What will Whole Foods Do for Us?

img_0815Whole Foods Market will open it’s doors to the public on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. I was fortunate to get a sneak peak of what’s to come. Employees were busy stocking shelves, setting up displays and getting trained.

I’ve only been to Whole Foods once while I was visiting Overland Park, KS, so I was looking forward to seeing what we would be getting in Shrossier. In particular, I was interested in what Whole Foods would do for us. I found out that the commitment to our community is absolutely phenomenal.

Whole Foods Shreveport-Bossier has hired 141 local people and only brought in six from other regions for training purposes. img_0829Local artist Ann Gassen has been hired as “The Chalk Designer” to decorate all of the signs around the store. They currently have approximately 50 local vendors, with more in the process. The store has used reclaimed wood throughout the building, most notable is the “Joskes wood” on the walls and soffits, reclaimed from a San Antonio department store built in 1888 called Joskes. That wood originally came from forests around my hometown of Lake Charles, LA in Calcasieu Parish. Electric vehicle charging stations, a bike rack to support the cycling community and energy efficiency throughout the store.

In addition, Whole Foods Market Shreveport will host five community giving days over the next five weeks as part of their commitment to supporting the local community, and to celebrate the opening of their first Shreveport store. One percent of net sales on designated community giving days will benefit the following Shreveport-Bossier area nonprofit organizations: Community Renewal International, The Fuller Center for Housing, Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, Shreveport Green, and The Gingerbread House.

Now, about those services! There are so many fabulous services that are provided in the Shreveport store. Too many to list here, so here are the services that I found of value:

  • The butchers will custom cut, season, steam, fillet or portion your order for FREE just by asking!
  • Full-service seafood shop with experienced Fishmongers ready to help prepare your fish any way you would like it. They fillet, butterfly, debone whole fish, peel and devein shrimp, season, and grill or steam your fish for FREE! In store Seafood Smokehouse with custom smoking available.
  • Have a favorite? They will special order any item by the case with a 10% case discount
  • Free ice to protect your items on the ride home
  • Want to taste fruits or veggies before you buy them? Just ask and they will cut them right there for ya.
  • 500 wines in-house! Get 10% discount when you purchase wine by the case.
  • Expanded grass-fed dairy options including milk, butter, and yogurt and over 2,600 Non-GMO and Organic items!
    A floral area that will include more than 40 cut flowers, potted plants and arrangements in addition to seasonal items such as Christmas trees. For each tree sold, Whole Foods will replant a tree through American Forests.
  • 2000 items on sale every week and an extensive line of 365 Everyday Value® products
  • Louisiana proud! They feature a great selection of Louisiana products. (See list below)

LOUISIANA PROUD VENDORS IN THE SHREVEPORT WHOLE FOODS:

In addition to this list, there are several vendors in the process of finalizing paperwork, so there will be more to come. If you have a product that you’d like to get into Whole Foods, you may submit at Rangeme.com/wholefoods 

Abita Brewery
Acalli Chocolate
Bayou Soap
Bayou Teche
Bee Hippie (uses Hummer and Son beeswax)
Big Easy Bucha
Café du Monde
Cake Face Soaping
Camellia Beans
Chafunkta Brewing Co.
Community
Cool Brew
Covington Brewhouse
Crystal
Davey’s Treasures
Delightful Palate
Dirty Potato Chips
Doodley Dee’s Farm
Edwardo’s Secret Salsa
Evamor
Flying Heart Brewing
French Market
French Truck (beans and cold brew)
Good Granoly
Great Raft Brewing
Gulf Coast seafood
Hanley’s Dressing
Hummer and Son (packaged and in bulk)
Inglewood Farm Pecan Oil
Jennings Apiaries
KenChaux Rice
Kinloch Plantation Pecan Oil
Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce
Magoun’s Kitchen<
onjuni’s
New Orleans Brewing Company
Nuccio’s Olive Salad
Parish Brewing
Red River Brewery
Reve (coffee beans)
Rhino Coffee (beans and cold brew)
River Road Coffee
Southern Art
Star Nursery
Sucre
Swamp Pop
Tabasco
Taylormade Kale Chips
Three Brothers Farm Cane Syrup and Cane Sugar
Tin Roof Brewing Co.

