Rouses Supermarket at Long Farm Village is open and ready for business!
The 55,000-square-foot store anchors the commercial portion of the Long Farm Village development at the intersection of Airline Highway and Antioch Road. It has the same layout as the Juban Crossing store.
Donny Rouse, the managing partner for the family-owned store, said the opening of the Baton Rouge location took on a new urgency after the Denham Springs store flooded.
“People get so excited about everything we have to offer,” Rouse said. “But given the tragic circumstances, this opening has taken on a whole new meaning.”
Along with selling south Louisiana favorites such as jambalaya, smothered chicken, and red beans and rice with sausage, Rouse said the new store will continue to have plenty of supplies needed for flood cleanup — bleach, gloves, house cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers.
As shoppers walk in, they’re met with an array of colors, from the yellow, pink and purple hues that burst forth from a floral section of sunflowers, lilies, and carnations to the vibrant oranges, red apples and fresh greens that fill an abundant produce section. The decor is festive, and the environment is lively. A large sign reads “Fresh Foods” above a display of prepared meals and side dishes.
Rouses Marketing and Advertising Director Tim Acosta says the company’s principles are rooted in the words of founder Anthony Rouse Sr., who “always said the best quality and best price. The customer is always right. The answer is ‘yes.’”
“A celebration of food right as you walk in.” That’s how Steve Black, the company’s new president and COO, describes the Rouses experience. Black is a 40-year veteran of the industry and former president of Colorado-based Lucky’s Market. He joined Rouses in November because he was impressed by the family business and its vision for the future.
“If there’s one supermarket in the country that’s got it all together, it’s Rouses,” Black says
The produce section is a focal point of the 50,000-square-foot store. To the right is a traditional setting of basic grocery aisles. To the left is an upscale epicurean market with an extensive deli, prepared foods, fresh meat and seafood departments, as well as gourmet cheeses, signature desserts, salad and olive bars, a coffee-grinding station, sushi bar and even a Mongolian grill.
Rouses’ culinary expertise is on display at every turn. It’s a new store concept, where customers can watch as cooks cut meats and vegetables, and prepare their sushi, paninis and smoked brisket plate lunches. Some customers come to shop. Some come to eat. Many do both. And that’s what Rouses wants: Customers spending time in their stores and enjoying the experience, as Rouse explains while sitting in the dining area as a lunchtime crowd gathers.
“At Rouses, we want to have the full shopping experience for our customers,” Rouse says. “We offer what Whole Foods offers. We offer what Wal-Mart offers. We do it at fantastic prices, and we also have the local products that independent grocers have.”
With Thibodaux as its base and Houma as its birthplace, Rouses has longstanding ties with local fishermen, and most of the seafood it sells—speckled trout, redfish, crabs, and oysters, among other catches—is from local Gulf Coast suppliers.
“We do seafood better than anyone,” Rouse says. “We know seafood. We grew up around seafood. We sell more Louisiana shrimp and crawfish than any retailer in the state.”
But Rouses’ emphasis on local extends far beyond seafood. From produce and salad dressings to craft beer, Cajun sausage and barbecue sauce, Rouses stocks and celebrates local providers. Jim Dudlicek, editor-in-chief of trade publication Progressive Grocer, says this focus has been a major part of Rouses’ success.
“Rouses has become a tireless supporter of local products, using its success to boost its many home-state suppliers,” Dudlicek says. “The folks who run Rouses know food and the people who make it—they know the farmers, the growers, the fishermen.”
For anyone looking for a unique, upscale local grocery shopping experience, Rouses Supermarket at Long Farm is a must do.