Actor Wendell Pierce's grocery chain will get its first location this summer, according to a New York Times profile of the New Orleans-born actor-developer-grocer. That first location of Pierce's Sterling Farms will not be in New Orleans proper, however. Instead, it'll be in an old Winn-Dixie location in Marrero on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish. No word on when subsequent Orleans Parish locations will open. Here's more on what these markets will be like:
Sterling Farms will look like most other conventional grocers, with a deli, bakery, seafood counter and as many as 40,000 items. But it also will cater to the special needs of low-income shoppers. The store will offer a free shuttle to anyone who spends $50 or more, so they need not walk or take the bus with heavy bags. Each month, the store plans a cookout (which in New Orleans usually means a crayfish boil) to raise money for the community.Ahem, it's a crawfish boil, but whatever.
Pierce, along with business partners Troy Henry and James Hatchett, are explicitly looking to open their supermarkets in low-income communities, many of which in New Orleans are food deserts, or neighborhoods that lack access to fresh food.