Mural Cormie walks in the parking lot of Cormie’s Grocery after fire on June 2011 totally destroyed the family business. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:43 PM
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.
Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at email@example.com or 494-4090.
Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org On: 12/11/2012
Really enjoyed your article! I went to LaGrange with Mural and Camille. Just looking for school friends on FB. Mural ousted me out of a schlorship. We had the same grade average. He is a boy I am a girl. LOL That was back then!!!
Mina Hinton Boggan