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Rouses Quenches New Store Drought in New Orleans

Rouses New Orleans Ribbon Cutting

At 10 a.m. Nov. 15, downtown New Orleans, La., got something it hasn’t had at all since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and hasn’t had entirely in more than 50 years: a grocery store.

Following comments by Crescent City Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a blessing and dousing of holy water on the store by a local priest and a ribbon cutting by Ali Rouse, Rouses Supermarket opened at the corner of Barrone and Girod streets.

“This is the New Orleans way,” said Landrieu, who was holding a glass of champagne at the time. “I want to give the thanks to Donald Rouse and the Rouse family who made a bet on New Orleans with this store.

“This is a huge step to the city becoming what we should be.”

The downtown store is the company’s 38th and the first full-service market in that particular section of New Orleans since A.M.&J. Solari Market and Food Emporium closed its doors in 1965.

“I live four blocks up Girod,” said Sharon Pellera, who moved from Atlanta to New Orleans 30 years ago, while waiting for the doors to the new Rouses to open. “Everyone in my building has been talking about this store it came to be known that it would be here and can’t wait for it to open.

“The Rouses are good stores, the produce in particular and I plan on asking them to carry everything I go to Whole Foods for so I don’t have to travel the five miles to Whole Foods. We’re simply thrilled that the Rouses are doing this for our community.”

Featured in the new store is a sit-down cafe where patrons can dine on coffee, espresso and donuts in the morning and in the afternoon and evening, the pizzas, calzones, burritos, paninis, pastas, sushis and soups prepared by professional chefs.

“We really like to think of our prepared food department as a restaurant within our store,” said Donny Rouse.

Among the many other features is a produce department with hydroponic herbs, lettuces and tomatoes, and natural and organic bulk foods. Seafood lovers can choose from 12 different types of oysters and an assortment of whole fish that few can rival. Rouses butcher shop boasts steakhouse favorites Kobe Waygu beef and dry-aged USDA Choice Angus beef, along with Berkshire pork, lamb, veal and natural chicken.

Rouses is known for carrying local products, and the new store takes that to a whole other level.

They worked with local bakers, pastry chefs, candy makers, farmers and fishermen, and partnered with local favorites like Sucre, Maple Street Patisserie and the St. James Cheese Co.

“To me, Rouses has taken the spot as the premiere local chain,” Justin Trosclair, an uptown New Orleans resident and cheese monger with the St. James Cheese Co., said to The Shelby Report. “Before Katrina, the grocers around here stunk and now we not only have a beautiful store, but one that highlights local product.”

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