Three longstanding Miami businesses have joined forces to support one another during the COVID-19 pandemic as Sedano’s Supermarkets looks to add up to 400 full-time and part-time positions across its stores, while iconic Cuban restaurants Versailles and La Carreta close their dining rooms. Sedano’s, Versailles and La Carreta have partnered to provide temporary jobs for the restaurants’ affected employees.
With its dining rooms shut down, the two restaurants are currently focusing on takeout, delivery and walk-up window orders.
As America’s largest independently owned Hispanic supermarket chain, Sedano’s serves Florida’s growing multicultural communities with 35 stores and more than 3,000 employees in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange and Osceola counties.
“This collaboration reflects who we are as companies in our community,” said Javier Herrán, chief marketing officer of Sedano’s Supermarkets. “During difficult times, local businesses and communities need to support one another.”
“Much like Sedano’s, our employees are like family, and we want each of them to know that their jobs will be waiting for them once this crisis concludes. We look forward to welcoming them back, but we can rest easier knowing they are being taken care of,” said Felipe Valls Jr., owner of Versailles and La Carreta restaurants.
A Miami tradition for nearly 50 years, Versailles brands itself as “The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant.” Versailles provides family-style, Cuban cuisine in the heart of Little Havana, where guests enjoy traditional specialties such as its famous Cuban Sandwich and cafecito. The restaurant has become a Miami landmark and its “ventanita” (coffee stand) has become a gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
In addition to its Calle Ocho location, Versailles also serves locals and visitors from its Café Versailles locations at Miami International Airport and Hard Rock Stadium.
Founded in Little Havana’s famous Calle Ocho in 1976 by the Valls family, La Carreta Restaurants are a staple of the old Cuba’s family dining traditions featuring “abuela style” food and authentic Cuban espresso. The restaurant was opened to meet the demand of an authentic cultural hub for the large number of Cubans in exile who settled in Miami. La Carreta currently has 10 locations, including one at Miami International Airport.
Rouses offers jobs, gourmet meals
Family-owned grocery chain Rouses Markets, a mainstay in Louisiana for 60 years, is stepping up as restaurants in New Orleans and surrounding areas are forced to close their dining rooms due to coronavirus.
For those in the hospitality industry who find themselves temporarily out of work, Rouses is hiring, and has immediate openings available. “I encourage you to apply,” said CEO Donny Rouse. “We will teach you the grocery business.”
In addition, Rouses announced a new way customers can help support the local restaurant industry that has been dramatically impacted by recent shutdowns. The retailer will be making meals from popular restaurants available at its stores.
Beginning Friday, Rouses Markets is testing a program that lets customers purchase meals-to-go prepared by some of their favorite restaurants and sold in their stores. The restaurants keep the profit from the sales. “Our customers visit our stores for lunch or dinner, not just for groceries,” said Rouse. “This gives restaurants another way to sell takeout, and our customers another way to support some of their favorite restaurants and chefs.”
Customers can purchase Turtle Soup and Grits & Grillades prepared by Chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace, and pita and hummus prepared by Chef of Alon Shaya of Saba at Rouses Market in downtown New Orleans, 701 Baronne Street. Plate meals from Big Mike’s BBQ are available at the Rouses Market in Thibodaux, La., 204 North Canal Boulevard, including fried catfish for Lent. Frank Brightsen will begin selling at Rouses Market on Tchoupitoulas in Uptown New Orleans in the coming days. Bread from Bywater Bakery will be available at two New Orleans locations to be announced.
“We’re also trying to help restaurants that find themselves with a surplus of inventory,” said Rouse. “We purchased a large quantity of USDA Prime Beef steaks from Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse. They will soon be in our stores.”
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