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Rouses Markets has unveiled its own brand of flash-frozen, wild-caught local fish at all 38 of the Thibodaux, La.-based grocer’s stores. The Gulf Coast species are all sourced locally and sustainably.
“Season, fishing restrictions and weather affect what local fish we offer,” said Donny Rouse, managing partner of the regional independent retailer, which has 38 stores and 5,400 employees in Louisiana and Mississippi. “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 worked with area seafood producers and packagers to develop the new products, which enable shoppers to purchase local, seasonal fish any time of year.
Besides creating new ways for customers to buy local fish, the new product line also creates jobs. “We’re offering flash-frozen local drum, sheepshead and flounder that are wild-caught by local fishermen in local waters,” explained 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.”
The flash-frozen local fish complement the raw, prepared and ready-to-cook local seafood the grocer already offers. “Our name is synonymous with seafood,” observes 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.”