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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Myra Bercy-Rhodies


Freret Street Po'Boy and Donut Shop

Po-boys and donuts are a third career for Myra Bercy-Rhodies, who was a social worker and an educator before opening Freret Street Po’Boy and Donut Shop in 2009. The restaurant’s arrival was a harbinger of the entrepreneurship and gentrification that has since turned formerly quiet Freret Street in Uptown into a humming business corridor. While food was an afterthought in Myra’s professional life, she knew just what she would serve when the idea of opening a restaurant occurred: the New Orleans-Creole specialties of her people. Her mother dictated recipe techniques for red beans and gumbo over the telephone, and other family members lent donut-making knowledge. For the po-boys, Myra needed only to reference a lifetime of eating. Some of her earliest memories involve her grandmother making her grandfather ham and American cheese po-boys dressed with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard to take to work. Her favorite po-boy? Fried oyster with butter, hot sauce, ketchup, lettuce and tomato.

Audio production by Thomas Walsh.

Date of interview:
2015-04-23

Interviewer:
Sara Roahen

Photographer:
Dorka Hegedus

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