction. For now, though, Arnaud’s food truck is alive and well. It is not just the love of Cajun cooking, though, that keeps them going.
“For us, it’s the people,” Arnaud said. “It’s the people we’ve met. It’s the stories we’ve heard. I believe that’s what motivates us the most.”