Refurbished St. Roch Market to offer local food, drink and produce April 10

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Construction nears completion at St. Roch Market, due to open April 10.
  • Construction nears completion at St. Roch Market, due to open April 10.

The refurbished St. Roch Market is poised to open April 10, and its dozen food stalls will offer a variety of prepared items and produce. “Everyone remembers it as a seafood market,” says proprietor Will Donaldson, “so we’ll have Elysian Fields Seafood selling retail and prepared seafood.” Vendor counters line bother sides of the long, open hall, and there’s a bar as well. The food truck King Creole will occupy a spot and Shank Charcuterie, run by Kris Doll of Shank Shop, will offer deli and butchered items. Coast Roast, coffee roaster Kevin Pedeaux’s operation based in Holy Cross, will make sure everyone stays caffeinated.

The market will have 100 seats inside and 100 seats on its patio. The bar, The Mayhaw, will have 14 seats and will focus on local cocktails.

“The mayhaw is a berry,” Donaldson says. “It’s referred to as a swamp berry. Here in Louisiana they use it for cocktails and they make syrups and stuff out of it. It’s kind of the spirit of the building, or the idea of it, which is local food, local beverage.”

There also is a seven-seat oyster bar.

Donaldson says the market will offer Louisiana produce at prices comparable to supermarkets. “The way we do that is because we’re our own distributor,” he says. “We can pick up all the stuff ourselves, we have our own logistics. We have amazing, high quality Louisiana produce. We also sell to 35 restaurants in New Orleans. This is one of the first times you’ll be able to get retail produce that’s used in the restaurants in town. You get the high-quality stuff that’s reserved for the chefs. We bring it in and make it available at affordable prices.”

The market will accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for produce. It will be open for lunch and dinner service.

On March 21, Donaldson held a job fair at St. Roch Community Church with the help of the St. Roch Community Development Corporation to recruit employees from the neighborhood. “We’re going to see if we are going to have a second career fair,” he says. “We’re still getting through the second round of interviews from the one on the 21st.”

The original St. Roch Market opened in 1875 as an open-air neighborhood market. It was enclosed by a Works Progress Administration project in 1938. The space has been closed since Hurricane Katrina. 


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