The First Schwegmann's In New Orleans

The First Schwegmann’s In New Orleans

Here’s a peek inside the old Schwegmann’s Grocery and Bar at the corner of Piety and Burgundy in the Bywater. Originally opened in 1869, it served as a launching pad for the birth of the modern supermarket in USA. John Gerald Schwegmann was born on Aug. 14, 1911 in the apartments above the old store that his grandfather, a German emigre had founded a half century prior.

He wore a number of hats (postman, margarine salesman) before settling into the role of grocer along with his brothers Anthony and Paul. Together they opened the first Schwegmann Brothers Giant Supermarket on Aug. 23, 1946 at the corner of Elysian Fields and St Claude Avenue.

At it’s height, the business had 18 locations and over 5,000 workers.

The old Schwegmann’s Grocery and Bar is preparing to enjoy a new life as a coffeeshop with loft apartments on the upper level where John Schwegmann was born over a century ago.

We spoke with the contractors this morning who had few details but said the concern was hoping to open “sometime later this year”

Our dreams of this building being turned into a Breaux Mart have been cruelly dashed.

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