On Thursday, May 19, Rouses Markets will open its latest location, in Lafayette, La., which the Thibodaux, La.-based grocer describes as its “most innovative store yet.”
“This is more than just a grocery store,” insists Donald Rouse, the grocery chain’s co-owner along with his brother, Tommy. “It’s a showcase for all of the great locally sourced produce, seafood and food we sell, as well as our new chef-inspired meals, and our own Rouses’ specialties,” among them fresh and boiled Louisiana seafood, stone-fired pizzas, and brisket, chicken and ribs that are smoked in store.
The Lafayette store was the brainchild of Donald Rouse’s son Donny, the third generation of the family to enter the grocery business. “We’re boiling, grilling, smoking, frying, sautéing and baking in the store, and our chefs are constantly sampling,” noted Donny. “There’s something new and exciting going on every day.”
More than 150 associates, including chefs and foodservice professionals, will staff the new store, whose features include an outdoor market with seasonal offerings; a chef station with cooking demonstrations; a café with indoor and outdoor seating and chef-inspired meals, in-housed smoked meats, hot panini sandwiches, and stone-fired pizzas, calzones and focaccias; a gourmet deli with Boar’s Head and local specialties; a cheese island; a full-service seafood market with an on-site boiling room; a full-service butcher shop featuring dry aged beef; fresh local produce; organic produce and juices; an olive bar; a salad bar with fresh hot soups; a full-service bakery with custom-decorated cakes, desserts and artisan breads; a full-service floral department with licensed expert florists; a natural and organic lifestyle center; a Reserve Wine Room; a world-class beer cooler; and an extensive selection of fine wines, spirits, and imported, local and craft beers.
The Lafayette store is the second of four new Rouses locations slated to open this year. A Lockport, La., store opened earlier this year, and two locations are scheduled to debut in downtown New Orleans and Diamondhead, Miss. The company is additionally remodeling stores in Louisiana and Mississippi.
The largest independent grocer in Louisiana and one of the largest independent groceries in the United States, family-owned Rouses Markets has 37 stores in Louisiana and Mississippi, and employs 5,500 people.