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Coming Full Circle in New Orleans, LA

April 21st, 2017   

Incorporated in 1938, Circle Food Store on St. Bernard Avenue in New Orleans’ 7th ward was the first black-owned supermarket. In 2005, like much of the city, the store was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina’s ire. The owner, Dwayne Boudreaux, looked for financing to reopen it, but couldn’t secure any. Until seven years later, that is. In 2012, Boudreaux’s financing problems were resolved through a partnership led by The Food Trust, the City of New Orleans and HOPE. The historic Circle Food reopened in 2014 and now provides 65 local jobs, fresh food in a former food desert, and has a HOPE micro branch inside. The store’s micro-branch in the historic Circle Food Store will allow existing HOPE members to manage their accounts and apply for consumer loans and mortgages. Area residents and shoppers who are not yet members may also use the kiosk to join the credit union. “Circle Food Store is excited to be able to partner with HOPE to provide needed financial products and services to our customers and residents in this New Orleans community,” says Brooke Boudreaux, the store’s Director of Marketing. Though its presence as a grocer in the community is important, the iconic Circle Food reaffirming its position as a symbol of community resilience and revitalization is even more so.

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