the Cocktail issue “Our relationship is not based on business,” says Goldring. “We both share common passions for family and for our work, and neither of us are fond of letting grass grow under our feet.” Among the things they share is the tradition of carrying on the family business. Donald Rouse and his brother Tommy inherited a grocery business started by his father, Anthony J. Rouse, Sr., in Houma, Louisiana in 1960. Today, there are nearly four dozen Rouses Markets across three states, with a reputation for supporting local products in all their stores, and employing nearly 6,000 people. And both are passing on the family tradition to a new generation. “We feed off one another, especially because we both came up the same way, always knowing we wanted to follow in our fathers’ footsteps,” says Rouse. “We both grew up in that same way, and our fathers did well in their own right, taking businesses and growing them to be successes.” “Although they were involved in different industries, our fathers taught us the same thing … to be a success takes hard work, to set a clear path but remember to have fun at the same time,”adds Goldring. “It’s fun to be sitting at a bar with Bill and seeing someone sipping a drink made with Buffalo Trace or another brand Bill owns, and say to the person, ‘You know who owns that …this man right here,” laughs Donald, pointing to his friend at the other end of the sofa. “Bill is so friendly and down-to-earth, you would never know he is a worldwide leader in his business.” Goldring describes his friend in a similar fashion. “Donald is the original undercover boss, and when he walks around one of his stores, you can see that everyone loves him—customers and employees alike,” says Goldring. “He is not above anyone.There is no pretense.” Their shared business culture—one of open door policies, approachable attitudes, strong leadership skills and rich family histories—also finds commonality in their devotion to their hometowns. Despite his worldwide business presence, Goldring has never thought of relocating his headquarters to another city.
New Orleans is home. Rouse feels the same way about the Houma/ Thibodaux area and the Gulf Coast. “For me, there’s no other option,” says Rouse. An outdoorsman with a passion for hunting, Rouse also owns a small ranch in Mississippi where Bill is a frequent visitor. “I do not hunt, and Donald doesn’t play tennis” laughs Goldring. “But we both enjoy a good meal.” It’s also in Mississippi where Goldring also tried turkey necks for the first time, and fried Spam. Storming the Sazerac The Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans has long been synonymous with the city’s most iconic cocktail. The Storming of the Sazerac, a 1949 publicity stunt, drew attention to the famous watering hole and ended the bar’s “men only” policy.
“We enjoy a great comradery, it is that simple,” says Rouse. He’s also had the opportunity to visit Goldring’s distilleries, sampling the aging whiskies, some of which are bottled specifically for Rouses stores. Donald’s son Donny, managing partner of Rouses Markets, hand chose the bottles. Perhaps the most important thing that Goldring and Rouse share is a quiet passion for philanthropy. Goldring continues to lead the Goldring Family Foundation and the Woldenberg Foundation, giving millions of dollars to enrich a broad list of educational, arts- related, religious, civic and health-related initiatives, and serving as a mentor to people and organizations alike. “It’s always better to give than to receive,” says Goldring. “It’s something that was
MY ROUSES EVERYDAY JULY | AUGUST 2016
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