New Orleans Peace Building & Economic Justice Project
Effort underway to re-open Circle Food Store
Fresh bell peppers, Eater candy and school uniforms are synonymous with the iconic and now shuttered Circle Food Store which sits at the corner of N. Claiborne and St. Bernard Avenues. For 87 years the Circle store has served as one stop shopping experience for the 7th Ward neighborhood. It was also the only Black owned grocery in New Orleans.
Presently, the 7th Ward does not have a full service grocery and people must drive more than 2 miles to a major grocery. This is a hardship for many who lack transportation.
Dwayne Boudreaux took over ownership of the store in 1994. He came to Circle after working in the grocery business with other chains. He worked his way up and became the first Black store manager of New Orleans’ Delchamps. He was hired by Circle and soon fell in love with the history of the store and the people it served. He has been attempting to reopen the Circle since it was flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He has recently gained technical support from the Tulane School of Business and the Tulane School of Architecture. They have helped put together a business plan and a redesign of the store which maintains its traditional charm but with state of the art features inside. Mr. Boudreaux says that his resolve to reopen the Circle is renewed every time he visits the store and neighborhood residents anxiously ask him “when will it re-open?”
AFSC is partnering with the Renaissance Project and the 7th Ward neighborhood center to help organize the community effort to bring back the Circle.
On Easter Saturday, April 3, AFSC will partner with the Renaissance Project to host a farmers market in the Circle parking lot. This will be the first of planned monthly markets which will provide fresh food and build support for the re-opening of Circle Food Store.
Malcolm Suber, Project Director
1137 Baronne St.
New Orleans, LA 70113