Spice of Life: Cormie’s back and better than ever

By By Eric Cormier / American Press

Mural Cormie is a very happy man.

From where he is standing — next to a new display case filled with fresh foods — everything is looking up.

If you did not know, the man’s namesake — Cormie’s Grocery at 4907 Big Lake Road — is celebrating the business’ reopening.

Just in case you had a memory lapse, the store was destroyed by fire in June 2011. What seemed to be the end of a south Lake

Charles institution turned into an opportunity.

Cormie formed a business relationship with Brookshire Brothers Food and Pharmacy company, and the end result is a new building

with the modern conveniences found in quick-stop styled stores.

“This is a dream come true that allows me to accomplish my goals with a company that understands us and will carry the store

on after my family is gone,” Cormie said. “I got into the perfect marriage. Cormie’s and Brookshire Brothers were made for

each other.”

The former store developed a reputation for serving good home-cooked meals, providing exquisite meat offerings, bait and a

neighborhood store atmosphere.

Doug Spurlock, a district manager for Brookshire Brothers, said all of the aspects of the former store that customers remember

are still existent and better.

“We brought in newer equipment. That will help keep the quality of the food the same. All we are trying to do is enhance the

operation. We want to keep Cormie’s,” he said. “The Cormie family have a reputation of making good food. This is all about

providing great service and quality products.”

One of the biggest changes in the newly

built facility is the larger deli area. There are new coolers on the

floor filled

with frozen foods. Cormie’s staff is still preparing marinated

meats, quality ribeye steaks, cooked chickens and daily lunch

offerings that longtime customers crave.

Cormie wants the public to know that favorites like chicken salad and bread pudding are still available, too.

Cormie is proud that the business matters to so many people. For months after the fire, people wondered if the corner store

would open again.

“When this store burned down, this side of town died. Now, this whole end of town is growing,” he said. “There are two things

people ask realtors when they think about moving out here. Where is Barbe High School and how close are they to Cormie’s?

“A lot of people buy property out here and want to be close to the store. They can find a lot of things in here that they

want and need,” Cormie said.

Spurlock said the store’s staff will consist of at least 35 employees. Company officials have been training both the hold-over

staff members and new hires.

During lunch yesterday, the store was busy with customers hungering for lunch. Wholesalers were inside making sure the shelves

were stocked full.

Cormie was busy working with Spurlock to make sure everything ran smoothly. He had a big smile on his face the whole time.

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Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at ecormier@americanpress.com or 494-4090.