Mom and pop shop cashing in on Tigers' success

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POSTED: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 5:58pm

UPDATED: Monday, February 13, 2012 - 9:43pm

Local mom and pop shops are cashing in on the Tiger’s success. With less than a week until the nation’s biggest college football showdown, small Baton Rouge businesses are doing what they can to keep up with the demand for BCS gear.

For Rawndy and Randy Pitalo, opening an LSU store was a natural decision.

“LSU purple and gold runs through our blood,” Rawndy Pitalo says.

Nearly six years ago, she and her husband set up shop in Ascension Parish.

“We were having coffee, and he said ‘what do you think we oughta name it?’ I thought a minute and said, ‘let’s name it Tigerbait,’” she says.

Since then, they’ve been servicing Tiger Nation with stuff for the traditional fan all the way to folks with a more unique taste.

“We have anything and everything an LSU fan could want,” she says.

The year, the atmosphere inside the purple and gold shop has been special.

“You can feel the fever and the anticipation in the people,” she explains.

With the team BCS bound, Tigerbait has what fans want.

“The game day shirts, we had like ten different styles at the beginning, and probably four of them sold out completely. Since then, we reordered two of them, got them back in stock, and sold back out of them,” long-time employee Melissa Kyle says.

On the day of the National Championship, the Tigerbait team will do something they’ve never done before.

“We’re gonna have the locker room shirts that the guys are going to wear,” Kyle says.

The shop will follow in the footsteps of bigger sports stores and open their doors right after the game, pending a Tiger victory.

“We just want in on the action,” Kyle says. “We feel like we should do that for our customers, the customers that are loyal to us.”

They say they’re confident they’ll be staying up late on Monday night.

“I have my coffee and hopefully we’re rockin’ and rollin’ and celebrating,” says Pitalo.

Pitalo says if they open late on Monday, the store will stay that way until the BCS Champions Nike locker room shirts run out. Not to worry, they’ll have another shipment coming for those who miss out on the first batch.

If you want to check in with the store to see how many shirts they have left Monday night, call (225) 677-9390.

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