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The newest Rouses Market, slated to open on Oct. 29 in Lafayette, La., is an entirely new concept store conceived and designed by the Thibodaux, La.-based grocer.
"We changed more than the architecture," explained Managing Partner Donny Rouse. "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 features a modern, open layout -- steaks, fish and fresh ingredients are cut right in front of customers -- with rustic, industrial finishes and brick walls. The layout enables shoppers to converse with the location's butchers, bakers, florists and chefs as they work.
A full-service deli, butcher shop, sausage kitchen, seafood department, cheese department, floral department and bakery are among the store's fresh food offerings, in addition to what Rouse says is "the largest wine, beer and spirits selection in Acadiana." The store also offers many locally sourced products.
Mise en Place Produce
"We grow our own fresh basil, parsley and thyme in aeroponic towers on the store's balcony," noted Rouse of the new store's produce department, which is 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," he added. "Customers can buy only what they need to make a meal."
Additionally, fresh food will be made and served all day at the store, whose café offers regional favorites, plate lunches and dinners, barbecue, and made-to-order sandwiches and paninis, along with fresh soup and salad bars. The location also contains a sushi station and Mongolian Grill.
Family-owned Rouses operates 44 markets in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, with a new ground-up store planned to open in Denham Springs, La., in January 2015.