By Emily Carmichael, Uptown Messenger
Canseco’s Market is coming to Carrollton Avenue and Oak Street and, if last night’s neighborhood meeting is any indication, the area’s residents are excited.
Necessitated by the zoning districts it will operate in, the grocery store held the Neighborhood Participation Project meeting to seek two separate conditional use approvals: the ability to sell alcohol and tobacco, and the ability to operate between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet of sales space.
The potential Canseco’s at 1133 S. Carrollton Ave. would have approximately 6,000 square feet of retail space. About 24 feet of shelf space will be dedicated solely to beer, and 28 feet will be dedicated solely to wine, more than any other category in the store.
Hard liquor and cigarettes will be kept behind the counter, and no single-serve alcohol will be sold. At the moment, there are no plans to sell cigars, but Canseco family members said they may carry them in the future.
This Canseco’s location will also sell fresh produce, various types of meats, baked goods, flowers, dairy, frozen food and prepared meals such as sushi, sandwiches, a salad bar, hot meals and grab-and-go items.
“Sounds pretty good,” called out one audience member. The crowd at the well-attended meeting concurred they were happy to see a convenient option for fresh food arrive in their neighborhood. Some attendees showed up without questions and simply wanted to voice their support.
The former Rite-Aid drugstore currently has 17 parking spaces, but they are tight and hard to navigate. The city has mandated Canseco’s reduce the parking to eight easier-to-navigate spaces, including one handicapped-accessible parking space.
The parking lot will maintain the same exit onto Oak Street that it has now. A bike rack will be added in front of the store.
Changes will be made to the building’s facade, but they were not ready to be announced at the time of the meeting. In addition, Canseco family members were not ready to confirm whether or not they will have a security guard outside the store, though they said it is likely they will.
Juliana Padgett, president of the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association and speaking on its behalf, asked the family patriarch, Sinesio Canseco, to commit to running an environmentally friendly store, specifically asking him to forgo plastic bags.
The senior Canseco declined to commit to any action, saying he would have to see how the finances worked out and how the neighborhood felt on the matter. Some attendees vocalized discomfort with forgoing plastic bags.
In other stores, Sinesio Canseco said, he pushes plastic bags over paper bags, hiding the paper ones under the counter, because plastic is cheaper. In the Carrollton store, he said, he would consider making the paper and plastic bags equally accessible.
The Canseco family retreated again and again that they are open to carrying whatever the neighborhood asks for and seeing how it sells. They want it to be a “family-oriented store.”
Canseco’s Market originally opened in Old Metairie in February 2005. It was the first grocery store to reopen in Metairie after Hurricane Katrina and now has three additional locations on St. Claude Avenue in Arabi, Elysian Fields Avenue in Gentilly and Esplanade Avenue in Bayou St. John.
The Canseco family said they hope to open a fifth location, the Carrollton store, early next year.
Reporter Emily Carmichael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.