Surviving the test of time: Chauvin Brothers going strong since 1870s

Are you in a branch of my family tree?
April 18, 2017
Ray J finds the Gold! Mart inks with Xavier University of Louisiana
April 18, 2017
Are you in a branch of my family tree?
April 18, 2017
Ray J finds the Gold! Mart inks with Xavier University of Louisiana
April 18, 2017

For most family-owned small businesses, reaching 10 or 20 years in operation is an honor and a blessing.

But how about those which get to 50 years, 75 years or even 100 years? That’s ever rarer and almost never happens – especially with the ebbs and flows of an area’s economy and the changes in a particular industry over time.

Don’t tell any of those above-listed statistics to the multiple generations who’ve owned and operated Chauvin Brothers. Because for more than 140 years, they’ve survived the test of time and have evolved and thrived, earning a position as a staple of the area economy – the oldest business in Terrebonne Parish, with roots going back to 1875.

Indeed, Chauvin Brothers is still changing with the times, growing from its beginnings as a general store into its current spot as a hub for quality products in lumber, flooring, cabinets, paint and much, much more.

But no matter how things change, one thing will always stay the same for Chauvin Brothers. It’s the key that President and General Manager Tommy Chauvin said has allowed the company to survive for so many years and through five generations. It’s convenience – that and a commitment to treating people right so that they can remember that good experience and come back again in the future.

“We are convenient,” Chauvin said. “We usually have what (people) want in stock and if we don’t, we can get it quickly. More importantly, they know us and we know them. … The favorite part of my job is interacting with our customers and coworkers.”

That commitment to treating people right is rooted in the core of Chauvin Brothers’ long and storied history.

The business started in 1875 when a young, French pioneer named Albert Eloie Chauvin settled on Bayou Petit Caillou and tried to make a living.

So he set up shop, opening a general store in town. He also owned a boat, which he’d use to support the business. He would load the boat with produce, furs and whatever else he could sell and take it to the French Market in New Orleans to see his goods.

Over time, Chauvin Brothers’ business model has changed, though that same commitment to people in the parish has never cracked.

From its roots, the business evolved into a local leader in seafood, selling, processing, peeling and vacuum-packing shrimp to be consumed around the country. That part of the business has been sold, but other areas continued to take shape.

The general store also grew, offering clothing, toys, appliances, furniture, groceries and fishing supplies to the people of Chauvin.

The lumber yard became part of the business a little later as a way to support the community’s fishermen.

Today, the business specializes and takes pride in owning years of experience and knowledge in the products and services it provides, offering both residential and commercial venues with the best of materials available and unmated personal service.

The primary focus is on building materials and home improvement products, providing everything for construction projects at all levels – from the ground up. Chauvin Brothers also provides professional installation on flooring, cabinets, countertops and many other products, as well as special order items that are made to suit the needs of any customer.

But perhaps the best part about the business is its commitment to us, the people of Southeast Louisiana.

The business is a member of the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce, and has taken part in several Chamber-sponsored events and other community-based events over the years to develop a relationship with the public it serves.

That’s a relationship that those with the business say is appreciated.

It’s one that they believe has been vital for the community to continue on – since 1875.

And counting.

Editor’s Note:

Chauvin Brothers is inviting everyone in the community to a weekend celebration THIS WEEKEND as they celebrate their new look.

The event is on Friday and Saturday and will feature food, music and community fun, while also showcasing the store’s new inventory and fresh remodeling job. 

Door prizes will be offered, and Saints tickets can be had for those who participate.

For more information, contact 985-594-4166. 

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