Donny Rouse (left), CEO of Rouses Market, opened the independent retailer’s new store in Marrero, La., on Oct. 16. Opening-day festivities included storewide samplings of local products and Rouses' own private label items.
“My grandfather, Anthony J. Rouse Sr., our founder, was born in Marrero,” said Donny. The family’s roots in the area go even deeper. “My great-grandfather, J.P. Rouse, worked on a truck farm in Marrero raising potatoes and cabbages after emigrating to America from Sardinia.”
After the founder’s birth in Marrero, the Rouse family moved to Thibodaux, La., in 1923. J.P. founded City Produce Co.. His son, Anthony, opened the family’s first grocery store in nearby Houma in 1960. The new 43,000-square-foot Marrero location is the company’s 64th store overall and its fourth on New Orleans’ Westbank.
Like all Rouses Markets, the newly built store has a full-service butcher shop, seafood market, floral department and bakery. Rouses sources most of its seafood fresh from the local fishermen from the Gulf of Mexico and is a partner of the Coastal Conservation Association, whose mission is to conserve and protect our coast and waterways.
“I can honestly say you will not find anyone with more enthusiasm than we at Rouses have for the people, waterways and fisheries of our Gulf Coast. But our commitment doesn’t end at our coast. We’re mindful of how all of our seafood is caught and farmed," said Donny on the retailer’s website.
Boiled shrimp is a summertime favorite for Rouses’ customers, and the family says it grew up boiling shrimp on the bayou. Boiled shrimp is available in the store every day. The stores employ certified seafood experts who are trained to select, cut and prepare all varieties of seafood sold in the stores and often offer recipe ideas or cooking suggestions to customers.
Rouses offers more than 300 varieties of cheese that have been personally selected by the the stores’ cheesemongers. The cheese is cut fresh in store to pair well with the crackers, honeys, candied fruits and nuts, preserves and salts that are sold in the department along with charcuterie that is heavily influenced by the founders’ Italian roots.
The new Marrero store also boasts a large bulk food section in addition to a farmers market array of seasonal and local produce sourced through partnerships with local farmers, plus more than 100 organic fresh fruits and vegetables.