Having just celebrated its 60th–anniversary last year, the Louisiana-based grocery brand known as Rouses Markets opened one of its first stores in Houma, so it’s only poetic that the two new scholarships offered to future culinary institute professionals at Nicholls will be named after influential members of the Rouses’ legacy. One scholarship will be named after Anthony Rouse, Sr, who pioneered the first Rouses Market in 1960, and the other will be named after Leroy Theriot who was the innovative butcher and meat manager at the original Rouses Market.
The current CEO of Rouses’, Donny Rouse, said of the two new scholarships, “We’re happy to continue our commitment to Nicholls State University and the next generation of culinary and grocery professionals with the endowment of these two scholarships.”
Both scholarships are categorized as “endowed scholarships,” which are those academic grants that are established for scholarship funds to be awarded for multiple years, depending on the initial donation size. The director of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, Chef John Kozar, told the University that each scholarship would be ideal to cover the sets of fees culinary students will sustain or incur throughout their degree program.
As Anthony J. Rouse, Sr. was and still is a prominent name in the local grocery industry, the Anthony J. Rouse, Sr. Food Entrepreneurship Scholarship will award $1,500 per academic year to any part-time Rouses Markets employee or any dependent of any Rouses employees who are culinary institute majors. The scholarship board for the Rouses Scholarship will be giving preference to applicants who have an interest in food entrepreneurship.
In a similar trend, the Leroy Theriot Meat & Charcuterie Culinary Arts Scholarship will give preference to any applicants with an interest in the art of butchery and butcher crafts. Before he was Rouses’ first meat manager, Theriot was a prominent butcher at Ciro DiMarco’s grocery before DiMarco left the shop to open the initial 7,000-square-foot Rouses in Houma. According to Rouses’, the Theriot scholarship “seeks to develop the next generation of meat science professionals.”
When speaking on the naming and intention of each scholarship, Rouses CEO Donny Rouse said, “Leroy Theriot set the standard for every butcher who has followed him at Rouses. And Pa knew success doesn’t just happen; it is made to happen and requires sacrifice, dedication, and a commitment to quality and service. He was a true entrepreneur.”
Chef John Kozar, who has a valuable stake in both the culinary students at Nicholls and the nearby grocery industry, said of the partnership between university and grocery chain, “Rouses Markets has been a Bayou Region icon for nearly a century. Many of our students and graduates work for the company, and we are thankful for their constant support.”
The sentiment was echoed by the executive director of the Nicholls Foundation, Jeremy Becker, who remarked on the strengthening partnership between Nicholls and Rouses, two titans of the Bayon Region. Becker called the installation of the two new scholarships exciting and also rewarding in that they will “not only benefit Rouses employees but also honor two very important people in the history of Rouses; it is a great example of Rouses investing in their employees, their community and Nicholls.”
The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute is the single post-secondary institution in Louisiana that offers a four-year culinary degree. The sheer impact that the faculty, current students, and graduates have made on the culinary landscape of Louisiana is immeasurable, and that impact will continue to grow thanks to Rouses Markets’ two new endowed scholarships.
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