Acadiana Business

Kayak adventures on the Bayou Teche

by Heather Miller

The latest business venture from a California family with ties to south Louisiana marks another victory for the numerous groups  working to revitalize the Bayou Teche.

The Bayou Teche has been getting the royal treatment over the past few years thanks to groups like Cajuns for Bayou Teche, the Tour du Teche canoe race and public watershed agencies working to bring awareness and recreational activity back to the sleepy Cajun bayou.

By the start of the new year, canoeing and kayak enthusiasts can add another feat to the list of Bayou Teche milestones when father-son duo Ingo and Cory Werk of Los Angeles finish transforming a historic old bar in downtown Breaux Bridge to a kayak adventure center, complete with rentals and a shuttle service along the Bayou Teche.

The Advocate reports that the new business, according to the founders' vision, could eventually "change the face of tourism" in the region by attracting eco-tourists and European cultures to the area:

Along with the old bar, Werk, 58, and his son, Cory Werk, 29, are purchasing a second building and a cabin, all of which are located on a 1/2-acre parcel of land that has 100 linear feet of riverfront property, Ingo Werk said.

Cory Werk, an outdoor enthusiast and lifelong athlete, will manage the shop and live in the cabin. Ingo Werk and his wife, Mary, whose mother was born in Breaux Bridge, will split their time between Los Angeles and Breaux Bridge.

The rental service will offer kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and paddle boards while the shuttle service component will target those who may already own canoes and kayaks, Ingo Werk said.

The shuttle service will whisk paddlers from the shop to points up or down the bayou, allowing paddlers to explore the winding waterway without having to worry about making it back to their vehicle, Cory Werk said.

For instance, paddlers could begin in Arnaudville, stop at the shop and grab lunch at Café Des Amis and then continue paddling to St. Martinville.

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