Pamela RiemenschneiderJoe Watson, director of produce for Thibodaux, La.-based Rouses Enterprises LLC, center, talks with Bob Durand, left, of Associated Wholesale Grocers, and Mark Filauri of Grimmway Farms at Rouses Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit kickof held at the company's downtown New Orleans store. NEW ORLEANS—Guests were treated to a city view, live music and New Orleans hospitality at the Rouses rooftop garden for a Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit kickoff event held Oct. 17.
“This is the first time that the PMA has been back to New Orleans in 11 years,” said Joe Watson, director of produce. “A lot has changed, and so have we.”
Rouses, a member of Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., recently acquired six Belle Foods stores in Alabama as part of AWG’s plan to buy the chain, and plans to open them under the Rouses banner in 2014, Watson said.
Attendees got a chance to sample Rouses in-house catered foods, and see the store, which opened in 2010 in New Orleans’ Central Business District. The store is the first to open in the area in nearly 50 years.