Nearly 30 years after receiving the deed to the Borden's ice cream property on Johnston Street, the University of Louisiana Lafayette Foundation has sold the property and retail store to local businessman Red Lerille. The Foundation acquired the land from longtime Lafayette resident Flora Levy, who left a large part of her estate to the university.

Lerille said he's always been interested in mom-and-pop type businesses like the ice cream store. "I believe it is the American way, but it is dying fast," he explained. "This location is actually the last Borden's retail ice cream shop in the United States. It is a Lafayette tradition and my daughter and I fully intend to bring it back to its original state."

Lerille's daughter, Kackie Lerille will be managing the ice cream icon. "We want to make updates, but at the same time keep the nostalgia and the authenticity there," she said. In addition to ice cream, the menu will be updated to feature coffee and other food items.

"Generations of family have come to Borden's for the old fashioned ice cream parlor experience," said Ella Mae Meaux. "This sale to the Lerille's ensures families will be able to continue with this experience for many years to come." Meaux has worked as a fountain clerk at Borden's for the past 48 years.

" Borden's is very pleased that community leaders such as the Lerille Family will continue the company's tradition," said Wayne Tucker, general manager with Borden's.

The ice cream shop and property have handed down from generation to generation with Levy receiving the property from her mother. When Levy died in 1981,

she left a large part of her estate to the UL Lafayette Foundation including the Johnston Street business and property.

For the past 28 years, Borden's has been renting the property from the Foundation. The monthly rent helped fund the annual Flora Levy Lecture Series. The monies received from the sale of the property and shop will help keep the lecture series active.

" We wanted to make sure we had the right buyer, so selling the building was a difficult decision," said Julie Bolton Falgout, UL Lafayette Foundation executive director. "Red Lerille is a known community supporter who is committed to preserving this part of Lafayette's history. The Lerille family will maintain this tradition."

The sale was finalized on Thursday.

UL Press