Grocery and Bar
was founded by in 1869. The
founder's grandson, John Gerald Schwegmann, was born
above the store on Aug. 14, 1911. After time spent working for the U.S. Post Office, as a salesman
for a margarine manufacturer, and a short career with Canal Bank & Trust Co. he began working in his father's store
In 1939. In 1946
he and his two brothers, Anthony and Paul, open the first
Schwegmann Brothers Giant Super Market on St. Claude
Avenue near Elysian Fields.
Schwegmann's was the first grocery store in New Orleans to offer self-service
shopping. Initially, customers could opt for full service or self-service -- a 10 percent discount was offered to the
self-servers. The resulting lower prices made Schwegmann's very popular, driving out the smaller self-service grocers.
With the introduction of the Giant Super Market concept,
New Orleanians were offered a "Wal-mart" style store long before big box stores became popular. Schwegmann's
offered, along with groceries, fishing gear, sporting goods, bars, oyster bars, school uniforms, toys, fresh baked good, liquor
(including Old Piety & Burgundy Whiskey), jewelry, clothing, etc.
At its peak, the chain included 46 locations. The Schwegmann chain was sold in 1996.