LAFAYETTE, La. — So, Pollard’s Riversbend Farms have been setting up Christmas tree lots in Acadiana since 1981. How did it begin? And why did ‘Dad’ come in the first place?
“He actually started off with one load of trees, and took showers with a bucket and let the sun warm it up,” smiles Pollard’s son, Jeff, Jr. “And he actually started across from Dwight’s on Johnston Street.”
One lot started by Jeff Pollard, Sr., and 40 years later, it’s three lots—Ridge Road, Pinhook Road and Albertson’s in Broussard.
You know, they had a name when they first arrived. “The Carolina Cajuns,” recalls Jeff, Jr., who co-owns the company and runs the operation in the Lafayette area. And the Pollards-- senior and soon after junior-- came with their employees and stayed because of the people of Acadiana.
“And to be honest, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else,” says Jeff, Jr. “The people, the food--- gotta throw in the food—it’s the best food I’ve ever eaten.”
It starts with 70-80 acres of trees in North Carolina, and the 120,000---140,000 trees Pollard’s grows each year, and from the week of Thanksgiving to the third week of December, the company comes to Acadiana and sells…
“Quite a few!” laughs Pollard.
But it’s not only trees Pollard’s is invested in, it’s also the economy. Jobs. Employment. “We probably hire, say, 10 full-time employees from here, plus 50-60 temporary workers.”
This is the 40th year that the Carolina Cajuns and their trees have made our part of the country their month-long home. And friends like the Fishers and Salooms keep them coming back to this: Pollard’s only retail locations anywhere.
And, they don’t plan on going anywhere else.
“No, no just the love to get together and fellowship with friends,” finishes Pollard, “just a different culture we have thoroughly enjoyed it.”
So, Jeff Pollard, Jr. and the Christmas tree folks will be here for the next couple weeks. They’ve already been here 40 years; let’s see what happens next.
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