It is fun to imagine our ancestors’ blood runs through our veins, and perhaps causes us to do some of the things we do. Since Billy Billeaud, the current owner and operator of Billeaud’s Meat and Grocery, is the fourth generation family member to proudly provide products to customers worldwide, we want to give you a tiny bit of history.
In 1889, Billy’s great-grandfather Martial Billeaud, Jr., opened a small general merchandising store, on Morgan Street, a few blocks from our current location. The business, which supplied dry goods to townspeople and the farming community, began as a small one, but quickly grew. By 1899 the store had come to be called M. Billeaud, Jr., & Co. General MDSE. At the same time, Martial was busy with his interests in farming, real estate, banking, and politics, which probably explains why a historian of the era described him as a “tireless worker,” whose success was achieved through “earnest effort, diligent application and discerning thrift, intelligently directed.”
Billeaud’s General Merchandising was moved to Main Street in the 1930’s when Martial’s son, Roy Billeaud, Sr., took over operations. Customers shopped there for bags of flour, sugar, and rice, for heating and cooking oil, rolls of cloth, hats and shoes. Old photographs show male employees looking very dignified dressed in ties and vests. Keep in mind Roy guided that business through the Great Depression. Current owner Billy Billeaud knew that store when he was a tiny child.
Roy’s son, Billy’s dad, Louis (Ti-Coon), was to follow in 1959. Louis demolished the previous 1930s building and built a more modern structure to sell convenience store items in addition to canned goods, breads, freshly cut butcher shop meats, liquor, as well as fuel, he installed gasoline pumps on the property.
In 1990, Ti-Coon sold the store to his son and current owner, Billy. Every bit as innovative as the ancestors, shall we blame it on the blood, Billy expanded his building and added large kitchens and significantly enlarged the staff so he could manufacture “Cajun” specialties such as Boudin, Cracklin, Gumbo, Chili Dogs, as well as specialty meats such as stuffed chicken, and large varieties of daily hot meals. Billeaud’s Meat and Grocery’s website, allows customers, locally and internationally, to order online.
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As an out-of-towner, and traveling salesman, I’ve tried boudin from Lake Charles to Baton Rouge. The boudin here was hands down the best. And they were super nice folks to boot. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop in. You won’t regret it.Rex H Thurmond IV