Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Rouses.
The Newly Renovated Rouses Market on Highway 22 in Mandeville :: So Much More Than Another Grocery Store
When we moved to the Northshore from Mid-City a few years ago, one of the most unexpected adjustments was leaving “my Rouses” on Carrollton Avenue, just 3 blocks from our home. That store literally had it all – even a snoball stand for a while! As anyone in our area can tell you, walking into a Rouses store means you will have a fabulous selection of quality products and the great customer service you’d expect from a family-run company. I truly do love Rouses.
So when New Orleans Mom asked me if I’d like to do a sneak peek of the newly renovated Rouses Markets location on Highway 22 in Mandeville before their grand reopening on May 4th, I jumped at the chance!
This remodel was the first top-to-bottom renovation of the store. I was honestly blown away to see how different that location looked since my last visit there a few months ago. It’s so fresh and beautiful and looks like a completely different store!
When you walk in, you’ll notice their greatly expanded produce department stretches across the entire right side and wraps around the back towards the deli — it’s that massive! The floral department you pass through as you make your way to the refrigerated produce wall smells like a dream right now, and they have one of the largest selections of greeting cards I’ve ever seen in a grocery store.
The produce section was fully stocked and beautifully arranged, and I was so pleased to find so many different “Rouse In-House” products like freshly chopped trinity, an array of salsas and guacamole, and ready-to-cook items like gourmet stuffed mushrooms in the refrigerator cases. (I got some of their fresh pineapple salsa to bring home with me – we love it with our crockpot carnitas or on fish tacos!) When I couldn’t find a specific veggie I needed, it was so easy to find a friendly employee to point me in the right direction – there were three of them nearby stocking various produce displays!
One of my favorite parts of the produce section was what I’ll call the “crawfish section” where all you need for a fabulous boil is all neatly arranged. They even had a Rouse In-House pre-packaged tray of onions, garlic, lemons, and red potatoes alongside a crawfish hand cleaner (that we use in our own home). You can’t get more local than that! HINT :: Get your supplies and then cook this corn and crawfish bisque.
Running alongside the vast produce section is the best beer, wine, and spirits selection on the Northshore. This specific location is a Rouses Barrel House store, which means it’s a bourbon destination for bourbon lovers all over. I spoke briefly with Jordyn, one of Rouses Beer, Wine & Spirits Merchandisers, and she explained that the Barrel House distinction means that this store is the first to receive the newest releases in wine, beer, and spirits and gets specially allocated labels that aren’t available anywhere else.
I was in awe of the extensive bourbon selection – it’s nearly 25 feet long! – so I picked out our current favorite, Hardhide Strawberry Whiskey. But I can’t wait to go back with my husband and spend a little more time “researching” all their bourbons.
Another thing I really liked about this section was that the “Choose UR Brews” make your own 6-pack section included hard seltzers in addition to beers. This is a great way to try out a new-to-you hard seltzer flavor without having to buy a dozen or more cans (only to find out it’s not for you).
Just beyond the produce and liquor sections is their newly expanded deli department. Besides the usual deli meats and cheeses sliced to order, they have several refrigerated cases of chef-prepared foods like eggplant rollatini, stuffed baked potatoes, meatloaf, and chicken breasts. There’s also a fully stocked make-your-own salad bar and a hot line of items like BBQ, jambalaya, and fried chicken. They also offer freshly prepared sushi and (if you time it better than I did!) a Mongolian grill with made-to-order stir-fry dishes.
There are several refrigerated cases dedicated to freshly made party trays, dips, and sandwiches. Their expansive cheese and cured meats section is right across from their serve yourself olive bar, conveniently making everything you need for an incredible charcuterie board just a few steps apart. Definitely stop here before your next get-together!
Their seafood department is the most well-stocked I’ve ever seen locally, so I was sure to stop by there. Just past the seafood is their meat department, which boasts a new temperature-controlled dry-aged beef locker where they age USDA Choice Angus Beef for at least 25 days for superior taste. Their selection of meat is unmatched and they always have a great sale going on.
My nose led me to the bakery department next, where the smell of baking French bread filled the air. In addition to their usual cookies, cakes, breads, and pastries, I noticed an entire section of gourmet macarons. Everything there smelled as amazing as it looked!
I honestly couldn’t believe how cool their newly renovated bakery is – they have a popcorn machine, cotton candy maker, and steel kettle there! They do half a dozen varieties of gourmet flavored popcorn there in-house and distribute the popcorn to 7 other Rouses Market locations. I loved the Gentilly (almond, strawberry & blueberry flavored) and the Rouses Mix (cheese and caramel mixed together) flavors. One of the bakery employees shared with me that you can special-order popcorn from them and that someone recently ordered a giant bag of the red-coated strawberry flavored popcorn that she split up into smaller bags and used as party favors at a crawfish boil. What a neat idea!
They also make several different flavors of cotton candy there in-house and that can be special ordered as well. I picked up a small container of blue-green-yellow cotton candy (berry, apple, and banana flavors). Very fun addition to the bakery!
I spent nearly two hours wandering the store, checking everything (and then some!) off my grocery list. I wanted to share a few more of our family’s favorite Rouses-brand items that we absolutely love that you may want to try for yourself:
- Salad Dressings: Do not sleep on the Rouses salad dressing section! With flavors like Summer Tomato, Peach Pecan, Garlic Vinaigrette (which makes an amazing marinade), and Vidalia Onion Honey Mustard, you are sure to find a new favorite!
- Pancake Syrup: We’ve got two (almost three) toddlers in our home, so we eat a lot of pancakes, waffles, and French toast. This means we also eat a lot of syrup. I love the regular and butter flavored Rouses-brand syrups, but their Butter Pecan one is hands-down our favorite. And it’s a steal even when it’s not on sale!
- Ravioli: Their authentic Italian fresh stuffed pastas near the dairy section has some of THE BEST ravioli and tortellini you’ll find. We’ve tried all the varieties I’ve seen, but our two favorites are the Mediterranean Eggplant Parmesan and the Basil Pesto & Parmigiano Reggiano. My kids eat them up with a little garlic butter on top – an easy peasy dinner idea!
- Snacks: If you haven’t ventured down the snack aisle recently, you’re in for a treat. Their Rouses-brand Gator Puffs are very similar to a certain truck stop beaver’s nuggets – but with flavors like Cinnamon Roll, Butter Toffee, and Sea Salted Caramel, these are WAY better! And their cans of glazed nuts are to die for! We keep their Glazed Pecans in our pantry all the time to sprinkle on salads, but their Honey Vanilla Bourbon ones are so great for snacking and adding to a charcuterie board. Their coconut kettle-glazed cashews are so very tasty, so I can’t wait to try the Sea Salt Caramel ones I picked up today. Do yourself a favor and take a trip down the snack aisle – you will thank me later!
- Sundae Station Destination: Over by the ice cream freezers, you’ll see a section dedicated to ice cream cones and toppings. Rouses has an entire line of ice cream toppings like sprinkles, candy-coated mini chocolate chips (yes, like the ones on Cosmic Brownies!), crushed cookie pieces, peanut brittle, toasted almond pieces, and coconut crunch – just perfect for your next make-your-own sundae bar!
These Rouses-brand items should be available at your local Rouses Markets location, but I promise you this newly renovated store at 4350 Highway 22 in Mandeville is definitely worth the trip!