Robert “Popie” Billeaud of JB Mouton Builders Shares What Life Was Like Growing Up

One of 17 children raised by Millie and Manning “Bozo” Billeaud, Popie Billeaud was brought up in a warm and loving environment in which every day felt like Mardi Gras. With so many siblings and relatives celebrating birthdays, being born, or achieving an important milestone, Popie joking stated that he ate a lot of cake growing up! It wasn’t unusual to have 70 people joining the family on special occasions and Popie’s mom handled it at times by renting a hall to accommodate the crowd.

Bozo Billeaud encouraged all of his children to get an education, but never forced the construction business on them. Bozo’s father-in-law had told him its wise to “let your children be what they want to be.” Popie was the one child out of 17 that had it in his heart to follow his father and uncles in the business and studied construction at UL-Monroe. He joined the company

Popie is a fourth-generation member of the JB Mouton family business and is in partnership with his son, Stuart, who will one day take over the reins completely. Just as Bozo had let Popie decide on his own what his career path would be, Popie did not encourage Stuart to join the family business. However, Stuart followed in his dad’s footsteps and studied construction at Auburn University. Interestingly, the department was led by Stuart’s cousin, Johnny Mouton, a well-respected architect and son of Francis Mouton who had served as President of JB Mouton.

The odds of a fifth-generation business making it are extremely rare, in fact less than 3%, yet it appears that the love of construction has been passed down through the generations and will keep this venerable family business alive for years to come.

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