Whole Foods Shreveport Photo Gallery:

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There will be a sneak peak on Monday, November 14 from 4-7 pm. Find info on their Facebook Event. Also, if you are interested in attending the Bread Breaking Ceremony (ribbon cutting), it will be held at 7:30 am on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. The first 200 people who arrive for the grand opening ceremony will receive a Whole Foods Market gift card with a mystery amount up to $100.00.

Follow Whole Foods Shreveport-Bossier:

In terms of community, I believe Whole Foods will do lots for us.

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

How to find inspiration in Shreveport-Bossier (and a Giveaway)

FullSizeRender-1Do you have something that makes you cringe when you hear it? Something that drives you to roll your eyes and stomp your feet? I sure do. When I hear the phrase “there’s nothing to do in Shreveport-Bossier, Louisiana” I have to restrain myself from completely wigging out. You see, when I first moved to Shreveport-Bossier, I will admit that I said it myself. I moved here from South Louisiana and I really just wanted to go home. For many years, I went to work and then headed straight to my house. On occasion, I looked to the arts and entertainment section of the newspaper to find things that might be of interest to my family. I didn’t know many people that could help connect me to the community, so I just stayed home. That was then. And now, I subscribe to the thought that there are things to do wherever you may be.

Somewhere along the way I found out that if I wanted to be connected to a community, I first needed to leave my house, and secondly, I had to put some effort in on my part. I kind of had to be a researcher in my own life. I started, uncomfortably and awkwardly, attending events. I visited tourist welcome centers to find attractions located in Shreveport-Bossier. I scoured the newspapers to find events. I asked people what was going on in town. As the internet became more ingrained in my life, Googling and Facebook events became the go-to places for my inspiration. These are all fantastic ways to get information, and I will maintain that flow, but my favorite way to get the SB scoop is through the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s (SBCTB) newly redesigned website Shreveport-Bossier.org. Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 3.36.00 PMThis website has been around for a while and was already one of my go-to sites, and in particular, the SB Fun Guide link that holds the events page. Today the SBCTB unveiled a redesign of the website with a celebratory launch party at Great Raft Brewing. SBCTB President Stacy Brown gave an introduction to area partners and shared some of the new features of the website. With the redesign, there is so much inspiration and a resource for both locals and tourism visitors. What you will find out is that Shreveport-Bossier has more to do than you can even imagine.

What can you expect to find on the site?  Maps, brochures, photo and video galleries, trip advisor and social media integration, geo-triggers for coupons and events, and itinerary planning:

  • CASINOS – gaming, night life and horse racing
  • THINGS TO DO – Attractions, shopping, family fun, sports, nightlife, group experiences and outdoor recreation. Be sure to click on the Attractions Link to see the multitude of experiences such as performing arts, museums, art galleries and historic places. There is also a great link for free offerings!
  • EVENTS – Festivals, music and annual events – <<<< This is one of my favorite parts of the site because it hosts the SB FUN GUIDE, which is the event driven piece
  • RESTAURANTS – food and drinks!
  • HOTELS – where to stay
  • MY TRIP – a personal trip planner to build an itinerary for a visit to the big SB

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.06.05 AMIn my job at Holiday Lanes, I have become active in the SB Attractions Association and am currently serving as president of the association. One of my personal goals is to share local event information with as many people as possible in the community. First, I’m asking my attraction/hotel/restaurant/travel industry colleagues to BE AWARE that you can UPDATE your venues on the newly designed site; and ADD events to the SB Fun Guide. For the event driven page to be successful, it will take input from those who are planning, marketing or hosting local events. The SB Fun Guide is also undergoing redesign and will hopefully be launched next week (Feb 2016). Secondarily, I want this site to be top-of-mind for locals and visitors when looking for inspiration for things to do in Shreveport-Bossier.  Chris Jay, social media and public relations manager of the SBCTB, says that he is super excited that the new site will allow easy and quick uploading of featured events which will showcase partners, whether they are festivals, restaurants or attractions. Ideally, a venue would like to promote for several weeks, or months, prior to an event, but being able to make changes in a matter of minutes will be transformative for local tourism partners who might find themselves in need of a last-minute promotional boost.

