'Treme' Star Wendell Pierce Opens Grocery Stores in Low-Income New Orleans Neighborhoods
New Orleans may have blossomed into the "Hollywood of the South" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but some things never came back -- like grocery stores, especially in working class neighborhoods like the Lower Ninth Ward. Enter "Treme" star Wendell Pierce, who plays Antoine Batiste on the hit HBO show. The Crescent City native noticed that while many regions of the city suffered without access to fresh produce, wealthier parts of town continued to get new stores filled with healthy options each year. So he set about opening Sterling Farms, a chain of food stores in neighborhoods where they're needed most. "The most important thing to me is creating a relationship with the community; creating an economic engine as an opportunity for them just to have access to a decent grocery store," he said. And for those who don't have a car and aren't in walking distance of the new shops? Sterling Farms will give folks who spend $50 or more a lift home, for free.