A Drawing On A Napkin — How Southern Oaks Plantation Got its Start

As Southern Oaks Plantation approaches our 30th anniversary, we want to celebrate by thinking back to how things began: with a drawing on a napkin.

New Orleans natives Bobby and Sue Asaro, the founders, had successful positions in the medical field when they were newlyweds. The two of them had been working in the medical field for nearly ten years, Bobby as a vascular technologist and Sue as an ultrasound technician. While they were anxious, they knew they wanted to pursue a new challenge in their lives.

Bobby had found a new passion in photography. To progress his hobby, he would set photo shoots of weddings and soon, Sue was joining him in the events. Through all their creative and energetic efforts, Bobby and Sue became the most sought after photographers in the business.

Although things were great, Bobby noticed something missing. Working closely with brides, reception venues, and catering companies, he realized what that thing was. A personalized service — paying personal attention to the bride, groom, and their parents. To convey this idea, Bobby sketched the venue on a napkin for Sue while at dinner one evening. The first step toward the ambitious dream of opening their own reception venue was to find the right location.

Southern Oaks Plantation 2015

Driving down Hayne Boulevard one afternoon, Bobby spotted what would become Southern Oaks Plantation. A stately antebellum-style home, vacant and neglected at the time, held the potential to be the beautiful venue Bobby imagined. While friends and family tried to talk him out of the decision because of the property’s failed past, Bobby was convinced that this property would achieve success.

The bad luck hanging over the property vanished when Bobby and Sue Asaro opened the gates in January, 1987 and the first celebration was booked that same day.

With attention to detail, the Asaros have built something of excellence. Atmosphere, body language, and cleanliness are always carefully monitored during an event to live up to Bobby and Sue’s expectations of impeccable service.

The Asaros looked to the best in the business for inspiration: Walt Disney. Bobby has attended numerous seminars conducted at the Disney Institute and has modeled many pieces in the operation after the Disney theme. Hand-picked employees, each understanding the philosophy of top service at the Southern Oaks Plantation, properly attired and approachable are integral in our daily workings and are proud to be working in this tremendous establishment.

Among other awards and accolades, Southern Oaks Plantation has won the “Bride’s Choice Award” from WeddingWire, the only venue in Louisiana to be given that honor, and has been chosen as the “Best of Weddings” Pick by The Knot consecutively for the last three years. Bobby says that it was easy to become one of the top locations in the business, but as business grows, it has been a challenge to remain in that position.

As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we will continue to be dedicated to improving the experience at Southern Oaks to exceed the expectations of every guest at every event and jubilation. To place a reservation or for more information about Southern Oaks Plantation, please contact us. We are happy to serve you!