7th Ward New Market and Restaurant

Vance Vaucresson’s family has been a part of the 7th Ward neighborhood in New Orleans for a while now. His family owns the Vaucresson Sausage Co. who has been part of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and in restaurants and local family recipes. The building which once housed the home of the company closed down after Hurricane Katrina. The family wants to reopen the establishment as the company’s headquarters, a restaurant, meat market and affordable apartments.

The old building located on the corner of St. Bernard Avenue and North Roman Street has sat dormant since the Hurricane. Vaucresson also hopes it will be a statement about culture and place in a changing city as a Black-owned brand steeped in New Orleans history makes a return. The project is slated to be completed by late 2021.

“We want a business that can contribute to the neighborhood in different ways, as a market, a café, by employing local people, by offering housing for people who are too often getting priced out of their own neighborhood,” said Vaucresson. “When people eat here, it will be a place to get a sense of Creole culture, an education on what that means for New Orleans.”

There will be help with funding from the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, the state’s Office of Community Development, the City of New Orleans and the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office (with historic tax credits brokered through Stonehenge Capital) and Enterprise Community Partners. The family will have partners in the project including the nonprofit Crescent City Community Land Trust, Liberty Bank and Edgar Chase IV, chef at his family’s famous Dooky Chase’s Restaurant.

In fact, Chase will be the mastermind behind the restaurant portion of the project. The restaurant will be called Vaucresson’s Creole Cafe and will feature the company’s meat throughout their dishes. Chase says that the Vaucresson sausage is the “cornerstone ingredient” for Dooky Chase’s Kitchen.

“It’s going to be a showcase for a lot of Creole flavor, the daube glacé, the hogs headcheese, chaurice and grits, all the sausages,” Chase said of the cafe’s future menu.

The company began as a stall at St. Bernard Market in 1899 and grew into the company it now is today. Even though Katrina wiped out the company’s headquarters, the sausage line was then produced at other companies and sold at festivals. Robert “Sonny” Vaucresson Sr., Vance’s father fought to keep the company alive.

“I didn’t want to find myself on my deathbed knowing I didn’t try,” Vaucresson said. “We have a lot of work to do, and now we’re dealing with COVID too, but I know I have to try.”

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