Reader profile: Grandkids are favorite hobby

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Joy and Gabriel Daigle added some spice to Craig when they moved here from Louisiana six years ago.

From Joy's Cajun gumbo and Gabriel's smoky barbecue, all the delicacies at their Wild West Barbecue are served with a smile.

"Being Cajun, cooking is what we do," Joy said.

Once retired, the couple opened the Wild West simply because "we got bored," Joy said.

No stranger to entrepreneurial endeavors, the Daigles have owned 14 businesses, from restaurants to shrimping boats, since they opened their first convenience store in Louisiana 25 years ago.

The modest, comfortable Wild West Barbecue is their first venture in Craig, and Joy said business in northwest Colorado has been a pleasure.

"The customers are great. We really like everybody," she said.

When Joy and Gabriel are not stirring up some down-home cooking, they are collecting donations for the less fortunate.

As volunteers for the Mission of Hope Mexico, they drive 18 hours to Juarez, Mexico, to donate anything they can collect.

When they were retired, they took as many as five trips in one year but currently are only taking a trip every Christmas.

"We would love to do just this," Joy said, but noted that taking volunteer trips to Mexico is not financially feasible.

Recently the Daigle's have cut back the hours at Wild West to accommodate for Gabriel's back trouble. The store has an apartment downstairs, where they can get off their feet between lunch and dinner shifts.

The Wild West is for sale, but Joy said she would like to continue catering after the store sells.

The Daigle's love cooking, and their flavors will no doubt stay in Craig even if the couple turns over the Wild West. You can find their savory skills in Mountain Meat's Cajun sausage.

But more than cooking or driving to Mexico, Joy said the couple's favorite hobby of all is their grandchildren. With three in Craig and one in Steamboat Springs, they tag along with Joy and Gabriel on all their favorite activities, most often fishing at Elkhead Reservoir.

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