NEW ORLEANS – The arrival of Louisiana’s spring shrimp season always stirs up excitement here, and this year, Thibodaux, La.-based Rouses Markets got involved in a big way.
The 35-unit chain made New Orleans’ traditional Bonne Crevette or “good shrimp” first-catch celebration its own by attracting people to its Royal Street store in the French Quarter where associates served up more than 200 pounds of boiled shrimp free along with Bloody Marys and local Abita beer.
It seems appropriate that Rouses was in the epicenter of the city’s annual Bonne Crevette celebration—which involves parades and a dramatic delivery of the first catch by horse and buggy—because offering fresh Louisiana shrimp has long been a hallmark of the family-owned chain.
“We sell more Louisiana shrimp than all of the other groceries around here combined,” said Donald Rouse, one of the company’s owners.
Rouses’ acquisition of several of A&P’s Southern division stores last year brought the company into downtown New Orleans, a city long characterized by its year-long repertoire of festivals, events, and impromptu celebrations. With the Louisiana Seafood Marketing Board, Rouses has sponsored several such events this year.
The chain was a major player in the French Quarter Festival in April, the annual event that kicks off the local festival season. There, Rouses’ “Bayou Boys” boiled more than 25,000 pounds of Louisiana crawfish.
“It’s part of our marketing strategy [to get involved in these events],” said Scott Miller, assistant to Donald Rouse. “We want to emphasize the fact that we’re THE local supermarket.”
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