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Louisiana Roundup July 2011

Brookshire Grocery Co. Celebrates 50th Anniversary by Giving to NonProfits

In celebration of its 50th anniversary in the Shreveport/Bossier City area, Brookshire’s and Super 1 Foods donated $1,000 to 50 local nonprofit organizations.

The company opened its first store on Lakeshore Drive and its second on Fern Avenue in the spring of 1961. The company has now grown to operate 13 supermarkets in the area—nine Brookshire’s and four Super 1 Foods stores.

“We are appreciative of the support we have received in the Shreveport/Bossier City area the 50 years we’ve been in business here,” said Rick Rayford, president and CEO for Brookshire Grocery Co. “And for 50 years, we’ve had a practice of giving back to the community. This donation today is part of our commitment to continuing to do just that.”

The organizations included the adopted schools of each of the 13 stores, as well as other non-profit organizations such as the Council on Aging, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, Lions Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, soup kitchens and food pantries, and other groups.

The company opened its first store on Lakeshore Drive and its second on Fern Avenue in the spring of 1961. The ­company has now grown to operate 13 super­markets in the area: nine Brookshire’s and four Super 1 Foods stores.

BGC honored with excellence award

Brookshire Grocery Co. was one of four businesses that earned 2011 Thomas H. Scott Awards of Excellence, reports The News Star.

The awards recognize companies that have made significant contributions to the Ouachita Parish economy through capital improvements, expansion, job creation and community involvement.

Brookshire Grocery Co. won the corporate business category award after adding 35 new jobs and making an $8 million capital investment in its Cypress Street West Monroe store. The company employs more than 600 workers in Ouachita Parish. Donnie Byers is VP for Brookshire Grocery Co.’s District 5 in northeastern Louisiana.

New Orleans Offer Loans to Attract Grocers

The old Universal Furniture store in New Orleans will soon be functioning as a full-service grocery, stocked with fresh produce, bread, eggs and other necessities that have been hard to come by in the Marigny area since August 2005.

Since Hurricane Katrina, reports The Times-Picayune, roughly 70 percent of residents have returned, but just half of the grocery stores have, meaning long trips and a lack of options for consumers. The shortage is partly because so many neighborhood stores never returned after the storm.

It’s difficult for the small grocers to come back because of the current credit situation, said New Orleans Food Co-op President Michael Smith.

To solve the problem, City Hall has rolled out plans for the Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, which will offer $14 million in loans to spur the development of groceries in some of the city’s most underserved communities. Money for the loans will come from $7 million that the city has received in community development block grants and $7 million in matching funds from Hope Enterprise Corp., a nonprofit community development financial institution.

Whole Foods Slated for Old Kmart in Lafayette

In early May, Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel said that Whole Foods Market has signed a letter of intent to construct a new store on an outparcel at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Ridge Road.

“We are happy to announce the redevelopment of the former Super Kmart building. This project…will undoubtedly encourage additional development in the area,” Durel said to The Independent. The building, built in 1994, has been vacant since 2003.

Austin-based Whole Foods has long sought to open a Lafayette store, and speculation had heated up in recent months that it was looking at various south Lafayette locations. Whole Foods will face off against its smaller competitor, Fresh Market, which is based in River Ranch, reports The Independent.

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Point Loma Community
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