What if your neighborhood could have a pharmacy (that delivered!), 2 grocery stores, the only fair trade coffeehouse in the city, another coffeehouse down the street, 4 restaurants, a wine shop, a laundromat all within walking or biking distance of your house and all, yes all, locally owned and operated.
Welcome to Faubourg St. John.
With the opening of Canseco's at the old Whole Foods (taking over from the oddly run Market on Esplanade that, sadly, lasted a shorter time than a street vendor outside of JazzFest!), FSJ has the chance to show itself off as the epicenter of local commerce in the Crescent City. What it will take is a commitment from the residents to resist the garish lights and massive aisles of SavACenter at midnight, and surreptitious trips to Veteran's Highway and instead, to walk, bike or yes, drive to Esplanade at dusk a few times a week.
If the residents also speak up when the new grocer misses an item (where are the bulk foods and Louisiana seafood would be my first query to Canseco's), and also continues to support our old friends across the street, the Terranova family, we can keep BOTH stores open and successful so we can never have to send our money away.
(And,for those of you who pine for your Thursday farmers market, please know our vendors are climbing back to financial viability in our first 2 reopened markets and we look forward to the day we have some of them back with another market; in the meantime, know we are working to get their products in your stores, so help by asking for them. And, if you can make it on a Saturday morning (Girod at Magazine) once in a while , the farmers and fishers would love to see your faces again; they do ask me about many of you...)
Let me illuminate with my own choices...
Some things I have already bought at Canseco's:
hot foods (enjoyed the red beans and rice!)
local produce on a Thursday or an extra bag of lettuce after I ate all of my farmers market produce in record time. (Canseco's: Call me to "hook you up" as the kids say)
Here's a few items on my list that I will continue to buy from Terranova's:
soy milk (they started carrying it when WF closed, even when they didn't sell a lot, so I will remain loyal)
Hubig's pies (how smart to leave on the counter!)
local produce (check those labels!) or, yes even me,a bit of produce from "away"-every once in a while.
flowers from Gregory
salad dressing from our local farmers, Jack and Allison Cousin
some Chisesi ham
Here's what I will buy from Swirl:
white wine (picked with the help of the attentive owners)
From the New Orleans Food Community buying club born and run on North Rendon, online at nolafoodcoop.org:
Seventh Generation paper products
assorted vitamins and natural foods
and then, end my trip at Fair Grinds with Robert, Eizabeth and their great crew with a cup of tea and a bowl of Gary's lentils.
And when the day is unbelievably beautiful and I cannot bear to be at home, brunch with Chef Ryan Hughes at Degas or dinner at...