Established in 1926.
In 1926 21 year old Clyde Bel Sr. decided to open an awning co. on Jena St by Magazine located in New Orleans, Louisiana. His new bride Carmelita, came up with the name C. Bel for Awnings, a catchy slogan. Clyde would measure, and cut the awning and have it sewn, then he would install it. During WWII they were asked to start making tents for Uncle Sam. They worked so many hours that the seamstresses fingerprints would wear down. It put the capital in the bank to move to the current location, 3139 Tchoupitoulas St. where it once was again an awning business. Bel Sr. also became a State Representative, then a State Senator and ended his political career after 35 years as Constable of the First City Court of New Orleans. He would start his days off in the factory, change to a suit and take on his political responsibilities and then end the day at the factory back in his khakis cutting awnings. Back then we also manufactured wooden blinds, 1″ metal Venetian blinds, & made drapes for most of the hotels in the city. Clyde’s children Doris Buchert and Clyde Bel Jr. (4 term State Rep) ran the business for years, followed by granddaughter, Jeanne Durning after Hurricane Katrina. It is now owned by Doris Buchert and Patricia “Patty” Bel-Ponthieux. In 2012 granddaughter Patty Bel (Textile Engineer PhD) and her Civil Engineer husband, Tom Ponthieux began running the business have new ideas focusing on awnings, shade sails, marine covers and cushions for the home and businesses.
Once Patricia and her husband, Tom Ponthieux, took over the company, they went to work on bringing this great company up to date by creating a new website and bringing new products like shade sails, mosquito curtains, cushions, and marine covers on board. They also have an interactive feature, Awning Composer, which allows them to upload a photo of the customer’s home or business and view how particular awnings look once installed. They expanded the inventory to include an array of fabrics, designs, copper and metal awnings and custom fit marine covers.
Meet the Managers
Thomas Ponthieux General Manager
Tom is a Tulane University Civil Engineer who has had a long career in building products and construction and now it comes perfectly together in the Awning Business. He has the skill set to design specialty awnings for the home or commercial ventures. We’re the only awning company in the state of Louisiana licensed as a general contractor to perform projects over $50,000. The latest shade products to hit the local market are shade sails. Designing shade sails that will stand the test of time and New Orleans weather, takes the skill of an engineer. Until the last few years most shade sails were from out of state, but with Tom’s years of experience in engineering and design C. Bel for Awnings is getting a great reputation for some beautifully designed shade sails in both the commercial and residential arenas. Tom works with Architects, Engineers and GMs to design the right awning for their project and to provide the exact specs for the project.
Patricia D. Bel Assistant Manager
Patty is a Ph.D. and the co-owner of C. Bel for Awnings located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her grandfather opened the business in 1926. Once Patricia and her husband took over the company, they went to work on bringing this great company up to date. Patty redesigned the outdated website and set up the sales staff with tablets that run Awning Composer, a program that “photoshops” your awning on your building so you can see the final product before you buy it. Prior to owning C. Bel for Awnings, Patty graduated from Georgia Tech a Textile Engineer, and worked in that capacity for Kimberly Clark and Burlington Industries. She was a Material’s Research Engineer for 30 years at Southern Regional Research Center, Agriculture Research Service, USDA. Patricia expanded the inventory to include an array of fabrics, designs, copper and metal awnings and custom fit marine covers. She received her Ph.D. in Agriculture Engineering specializing in Textile Engineering from the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Her research covered cotton from field to fabric. She was asked to discuss her research with the Chinese and this participation resulted in stopping the embargo on US cottons by China. Patty is also a licensed general contractor in Louisiana.