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Oral Histories

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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 while 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.

Freret Street Po’Boy and Donut Shop closed in 2017.

Date of interview:

Sara Roahen

Dorka Hegedus

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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