Bonfires and holidays without Veron’s? No way!

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LUTCHER, LA (WGNO) -- You would be hard pressed to find a place where good food figures more prominently into holiday celebrations than in Louisiana.  And for parties and festivals in Saint James Parish, good food means smoked meats from Veron's in Lutcher.

"1912 was when our great grandparents started the business out in the old part of Lutcher," Greg Veron says from his office inside Veron's Supermarket.  "In 1957, this building was built by some great uncles actually and my grandfather.  All were butchers."

Veron's has its own butcher shop and supplies the area with some of the finest specialty meats available.

"Of course we do a lot of alligator, shrimp, chicken, turkey," Veron says.  "Smokes sausage is the big hit."

The annual Festival of the Bonfires and the lighting of bonfires on Christmas Eve bring crowds to the Mississippi River Levee in the parish.  Some people spend as much time preparing their food for the events as other do building the wooden structures.  Gumbo is a popular dish, and Veron's sausage is a major ingredient.

"The community supports us well.  We try to give back.  We try to stay true to what my uncles and all did," Veron says.

Veron's daughters are also learning the family business.  He thinks, like a tall bonfire, he's got a good foundation to keep Veron's around for future generations.

"I hope my family takes it over, and I think they will. I think that one day they will be stepping in."