Circle Food Store
Circle Food Store has been serving the 7th ward and downtown community for over a century. The grocery, damaged during Hurricane Katrina, is currently undergoing a 7 million dollar renovation and is scheduled to open in the winter of 2013. The 7th ward and much of downtown New Orleans lack a supermarket, which means residents can only find groceries at convenience stores or by traveling several miles by car. This often leads to poor food choices, which result in long term health problems for neighborhood residents. The owner of the store, Dwayne Boudreaux, and several other social activists worked to bring back Circle Food Store - a project which incorporates local jobs, health education for the community, and support for local growers.
The return of Circle Food Store will give an economic boost to the neighborhood and will be a symbolic victory for another of the city’s recovering neighborhoods. The TCC is worked with Mr. Boudreaux on a visioning document to help map out and make a case for the rebirth of the historic grocery. A team of Tulane Architecture students and Business students produced a visioning document which included schematic design, structural analysis, pricing, and a business plan for the store. That information was used to make a presentation to the City Council as well as local banks, granting organizations, and private lenders. Mr Boudreaux was able to build community support through this process and used the document to gain the political and financial support needed to renovate the historic and iconic building. The building renovation started in February of 2013 and the team of professionals involved includes John Williams, Architect, and Ben Tiller, vice president of The Berger Co., a real estate development firm.
The Tulane City Center is proud to have played a small role in a large effort by Mr Boudreaux as well as many community members, financiers, builders, and New Orleans design professionals. We are looking forward to the comeback of the ‘one stop shop’!