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About the Business

“Sal’s Gumbo Shack started because someone got tired of a company thinkin’ they knew what they hell they were doing. Sal’s Gumbo Shack started because a woman got sick and tired of some bullshit. And you can put me on the record as saying that.”

These are the wonderfully heartfelt, outright makes-you-wanna-stand-up-and-applaud words from the equally heartwarming, no-filter boss that is Sally Bevans, the owner of Long Beach’s best ode to the food of Louisiana, Sal’s Gumbo Shack.

Long before she opened the first Sal’s Gumbo Shack on the edge of North Long Beach in May of 2012 and her second location mid-pandemic at the end of 2021 in Bixby Knolls, Bevans was a woman working in corporate America and, like her words suggested and a sentiment that reflects so many exhausted with the grind, she was done.

Her story—a Black woman in corporate America, working as an international freight supervisor, and watching a new company move in only to watch her work of 12 years crumble before her eyes—is one that is hard to avoid cheering for, especially when she breaks it down in such a relatable fashion.

“You hit this point where suddenly, you’re going home, and you find yourself doing emails at home, checking in on work at home,” Bevans said. “And you realize: You’re treating this company as if it is your company, you’re working for this company for free when you’re at home. For. Free. So I said: ‘Screw it,’ and devised a plan.”

Her plan? Gumbo, of course, harkening to her roots as a Creole woman (with family still present in Louisiana, from Slidell to Lacombe, with their roots in the Belizean Creole culture). And this wasn’t just a set-up-shop-and-find-out endeavor. No. This was getting up at 4AM daily before her trek into the glum office of her job and taking gumbo to the office. This was waking up at 4AM on her days off to then sell gumbo out of her home.

Now with two locations, Sal's serves up the city's best version of gumbo.

Photos and written by Brian Addison.

To read the full profile on Sal's Gumbo Shack, click here.

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