St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation Welcomes Old Arabi Marketplace, Lauds Recent Success

ST. BERNARD, LA — The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation welcomed the Old Arabi Marketplace to the Parish and in just one month, the new business is fast becoming a destination for shoppers in the newly-formed Arabi Arts District.

         “We are pleased to have the Old Arabi Marketplace open its doors on St. Claude Avenue,” said Andrew Jacques, the executive director of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation. “The Old Arabi Marketplace, along with Studio Inferno, Larkin Gaudet Studio, Old Arabi Eats, Old Arabi Bar and other businesses, is helping create a solid foundation for an Arts District that will attract visitors to St. Bernard to shop at our stores, eat at our restaurants, and experience our unique cultural assets.”

         The Old Arabi Marketplace houses interior shops owned by five friends all under one roof. Each shop in the marketplace has its own style. Elizabeth “Gidget” McDougall’s shop features an English Countryside aesthetic, Cathy Vidos’ shop boasts mid century modern furniture, Melanie Bordelon’s shop offers a French style, Gina Wilemon’s shop contains an eclectic mix, and Lynda Catalanotto’s shop presents a little bit of everything.

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          “We have a variety of new, old, and repurposed collectables and antiques, including original art, small gift items, furniture, and linens,” said Catalanotto. “The response has been incredible. The Old Arabi Marketplace drawing people from all over, including Lakeview and Old Metairie.”

         The antiques and collectibles featured at the Old Arabi Marketplace are sourced from across the region, with the owners finding them at antique shops and even the most unlikely places.

         “It’s called picking,” said Catalanotto. “You never know where you’re going to find it. In a barn in Mississippi, I came across some tongue and groove floor boards from a home built in the 1800’s. I was literally digging to try and locate it. I put the antique floor boards for sale in my shop, and in no time, a couple visiting from out of town to see the battlefield purchased all of it!”

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         In addition to the owners, the marketplace supports one full time and two part time jobs.

         The concept has the potential to grow as it continues to attract tourists and regional residents to shop the curated collections.

         The cultural economy is a powerful economic sector in Louisiana that accounts for more than 148,000 jobs and $3.8 billion in wages and income for the state’s residents.

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         Jacques said, “Businesses like the Old Arabi Marketplace are creating a destination that will at-tract people from all over to work and shop in St. Bernard. The cultural economy is an important component of our Parish’s competitive advantage and future economic development.”

 

 

 

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