by Kevin Allman
Also on hand for the opening were state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, state Rep. Helena Moreno and about two dozen chefs from some of the city’s leading restaurants, several of whom are used in the supermarket’s ad campaigns. Ti Martin of Commander’s Palace spoke, as did chefs Alon Shaya (Domenica) and John Folse (the soon-to-open Restaurant R’evolution). Landrieu praised the chefs on hand for their contributions to the city’s “cultural economy.”
Reflecting the increasingly well-heeled downtown population, the store offers high-end luxury items in addition to the usual canned goods and Louisiana-made products: a stone-fired pizza oven, lobster and live fish tanks, a pho bar, a gelateria, a humidor and an extensive wine section.
More under the jump, including a look at which New Orleans neighborhoods are still "food deserts," and where more supermarkets will be opening in 2012 ...
Much has been made about “food deserts” in New Orleans, though they might more accurately be called “nutrition deserts” — areas where healthy food is difficult to obtain due to distance, lack of public transit and other factors. A 2009 study of New Orleans food deserts by researchers at Tulane University found Uptown to be the area with the biggest availability to healthy food, while Central City and Village de L’est in eastern New Orleans had the biggest challenges.
Actor Wendell Pierce, a New Orleans native, aims to address this inequality next spring when he opens his first Sterling Farms market in the Upper Ninth Ward with business partner and former mayoral candidate Troy Henry. Pierce envisions a chain of Sterling Farms markets across the metro area, including eastern New Orleans. In addition, Winn-Dixie plans to open a Mid-City location next year on N. Carrollton Avenue — almost directly across from an existing Rouses, which should make Mid-City pretty much the opposite of a food desert.