There's an outstanding young man from the south Lafourche community whose entrepreneurial spirit and faith in God has put him on a path of success in business and in the classroom.
Dominic Pitre, son of Mitch and Nikki Pitre, grew up as a youngster where faith, family, and hard work was more than just a slogan. It was practiced at home and in church. As Dominic recalls some of the events in his young life, he acknowledges how his faith in God has helped in every decision he's made.
Early on, Dominic learned how “cool” it would be if he could make a living doing something he really enjoyed and was passionate about.
In the 11th grade, at the age of 17, he began making and selling fishhook bracelets and called his venture Hooked on Harvest (HOH). Dominic chose that name because he wanted his new company to represent both hunting, fishing, and faith.
Many of his friends at school bought HOH stickers and put them on their cars and trucks. He would often give away bracelets and stickers to younger kids.
Dominic was very proud of the success of this venture and wanted to do more.
Either by fate or divine providence, towards the end of his senior year Dominic's invitation to attend the annual awards program for academic athletics got lost in the mail. He had played football, basketball and swam for South Lafourche.
The Lafourche Parish School Board announced he would be recognized at their meeting in Thibodaux the following month. The trip to Thibodaux by Dominic and his parents led to the next event.
Mitch and Nikki had decided to purchase a home in Thibodaux for their three children to attend NSU, and began their search after leaving the School Board meeting.
The very first house for sale they looked at was on Menard Street. They liked it but had not seen enough to make a commitment.
The next weekend, while in Grand Isle, they met some ladies on the beach who were friends of a friend. The ladies were from Thibodaux and the conversation got around to looking for homes for sale.
When asked what they had seen thus far, Mitch and Nikki told them of the home on Menard they looked at. Almost instantly, one of the ladies jumped up and said, “Oh my God, I am the next door neighbor. Please buy it!”
Dominic's parents were convinced that God had just confirmed their decision. So they purchased the house.
A group of young men from Thibodaux, while attending LSU and NSU, spent their weekends and summers on Grand Isle cleaning fish to earn extra money for college. They started calling themselves “Pier Punks”.
They created a logo for the name and made themselves t-shirts to wear while cleaning fish.
Some of them worked their way up to working on yachts fishing out of Grand Isle.
Everyone who saw the shirts wanted one and the brand was born.
One of these men, Neal Toups, grew up in Thibodaux and just so happened to live with his wife within 15 feet of the home Mitch and Nikki bought for Dominic and his two siblings to live in while attending NSU. Dominic and Neal became friends.
Neal was a business major at Nicholls and now working in oilfield sales. He was married, had a daughter, and he and his wife were expecting twins. He told Dominic he didn’t have time to deal with “Pier Punks” and asked him to take it over. A few months later, Dominic purchased the “Pier Punks” operation.
Now, looking back, Dominic sees how God had a hand in both ventures he has been involved in. He has realized a wholesome faith-filled life is rewarding.
Dominic says his involvement with Pier Punks is not about him.
“It’s about our customers and the people we meet who share the same passion for the water as we do. These people find God’s beauty in the colors and amazing strength of these monster fish,” he said.
Dominic is now at Nicholls two days a week and back home three days a week printing shirts, caps and cups. He is majoring in Business and Marketing and practicing what he is learning by selling his fishing apparel to clubs, groups, and individuals.
He also takes pride in being a mentor to young boys in the Fraternus of South Lafourche program, which mentors young boys into becoming victorious Catholic men.
Dominic’s faith in God is solid, giving God the credit for all he achieves.
On many occasions he will give away more merchandise than he sells, especially to little children. Dominic continues to be successful with both brands, Hooked on Harvest, and Pier Punks, and aspires to achieve great things through living a life of virtue.
Pier Punks has now expanded to be sold in Mississippi, Alabama, and throughout the state of Florida.
It looks like he’s off to a good start!
Posted on Tue, November 8, 2016
by Larry Weidel, Contributing Writer