In 1926, Clyde Bel Sr. decided to open an awning company in New Orleans, Louisiana. His new bride Carmelita came up with the name C. Bel for Awnings, and a business was born. Clyde would measure and cut the awnings himself and have them sewn, then he would do the installation. The business thrived for years.
After the United States entered WWII C. Bel was asked to start making tents and gun covers for the war effort. The government supplied the company with grommet machines for this task, and those machines are still used today. The work done for our nation put the funds in the bank to move to our current location of 3139 Tchoupitoulas Street.
Clyde’s children Doris Buchert and Clyde Bel Jr. ran the business for years following great Grandpa’s death. After hurricane Katrina his granddaughter, Jeanne Durning ran the business, and in 2012 another grand-daughter took over with her husband.
In July of 2019, Meryl Andry and her husband Robert too over the reins of C. Bel. Meryl is the great-grand-daughter of Clyde Bel, Sr. and represents the 4th generation of the Bel Family to be operating the business. They are excited about the opportunity to take the company into the future while still providing the outstanding customer service and quality that has made C. Bel a household name in the New Orleans area.
Meet the Owners
Robert Andry was born and raised in New Orleans. He graduated from Metairie Park Country Day and Spring Hill College. Robert also has his Masters in Banking from Louisiana State University. He has worked for over 25 years in corporate and business banking, building relationships with clients that have lasted until even today. Robert is now President of C. Bel for Awnings, Inc. and is at the helm of day to day operations. He is steadily building C.Bel for Awnings, Inc. into a bigger and better company than before. He is very proud to be a part of this New Orleans institution.
Meryl Tracey Andry is the great granddaughter of Clyde F. Bel, Sr. and Carmelita Bel. Meryl was born and raised in New Orleans and fondly remembers helping great grandpa in the shop as a little girl. She would help him cut the fabric and eventually learned how to sew on the machines. She is a graduate of the Academy of Sacred Heart, Loyola University, and Loyola Law. Meryl is now a transactional oil and gas and maritime attorney with over 20 years of experience. She has been married to Robert for 22 years and they are raising 4 daughters.