Opinion: St. Roch Market

I wrote the piece below for The Lens, although I really wanted to write a piece about the different food offerings between this building, Circle Food, The New Orleans Food Co-op, and Mardi Gras Zone, all within blocks of each other serving the population differently in each case. Unfortunately, the editor at the Lens wasn’t interested in that story.
Circle Food store opened before this food hall did, but is already closed. The Robert’s on St. Claude seemed to have hurt sales at the Circle Food (as it seems to be hurting sales at the New Orleans Food Co-op), but since St. Roch is not a grocery store, it is attracting a good amount of users. Still, the best function of this food hall remains a question to many neighbors, and since it is still owned by the city it may become a political issue again at some point.


Circle Food Store closes

The loss of Circle Food in 2018 is a tremendous blow to the fight against food apartheid in New Orleans. Not only is this historic (once public market) building now shuttered and unlikely to quickly find a new use, but the community has lost its daily connection with its entrepreneurial owner and his longtime zeal to offer affordable food.
This story illustrates the need to dive a little deeper into financing and demand issues around small grocery stores and for the city to prioritize infrastructure for healthy and culturally appropriate food choices in every corner of the city.

Many links in the story below:
Another Fresh Food Initiative grocery store recipient may close in New Orleans