(Photography & Written By: Jessica Bilich)

Ice cream. Cake. Fries. Cookies. Chips. Everyone gets cravings and has their favorite go-to food to eat, but one of the most classic and popular snack foods to indulge in is chocolate candy. Most people can agree there is such a wide variety of chocolate candy, and it can satisfy both salty and sweet cravings. People consume chocolate candy at any and all times including happy and sad times, on the go, and for special holidays and occasions. What better way to celebrate National Chocolate Candy Day other than celebrating Elmer Chocolate. One of the biggest chocolate candy corporations which was born in Louisiana and was one of the many jobs Zoila “YAYA” Martinez had.

Zoila “YAYA” Martinez was born in Guatemala in 1940. She came to Louisiana when she was only fourteen years old. She went to high school but did not complete it. This did not stop her from the many careers she did successfully pursue and accomplish. She was a Nanny for a now very well-known and successful local lawyer, a maid for a former and high-profiled football doctor, an employee to one of the most loved and local grocery stores that no longer exists, a culinary worker at the most popular fast food chain restaurant, a creative beautician, and a part of Elmer Chocolate history. With the many hats YAYA wore, she was able to provide for her family and succeed in life. She was able to succeed in America.

Elmer Chocolate, originally called Miller Candy Corporation, started in 1855 in New Orleans with Christopher Henry Miller who was a pastry chef. He and his son-in-law Augustus Miller eventually joined forces to form Elmer-Miller. In 1914, Elmer’s sons then created what is now known as Elmer Candy Corporation. In 1963, Roy Nelson bought the enterprise and opened a manufacturing facility in Ponchatoula, LA.

Today, Elmer Chocolate can be found in over one hundred stores and is the second largest heart box manufacturer in the country.

The success of Elmer Chocolate and Zoila “YAYA” Martinez happened in Louisiana because of their hard work and with the help of a sweet dream.



Schedule March Shopping Excursions

Tour One: Local city tour to Lakeside & Elmwood Shopping Centers & Walmart.

Dates: March 15th, 17th, 22nd, 24th & 25th

Inclusive Round Trip Price Per Person: $65

Tour Two: Gonzales & Baton Rouge tour to Tanger Outlets & Mall of Louisiana

Dates: March 16th & 23rd

Inclusive Round Trip Price Per Person: $109


Contact us today at 504-915-5454 or yayalouisianatoursandtravel@yahoo.com to reserve your spot. 

You don’t want to miss this!


(Photography & Written By: Jessica Bilich)

Imagine a world where Mardi Gras didn’t exist. A world where the Pelicans and Saints didn’t exist. A world without a city where places and people from different races, backgrounds, religions, and cultures come together and coexist in one place. A world without a place so bright, colorful, and full of life. A world without a city where you can dance in the streets at any hour of the day or night. A world without second lining. A world without a city where wearing costumes for every and any event and holiday is the norm. A world without a place where you can just be yourself and be free. A world without a city so loud and musical. A world without brass bands and the place that gave Jazz music life. A world without a place so unique, artistic, and historical. A world without street performers, Mardi Gras Indians, and live painters. A world without the oldest and most gorgeous live oak trees. A world without a city that gave us beignets, king cake, crawfish, gumbo, red beans and rice, and other delectable, creative, and well-known dishes. A world without a city so powerful and resilient. A world without some of the most passionate and faithful people. A world without a city full of people willing to help others in need without hesitation. A world without a city full of hope, heart, and unity. A world without our families, our friends, and our neighbors. A world without the place we call home. A world without one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Can you imagine this world without New Orleans? Three hundred years ago, the city of New Orleans was born. We the people of New Orleans were born. And, the world became a better place. 

YaYa Louisiana Tours & Travel walks in Tour de Cure

(Photography & Written By: Jessica Bilich)

Here at YaYa Louisiana Tours & Travel, we love to walk for a cause especially for a cause very near and dear to our hearts. The American Diabetes Association hosted the 2018 Tour de Cure in New Orleans at Audubon Park this past Saturday. This beautiful, sunny day was filled with music, games, food, and tents with health vendors and information. Most importantly, it was filled with people joining together, whether by riding, running or walking, with the same passion to fight diabetes and find a cure.

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Zoila “YAYA” Martinez

Written By: Jessica Bilich

Zoila “YAYA” Martinez was born in Guatemala on July 15, 1940. She came to the United States when she was only fourteen years old by herself. Louisiana would be her new home for the rest of her life. It is where she would be given the opportunity to receive an education and to pursue and accomplish multiple careers. Louisiana would be the place where she would meet her husband Carlos and have their children Martha, Carlos Jr., Robert, and Edward. It would be the place where she would make her legacy. Louisiana would be her second chance at life, opportunities, and adventures.

Even through all of her trials and tribulations, she never stopped living life to the fullest. The love she had for life and adventure will always be remembered. One of her favorite things to do was to go on long car rides. She would get in the car and just gaze out of the window with a peaceful smile on her face. It never mattered where she was going. Whether it was shopping in Baton Rouge or walking the beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the destination was an extra bonus. It was the journey that mattered to her. The journey gave her memories. Memories that she would cherish of her past, present, and eventually of her future for the rest of her life.

YaYa Louisiana Tours & Travel offers new, exciting, and unique tour and travel services that will not only bring you to your destination, but we will also take you on a journey to creating unforgettable memories you will cherish for the rest of your life. Louisiana is our heart and our home, and we promise you’ll love it.


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