Metairie (Images of America)

Schwegmann Brothers Giant Super Market


The cavernous store was not air-conditioned when the photograph above was taken in 1950 but it was fronted with windows and topped with large roofing vents above an unfinished ceiling. Across the front was written, “LOWEST PRICES IN THE STATE OF LOUISIANA”. John Gerald Schwegmann. Jr. (below, left) and two unidentified men pose near some frozen pot pies at the Airline store in 1950. The original Schwegmann's Grocery and Bar was founded in 1869 at the corner of Piety and Burgundy streets in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward.  The German-born founder's grandson, John, was born above the store in 1911.  He began working there full-time in 1939.  By 1946 he and his brothers Anthony, and Paul opened the first Schwegmann Brothers Giant Super Market on St. Claude Avenue near Elysian Fields.  In 1951 Schwegmann’s invited all who hadn’t done so to “Follow the Crowds to the Store That Has the Lowest Prices in Town” -- its first suburban location at 2701 Airline at Labarre Road. Schwegmann’s offered a unique (to Metairie) experience where one could grab an oyster loaf and a beer (at Shopper’s Bar, Incorporated) to carry down the aisles while making groceries.  (Courtesy of the Louisiana Digital Library.)


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