So . . . how do you find inspiration in Shreveport-Bossier?

And, how do you WIN A GIVEAWAY?

One lucky That Just Happened blog reader will receive Bowling for Six people from Holiday Lanes. Simply go to Shreveport-Bossier.org, find the attractions link and locate the Holiday Lanes link on the site. Paste the Holiday Lanes Attraction page link in the comments section below AND THEN tell me which part of the Shreveport-Bossier.org website gave you a bit of inspiration. Winner will be announced on February 17, 2016.

Panderina Soumas and David Doe, local ambassadors and SB visitor guide cover models share a smile at the website Launch Party.

Other ways to connect with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau:

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

 

2/17/16 – CONGRATS Bill McGill – you are the winner of a bowling certificate for six to Holiday Lanes!

 

Rosewood Home Market is a family affair

imageI’m super excited to share about a new business in Bossier City. Rosewood Home Market celebrates with a Bossier Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. Owner Suzanne Wilson lends her home decor talents with one of a kind vintage, urban, and farmhouse home decor. With a huge smile, Suzanne tells me that she was decorating her home and couldn’t find exactly what she wanted around town and decided to open a business. Isn’t that a great reason to start a business? I think so.
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This business is definitely a family affair. Husband, daughter, sister, mom, dad, mother-in-law, son-in-law, cousins, and of course the chosen family: best friend, were all there early making sure all the details were squared away for the arriving guests. I heard “is everything marked”, “paw-paw, does this look ok?”, hey, who left this here?”. It felt kind of like being at the family Thanksgiving dinner preparations.
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At Rosewood Home Market, you will find an array of gorgeous home decor, writing papers, soaps and gardening accessories. They have a mix of new and antique items. Suzanne mentioned that they had about 30% antiques in stock. Many of the things in her store are made by local artists, such as paintings, t-shirts, cotton wreaths, farm doors and furniture. This gives a new venue for local artists to sell their creations. I probably should have left my pocketbook at home.
imageI was interested to find out that Rosewood Home Market will be carrying locally grown flowers in the Spring. I’m a flower girl. Flowers make me smile! I’ve always wanted a place to stop in and grab a bunch of naturally grown blooms to cheer up my house and as gifts for my friends. Farm to store. Cut flowers. Not bred for shipping. This will be such a treat.
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As the ribbon cutting was beginning, Suzanne’s dad led the event in an overwhelmingly emotional prayer that showed how proud he was of his daughter. It again made me feel like I was around the family dinner table.
imageRosewood Home Market is located at 2850 Douglas Drive Suite A in Bossier City, LA. Stop by and find something special for your home.

 

That Just Happened!!
Robin Williams
Marketing Maven, Holiday Lanes

To Market I Did Not Go

market_bagDDHow many times have you said you were going to the Farmer’s Market to purchase locally grown fresh foods and then forgot? Yeah, for me, too many times. Well I’ve got a great suggestion for those of you in the Shreveport-Bossier area. Delta Delivered. This is an awesome service that delivers local and organic meals and groceries. lemon cucumberToday, to market I did not go, but I received my first Market Bag full of fresh fruits and veggies. It came just in time to use for dinner. I already had a pork roast in the oven and was trying to decide what to add to the meal. Inside the bag I found lettuce, peppers, a variety of tomatoes, corn, eggplant, zucchini, squash, blue berries, peaches, an onion, and one item that I’ve never seen before. My friend Jada also received a bag and she flushed out the question on social media. We now believe it is a lemon cucumber.

saladFrom the bag, I was able to add a nice garden salad to my pork roast dinner, along with lovely sautéed zucchini. It was almost as if someone went to a garden, picked the veggies and dropped them off to my door. Actually, I think that is exactly what happened.

zuchinniDelta Delivered sells and delivers fruits, veggies, berries, meats, coffee, prepared meals, soaps and flowers right to your door. They source locally from the following vendors:

We are all busy with family, work, fun and play. This is a convenient service that helps balance your time and interest in eating healthy and fresh local products.

Want more information about Delta Delivered? Check them out:

That just happened.
Robin Williams,
Marketing Maven at Holiday Lanes

Disclaimer: I received products for review in exchange for writing this blog, although all opinions are my own.