Black Owned Food Markets in New Orleans: An Alternative to Breaux Mart and Rouses


Credit: Jessica Fender, IG: @travelerbroads; Co-credit: Where Black NOLA Eats
Credit: Jessica Fender, IG: @travelerbroads; Co-credit: Where Black NOLA Eats

It’s been a rough few days for grocery store owners in New Orleans. Whether it is fair to free enterprise or not, many consumers shop, not only with their wallets, but with their consciences, as well. In these situations, politics of many stripes plays a role.

“Would you shop somewhere you are not welcome? Would you spend your dollars in a place that doesn’t share the same views and concerns as your community? Would you shop with a business that would make such a barbaric decision? Would you spend money with someone who doesn’t mind the country being divided?” Ajiajade Winslow Thomas says, when asked why one should spend their money on black-owned businesses instead of Rouses or Breaux Mart.

Right now, Breaux Mart and Rouses are two grocery store businesses that are supported or owned by people who move in the same circles as white supremacists. Both businesses have commented in previous articles.

In addition, there is the issue of food deserts: places that seemingly deprive local communities of real quality food that’s healthy for people to consume. Instead, we have easily accessible gas station and convenience store junk food keeping people alive, but making them sick as well. Meanwhile, the “best” grocery stores are often made available to more affluent neighborhoods.

Or as Jalence Isles, the founder of Where Black NOLA Eats puts it:

“Grocery stores are anchors in their communities and impact the entire supply chain. Our black grocers have smaller operations and often not only live in the communities they operate in, they help to keep dollars circulating in our community – and, they are more in tune with community needs and resources. Because of their smaller operations, they are also more likely to source from smaller growers and manufacturers within their community, which helps to cut down the cost associated with importing goods.”

In addressing the controversy regarding Rouses and Breaux Mart, Isles adds, “Systemic injustice is perpetuated by people in power who seek to enshrine their values and beliefs in the systems they control. The continuous support provided to the current presidential administration by the owner of Rouses, not just by attending the most recent treasonous rally, but through his years of financial contributions off the backs of black people is a slap in our faces. We cannot afford to continue to knowingly fund our oppression.”

Says Dana Blandin, a member of Where Black NOLA Eats on why she supports black-owned businesses:

“When you support black-owned grocery stores you also help to support the communities and people in which they serve. The revenue that these groceries earn will allow them to grow, bringing a number of benefits to the black communities they likely serve, including the creation of jobs and greater food access. People should not support Rouses because their leadership clearly don’t stand for or support the communities in New Orleans who contribute greatly to their success through their patronage. But support for black groceries shouldn’t be in spite of anything. They’re deserving and in need of support on any given day. It should be an intentional effort to support the small black businesses that help to drive our local communities.”

New Orleans not only has a rich black culture, but a thriving industry run and supported by people of color. Thanks to Where Black NOLA Eats, Big Easy Magazine would like to present to you these businesses for your groceries and other food items.

For more information on these conversations, please go to Where Black NOLA Eats

Special thanks to Jessica Fender for the graphic. Her Instagram account is @travelerbroads 



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