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Businessman says Baton Rouge restaurant owner owes him thousands

6 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago Tuesday, October 31 2023 Oct 31, 2023 October 31, 2023 4:49 PM October 31, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A businessman says he's owed nearly $11,000 by another business owner, and wants his money. After months of calls and text messages, the situation has gone unresolved.

Brad DuPont reached out to 2 On Your Side for help trying to track down his money. He owns Ronnie's Boudin and Cracklin in Baton Rouge and Hammond. DuPont keeps his stores stocked for hungry customers and also supplies specialty products for other businesses. One of those businesses is Kolache Kitchen.

DuPont met with Kolache Kitchen owner Will Edwards in early 2022 to supply boudin to the business' several locations - two in Baton Rouge and two in New Orleans. The other location on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge is franchised, which DuPont supplies as well.

Ronnie's Boudin and Cracklin would run boudin to all locations at least once a week. Each delivery was a couple hundred dollars. Business was good and the agreement worked, until it didn't.

"He stopped making payments and things kind of got out of hand from there with him," DuPont said.

He says consistent payments stopped in January. Even so, DuPont continued to bring boudin, having experienced hardship himself.

"I tried to show him the same kindness that was showed to me and it backfired on me," DuPont said.

Each invoice is for about $100-$215. There are a lot of them and they add up to $10,990. The LSU location, which is still operational by Edwards, has a $3,700 balance owed.

DuPont has repeatedly asked Edwards to pay off the debt. Text messages between the two tell a story of empty promises. One text from Edwards to DuPont says that he's working out a plan and promises to pay the money. Another text from September says Edwards will give DuPont a call but never did. Some texts say Edwards has a check ready but when DuPont went to collect, the check didn't exist.

DuPont stopped delivering to Edwards over the summer. He's received some communication since but still no money, except for a $500 check in July.

"It puts a real strain on us," he said.

One of the New Orleans Kolache Kitchen locations closed, then earlier this month the Kolache Kitchen on Jefferson Highway closed.

"Once I saw that was closed I was a little shocked," DuPont said.

He had heard it was a lease issue. DuPont also heard from ex-employees and fears he might never see that money.

"They both told me good luck getting money from him," DuPont said.

As the months have passed, DuPont fears he's not alone and that there are other businesses waiting for payment.

"If he's doing it to me I can't see him not doing it to them," he said.

Phone calls to Edwards went unanswered. The call appears to go straight to voicemail.

The Kolache Kitchen on Airline Highway is franchised and not associated with Will Edwards. Edwards also has a couple of Kolache Kitchen stores in Florida.

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