A new store has opened in Leesville, and it provides natural products. These serve as alternatives to mainstream options, which are often highly processed with a raft of chemicals.

A new store has opened in Leesville, and it provides natural products. These serve as alternatives to mainstream options, which are often highly processed with a raft of chemicals.

Owner, Michelle Fontenot, said she opened Cajun Natural Alternatives to help others and provide options which contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle. "I want to show people a natural way to take care of the body and brain," she said.

Personalized care and attention for each individual customer is one of her specialties. She gives a free popsicle to every child, allowing parents a better opportunity to talk one-on-one with her.

Fontenot has lived in the Leesville area for about 14 years, but she was born and raised in Eunice, "the Cajun heartland."

Last summer, Fontenot traveled to Thailand with one of her three sons in order to connect with nature and learn more about the Thai way of living. She sees herself as a lifelong learner, continuously striving to become more informed and experienced, particularly regarding natural methods for living.

Her goal is to bring healthy lifestyle options to American society, which has become detached from nature and so reliant on pharmaceuticals and processed foods, she said.

Cajun Natural Alternatives offers a very wide selection of diverse products. Some of the things Fontenot carries are smoothies, hot tea, and coffee. All fruit products are made only from fresh produce ingredients. She also offers essential oils, fresh herbs for hot teas, kratom, fluoride-free toothpaste, natural soaps, charcoal facial products, and many other products.

Group or private yoga classes are offered at Cajun Natural Alternatives, instructed by Aimee Aronald. Group sessions are available twice per week, Tuesday 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. The first class is free, and then they are $12 per session, or $50 per month.

Fontenot just opened the store in April, and is planning to eventually bring more learning opportunities into her store, such as meditation and guitar lessons.

Cajun Natural Alternatives, located at 12397 Lake Charles Highway, is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. For more information, check out the Facebook page, or call 337-378-7981.