When the doors open to the newest Rouses Market in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Wednesday, customers will get their first look at a new concept store conceived and designed by the Thibodaux-based company.
“We changed more than the architecture,” said Donny Rouse, managing partner. “We changed the customer-team member experience and made it more interactive. This concept is all about sharing what we do and what we make directly with our customers.”
The store has a modern, open layout—steaks, fish and fresh ingredients are cut right in front of customers—with rustic, industrial finishes and brick walls.
“You can see and talk to our butchers, bakers, florists and chefs and cooks while they work,” Rouse said.
Fresh food is made and served all day, starting with breakfast. The café features local favorites; plate lunches and dinners; barbecue; made-to-order sandwiches and paninis; and a fresh soup and salad bar. There also is a sushi station and Mongolian Grill. Seating is available indoors and out.
“We grow our own fresh basil, parsley and thyme in aeroponic towers on the store’s balcony,” said Rouse.
Additionally, the produce department boasts local, seasonal and organic produce, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables as well as bulk food bins in the middle of the store, rather than along the perimeter.
“At our mise en place station, our cooks slice-and-dice fresh vegetables all day long,” Rouse said. “Customers can buy only what they need to make a meal.”
A full-service deli, butcher shop, sausage kitchen, seafood department, cheese department, floral department and bakery also are among the store’s fresh food offerings.
“And think local,” added Rouse. “We always do.”
Lafayette-bottled Swamp Pop is among the local products featured at the new Rouses Market and the company’s other 40-plus locations.
“We also have the largest wine, beer and spirits selection in Acadiana, with locally distilled Bayou Rum, and local brews from Bayou Teche and Canebrake,” Rouse said. “They pair perfectly with our boiled Louisiana seafood.”
Rouses owns and operates more than 40 stores in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. A new ground-up Rouses Markets in development in Denham Springs, Louisiana, will open in January 2015.