Turkey and football are part of the annual Thanksgiving tradition for families across Acadiana. For many, bringing home a Christmas tree is part of the day's festivities. For nearly four decades, a North Carolina family has helped Acadiana residents make their Christmases a little brighter.
"It has grown way beyond what we envisioned," said Jeff Pollard, the owner and operator of Pollard's Riversbend Farms. "The Lord has blessed us with a great business (and) great people."
Great people--from both the business and the customer side--is at the heart of Christmas tree shopping at Pollard's stands.
For Pollard, growing and selling Christmas trees has been in his blood for years.
"As long as I can remember," Pollard said, "I was working here--just old enough to do anything."
In fact, ever since Jeff's dad opened the Pollard family's first lot in Acadiana in 1982, quite a few trees from their 250-acre farm in the Appalachian Mountains have made it to Acadiana.
"I think what made it stick was: He had some business partners and this was where it was at," Pollard said. "Dad loved it. He stayed. He loved the people, culture, (and) food, and people treated him like family."
Pollard's was considered an outsider when they first brought their business to town. Thirty-seven years later, "outsider" no longer applies to the Pollards. They now have three locations which hire 40 seasonal Acadiana employees. Those locations--on Ridge Road, Pinhook Road, and Albertson's Parkway--will be open for about three more weeks.
"Oh, I love it, I love it!" Pollard said. "It's a home away from home. If I have to pick a place for 30 days, this is where it's at."