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Rouses Markets has been named one of the best places to work in Louisiana by Louisiana Life Magazine. The company employs over 4,500 people, and is the largest independent grocer in the state.
"I think what makes us different [from] the chains is that we don't just sit behind desks in our corporate office," said owner Donald Rouse. "I am in our stores every day. My family and our managers are in our stores every day. We know all of our team members, and they know us."
Thibodaux, La.-based Rouses was founded in 1960 by Rouse's father, Anthony J. Rouse. "We are nearing our 50-year anniversary," observed Donald Rouse. "You don't reach that sort of milestone without great employees, and you don't keep great employees unless you make your company a great place to work. Some our managers have been with us for more than 25 years. To me, that says it all."
Rouses actually expanded after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf region in 2005, purchasing A&P's Southern Division two years later. "We have doubled in size in the past five years," noted Donald Rouse. "We invested in our state when national companies were pulling out. Our team members are proud of what we are doing for their community, and it shows."
This week the grocer will bow its 35th store, a 62,000-square-foot market in Youngsville, La., near Lafayette. Rouses has 30 other locations in Louisiana, as well as four locations in Mississippi. In 2008, it was voted "Best Supermarket" in New Orleans by readers of Gambit Weekly, an entertainment newspaper in the Greater New Orleans Area with a readership of around 100,000, after just its first full year in that market.