"The road was under construction, the parking lot was under construction, and the store was under construction, but our customers were still coming in here and anticipating this opening."
The Ascension Parish Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Rouses in Prairieville on August 29 at 9 a.m.
"Being a family owned, family operated business is what Ascension is all about," Barker Dirmann, President of the Ascension Chamber said.
"We're excited to show you guys all that we've been working on and thank everybody for being patient with us while we tore apart their store and put it back together again," Ali Rouse Royster said. "It's a showcase of everything Rouses can do."
The store, located at 40017 Highway 42 got a facelift. The interior looks modern, but the store has not sacrificed any of the quality offerings Rouses is known for.
"Two million dollar remodel," CEO Donny Rouse said. "New floor, new lights. All these stainless cases are brand new. Everything in produce is brand new. We got a new seafood department. We just increased our meat department so we can have more offerings. The entire store got reset. We added a pet center, which is pretty cool. We re-merchandised everything A new parking lot outside--it's a brand new store for all our customers, who won't recognize it."
The Rouses stores were purchased about a year and a half ago, according to Rouses Director of Advertising and Marketing Tim Acosta.
"We added a Mongolian grill and a deli department," Acosta said. "The Mongolian grill will have some Asian-type dishes for lunch--beef and noodles and so forth. We added a lot more cheeses. We expanded our hot food bar, so we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner."
Rouses has their own team for development, led by Charles Merrell. The renovation of the Prairieville store lasted for about nine months.
"A lot of what you see in this store is what has been incorporated into our new stores," Acosta said. "We've scaled it down to fit into the Prairieville location."
Acosta showed off the updated bakery and produce section. Then he offered a tour of the entire store. The pet care section is particularly neat.
"We get all the best seafood from the Gulf Coast," he said. "From the East Coast and the West Coast too--groupers--some exotic stuff too. We always have Louisiana wild-caught shrimp on hand. Our meats have been expanded for tailgating season."
Steve Black, President and COO of Rouses was also on hand to celebrate the store's reopening.
"The feedback on the store has been really overwhelming," Black said. "The road was under construction, the parking lot was under construction, and the store was under construction, but our customers were still coming in here and anticipating this opening."
Lastly, Jason Martinolich the Category Manager for Rouses spoke about the effort that the supermarket makes to distribute quality organics to their customers. Turns out, even at higher end markets only about 13 percent of all produce is organic. That just means it is free of certain pesticides.
"We go around the country and look at other retailers who bring in innovative items that customers are looking for," Martinolich said. "We're going out there and looking around the world."
Martinolich told that customers should look out for a few of the Rouses brand signature items that are unique to the store. Next time compare their canned pineapple, sparkling water, coconut water, and olive oils to larger brands.
Rouses is working tirelessly to bring higher quality products to Louisiana shoppers.