Q&A: When family and work blend, it’s a blessing

Our Q&A Column is a way for us to highlight the interesting people within our community.

This week we talked with local entrepreneur Troy Henderson.

Why Were You Interested In Your Current Role/Job in the Beginning?

To be honest, I had just left a promising career in sales management to move home and marry my wonderful wife, Kristi Haigh (Henderson). I found a job here in Natchitoches that didn’t pay all that much at the time. So, to make ends meet, my mother agreed to let me stock the cooler in the evenings to help with paying for gas to get back and forth to work. After some time, the sales increased because of my efforts. From there, my mother, Linda, asked me to become a full-time stocker. I didn’t realize at that time how much I would come to enjoy, not only working with my parents, but also helping to make manifest the dream of the business that French Market Express has become. The eventual movement into management was not the plan in the beginning but has become such a blessing for my family and me.

What Are The Roles Of Your Position?

The roles of my position include inventory, scheduling, and hiring. I enjoy filling in in many other roles as well, such as cashier, and media management, but mostly I would just consider myself a problem solver. Whether it’s making phone calls to vendors or helping a customer in the parking lot with a flat tire or talking on the radio in the morning because everyone else is so busy. I enjoy going where I am needed the most.

What Major Challenges Have You Faced So Far?

We have the same challenges as any other growing business. Having adequate staffing, overcoming obstacles of products being out of stock, and always being prepared for the next big event that Natchitoches may have are just a few of those challenges. However, making sure each customer’s experience here is optimal, is always our goal. But hands down, the most difficult day ever, was the day after Hurricane Laura.

What Kind of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role?

The strategy of how French Market Express is run, has always been to follow the Golden Rule. My mother has always done it, and I have always tried to follow her example. The mindset is to think outside the box and overcome adversities, with hard work and the will to succeed.

How Do You Stay Motivated In Your Work?

My motivation at work is the same as any other good husband and father. First and foremost, I love my family, and I strive to keep French Market Express successful to provide them with a comfortable life. Added to that, I’m also motivated as a son, to be there for my parents, and help them in any way I can.

Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned?

I fail every day, in one way or another. Everyday on my short drive home, I can think of one or two things that I could have done better.  A lesson that I have learned and that I am still getting better at putting into practice is to never react to a situation with emotion.  Logic is always better.  

Tell me something fun that not many people may know about you.

In my youth, I was talented at rock climbing.  I would travel to Utah once every 2 months to go tackle new climbing spots that I hadn’t been to yet.

If You Could Time Travel, When Would You Go?

I honestly feel as if I was meant to be in this time, but I wouldn’t mind taking a short trip to see what it was like in the early days of this great nation.

What’s Your Best Natchitoches Memory?

My family and I try to make it to the fireworks the night of turning on the lights in Natchitoches each year. Each one is better than the next. Each one, I am grateful for it.

What Is The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Received?

To live in such a way that you can look yourself in the mirror each day and have no major regrets. 
What Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of?
The accomplishment I am most proud of is 15 years of marriage, and raising 4 magnificent kids, and I am so excited that I can now take on the title of ‘PawPaw.’