Erath 4th of July Celebration
2000 Grand Marshal
Lester Champagne
 

Lester Champagne was named the Erath 4th of July Grand Marshal.

His devotion and dedication for his hometown community is one that has proven to be unique.

Lester was the child of Lillian and Felician Champagne. His siblings included: Elie, Elaine, Laurence, Rena, Edith and Elida.

He is a 1960 graduate of Erath High. He is married to Irene, and together they had four sons, Brent, Jude, Clint and Cotty.

In the late 1960s, Lester Champagne acquired a small grocery store in Erath on Kibbe Street. (It was originally owned by C. B. LeBlanc.) This industrious, hard-working farm boy achieved phenomenal success with his family-owned and operated supermarket, Champagne’s. By the 1970’s, Lester expanded the store by acquiring property at the corner of Kibbe and Edwards, the site of the old Joe Granger home site. Building a state-of-the-art supermarket for his small, rural hometown, Lester set the stage for the continued success of this family-owned business. And we mean … FAMILY-owned and operated! Even Lester’s parents originally worked in the store’s meat department while other family members assisted throughout the store, catering to the personal needs of the community it happily served.

Over the years, Lester continued to grow the store to the town’s needs. He purchased the Abrad “T-Brad” Stoute home site which was adjacent to his store and thus Champagne’s enlarged again. A few years later, Lester acquired yet more surrounding property, the railroad section house on Edwards to the west. The store grew again, adding a delicatessen, an enlarged meat department and increased warehouse room.

Family has always played a central role in the store, and Lester’s four sons, Brent, Jude, Clint and Cotty, along with his nephew, Ricky Luquette, have been actively involved in the store operations. His sister, Elaine, has also lent her hand with management of the store.

When the opportunity became available for Lester to purchase a supermarket business in Delcambre, his store operations expanded to that market for a time. Each store enjoyed success and the small towns appreciated having hometown supermarkets.

Through the years, Lester Champagne has served the community in various ways. He was inducted in the Erath Hall of Fame in 1999 and was selected as the 2000 Erath 4th of July Grand Marshal, both honors recognizing his contributions to the Erath community.

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