Two New Orleans grocery stores open, thanks to food retail financing

This winter, two new grocery stores will provide New Orleans residents with more healthy food options, thanks to a city government loan program developed based on recommendations from the New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee. (Click on the picture above to see photos from both stores.)

On Jan. 17, Circle Food Store reopened after being closed since Hurricane Katrina flooded its historic building in 2005. And on Feb. 4, a new Whole Foods will open just a few miles away in a mixed-used building that shares space with other health- and food-focused businesses and nonprofits. Both stores will be in neighborhoods that have lacked adequate food access.

The recent grocery openings began with Circle Food Store owner Dwayne Boudreaux joining with local elected officials and other key partners to reopen his iconic store after an $8 million renovation. The project included a $1 million loan from the city's Fresh Food Retailer Initiative (FFRI). Dozens of residents, media outlets and a local school's marching band and choir gathered outside the store on St. Barnard Avenue before its opening, eagerly waiting to begin shopping.

"After more than eight years, I'm thrilled that we can open the doors of Circle Food Store to customers again," said Boudreaux, who took over the store in 1991. See Dwayne Boudreaux’s comments at his store opening on the Tulane PRC YouTube channel.

First opened in 1938, Circle Food Store is the city's first African-American owned-and-operated grocery store. The new store will once again serve as an important retail anchor in the Seventh Ward neighborhood, providing fresh food options and creating more than 65 local jobs, according to a news release from the City of New Orleans.

"This is another example of what a successful public, private and non-profit partnership looks like," Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

The city's other new grocery store is also a unique partnership of nonprofits, businesses, and even schools. Nonprofit Broad Community Connections developed the ReFresh Project, a mixed-use space on Broad Street that will house the new Whole Foods and its 80 or so new employees. The nonprofit also received a $1 million loan from the city's FFRI program. In addition to Whole Foods, the ReFresh building will soon include Liberty's Kitchen's new full service cafe and commercial kitchen, the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University, a community room and nonprofit offices, like FirstLine Schools. A community garden will be built outside the building. The Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) is also a ReFresh partner, supporting its mission and helping monitor its impact.

The new grocery store will have a preview party that is free and open to the public from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1 (RSVPs for this event should be sent to The store officially opens at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, and all Whole Foods stores in the New Orleans area will donate one percent of net sales from that day and the following four days to five local organizations: Providence Community Housing, Edgar "Dooky" Jr. & Leah Chase Family Foundation, Youth Run NOLA, Restore the Bayou Canopy, and The Roots of Music.

"Leading up to the store opening, we've had the pleasure to meet people and organizations in the neighborhood and surrounding area and support many events," said Kristina Bradford, Louisiana community and media relations coordinator for Whole Foods Market, in a news release.

To read more about the two grocery stores in the Trumpet, a New Orleans community magazine, click here.

(Posted January 2014)

(Photos by Tulane PRC Staff)

Topics:   food desert , food environment , healthy food access , food access , nutrition , community health , obesity , built environment

Other Related Posts


Body size & body satisfaction

Education & Training Projects Food Environment Research Physical Activity Research

Published: June 28, 2016

Many people in New Orleans are not satisfied with their body size with more than half of those in a recent study desiring a body smaller than their own, according to a Tulane Prevention Research Center study published in Health Education & Behavior. Additionally, most people underestimated their actual body size. "A person's perception of themselves has important implications for personal health," said study author Jeanette Gustat, an investigator with the Tulane PRC and a…

Read More


Message from the Director

Physical Activity Research Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: June 28, 2016

I have some really interesting information to share. I recently attended a "Nature Champions" workshop conducted by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). I always viewed the National Park Rangers as uniformed men and women who protect and maintain all of the federal nature reserves, the national parks and waterways. But they are much more than that. I was truly impressed by the…

Read More


PRCs 30th Anniversary: Community garden network teams up with Tulane PRC

Food Environment Research Policy & Advocacy Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: June 28, 2016

The Backyard Gardeners Network is a Lower 9th Ward based nonprofit organization whose mission is to sustain and strengthen the area using food growing traditions as a platform to build community, revitalize the neighborhood and preserve cultural heritage. Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) has supported and partnered with BGN through practicum placements, food policy research and education, and program evaluation. In the field of food access and food policy, BGN and Tulane PRC have interacted…

Read More


Louisiana partners enourage less screen time for children

Physical Activity Research Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: June 28, 2016

Too much time sitting in front of the television or watching a phone or tablet is linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity and attention problems. Starting in 2015, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Education (DOE), LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine – specifically Tulane Prevention Research Center faculty investigator Jeanette Gustat – to participate in…

Read More


Community Partner Updates

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: June 28, 2016

See what our Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and partners have been up to! Click on the photo to view a gallery of pictures and read the updates below. To find out more about the CAB and our partners, click here to visit our Community Partners page. Photos 1-2: Neighborhoods band together for cleanup effort June was a busy month for five New Orleans neighborhoods that participated in a storm drain cleaning effort to prepare…

Read More


Legislative Briefs: Government actions on obesity

Policy & Advocacy

Published: June 28, 2016

National law aims to increase physical education and recreation in schools: The Louisiana Department of Education (DOE) will be hosting a series of public meetings this summer across the state on the national Every Student Succeeds Act. This federal law adds physical education back into the list of core subjects for schools after it was taken out by No Child Left Behind. The state is preparing a long-term plan to implement the law’s guidelines and…

Read More


Staff Spotlight

Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: June 28, 2016

Maya Begalieva, MD, PhD, MPH, is an affiliated faculty with the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC). She is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In the past, she has worked as a physician specializing in cancer diagnostics; implemented health programs and relief operations with the International Federation of Red Cross; worked for the United Nations Development…

Read More


Nutrition Bites: Summertime Hydration

Food Environment Research

Published: June 28, 2016

Hydration is a key component in our health that is often overlooked. Now that we are in the heat of summer, with exceptionally high temperatures, hydration is crucial to a safe and happy summer. The human body is made up of about 60% water. Water is imperative for good health and plays many important roles in the body, such as, aiding in flushing out waste products, regulating body temperature, preventing constipation and much more. The…

Read More


Active Steps: Working Out in the Heat

Physical Activity Research

Published: June 28, 2016

Summer is finally here and is a great time to be outside! However, with summer comes higher temperatures and humidity which can be dangerous if you are not careful. If you are someone who likes to exercise outside, follow these six tips to stay safe and healthy. (Important note: You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting or altering any fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs.)…

Read More


Citizen health advocates to be trained in new leadership institute, hosted by Tulane PRC

Education & Training Projects Policy & Advocacy Special Community Engagement Projects

Published: April 28, 2016

Anyone can be a health leader and improve their communities, if given the right tools and skills. That's the goal of a new two-year citizen-training project led by Tulane health researchers and community engagement staff. Starting this spring, NOLA LEADS – which stands for Leadership Education & Action on health Disparities – will recruit 50 individuals from across New Orleans to participate in an institute, which includes a series of six trainings held over three…

Read More