The latest fish story out of Louisiana stars three Gulf Coast fish—drum, sheepshead and flounder—and a local family at the forefront of a national movement to promote local, seasonal, sustainable food. Rouses Markets is introducing its own brand of flash-frozen, wild-caught local fish at all 38 of its stores.
“Season, fishing restrictions and weather affect what local fish we offer,” said Donny Rouse, managing partner of his family’s Thibodaux, La.-based company. “We carry flash-frozen Atlantic and Pacific fish fillets, so the thought was, why not create our own local brand that satisfies our local tastes?”
Rouses Markets collaborated with local seafood producers and packagers to develop the flash-frozen products, which allow customers to enjoy local, seasonal fish year-round.
The new products create more than just new ways for customers to buy local fish; they also create jobs.
“We’re offering flash-frozen local drum, sheepshead and flounder that are wild-caught by local fishermen in local waters,” said Rouse. “The fish are harvested exclusively for Rouses and personally inspected by our team. Every piece is hand-trimmed and filleted by local fish-cutters, vacuum-packed and flash-frozen so it stays at the peak of flavor.”
Rouses new flash-frozen local fish complement the raw, prepared and ready-to-cook local seafood the company sells.
“Our name is synonymous with seafood,” said Rouse. “We sell more than 2 million pounds of wild-caught Louisiana shrimp every year—and that’s just shrimp. We sell more Louisiana shrimp, crawfish, crabs, oysters and Gulf fish than anyone else in Louisiana or Mississippi.”
Rouses, founded in 1960, is one of the largest independent grocers in the U.S., with 38 stores in two states and 5,400 team members.