When Dave and I set off on our road trip, we didn’t want to just bring our movement out to different cities. We wanted to get to know the people we are helping. We wanted to learn about the people behind the business. To get to socially-distantly wave at them and sit at an appropriate distance across a table with them.
We’re at the tail end of our trip now, and we wanted to bring you all the incredible stories we heard on our travels.
BORDEN’S ICE CREAM SHOPPE
What can I say about Louisiana? Talk about flavor! But the story that people loved most when we shared it on our facebook pages, was of Borden’s Ice Cream Shoppe in Lafayette.
In a deviation from our usual hangs, Borden’s actually used to be part of a national chain, but this is the very last one standing!
Dating back 80 years, this Bordens in Lafayette, Louisiana, was passed down from generation to generation until 1981 when the then owner, Flora Levy, passed away. She left it for the University of Louisiana Lafayette in her will. Red Lerille then bought it in 2009 from the ULL foundation.
With the help of life-long server Ella Meaux, Lerille has kept this historic site serving their award-winning ice cream.
Ms. Ella, who worked at Borden’s for 56 years, took a piece of history with her earlier this year. She passed away on February 2. She is fondly remembered by the Lafeyette community as the “Borden’s Lady.” Our only regret is not making it there earlier so we could meet her and learn the history of this incredible place from the source.
Stories like Ella’s are why we do this. She was a staple of her community. The love and history she embodied was well beyond just an ice-cream-shop server.
Saving local means saving history, like an ice cream shoppe that opened 80 years ago, became a national chain, and now remains the last one standing. Like Ella, who spent her life serving ice cream to make her community smile.