80 years ago a Thibodaux man decided to make his own broom. Today it’s turned into a business that’s stayed in the family for three generations and withstood the test of time. Vanessa Bolano has the story.
Keith Toups started making brooms when he was 16 years old, shortly after meeting Sheila. It was the start of his days at Cancienne Broom and Mop Factory.
“I’m a little slow at it, but Sheila’s grandfather who was the founder of the business, Mr. Cleveland Cancienne, he used to be able to make 12 dozen brooms a day,” says Keith Toups.
Cleveland Cancienne founded the company in 1933. Today his granddaughter and her husband are at the helm.
“My grandpa would be very amazed at how big it’s become compared to what it was,” says Sheila Toups.
The toups have moved the business to a bigger, newer location a few blocks away, but surprisingly not much has changed.
“Everything is done by eye and feeling. Everything is done by hand and foot on this machine. The only electrical machine I have is the stitching machine,” says Keith, “Our customers are really particular. They want something that’s going to last and something that’s going to sweep the floor good.”
If you want a broom or mop from Cancienne’S, you’ll have to make a special trip to Thibodaux. Their products are not online and they’re not in stores.
“Everything is word of mouth. When you have something good they’re going to keep coming and they’re going to let other people know. I mean, that’s how our business has grown,” says Sheila.
Of the five broom companies that were once in Thibodaux Cancienne’s is the lone survivor. It’s a business that’s withstood the test of time. One that’s linked generations together making seemingly simple products the best way, the old-fashioned way.
Cancienne’s is located at 109 N. 10th Street. You can contact the Toups at (985)446-3684