Sucre Becomes Sweet Nostalgia
Tom Fitzmorris June 17, 2019 22:00 Dearly Departed
One of the barometers of how the city of New Orleans had changed after Katrina was a little shop on Magazine that could just as easily have been in Beverly Hills. The baked goods in the case weren’t really all that good, but they sure were pretty. Not as pretty as the space that housed them, or the boxes they traveled in. Sucre was like nothing we had ever seen here, and it is not likely they would have survived in the old New Orleans. But this was not the old New Orleans. Young kids from much wealthier places had moved in to this city to rebuild it, shifting the demographics, the attitudes, the expectations, the prices, and the future forever.
These new potential customers kept Sucre in business, along with Orleanians who liked the finer things and only saw them when they left town. Here was gelato outside of Italy. Handmade chocolates that weren’t Godiva. Macarons in pastel colors. Macarons! Here was a luxury chocolatier. And it thrived, blossoming to six outposts, including a restaurant in the French Quarter called Salon by Sucre.
The desserts weren’t desserts. They were entrements. Entrements? In New Orleans? Mirror (meer wah’) and gelee (ge lay’) were some of the terms our daughter learned, along with staging (stahhh-ge. in her brief tenure at the commissary for Sucre next to the Wembley ties factory near Earhart. It was there late at night that crews came in to create fancy Eurostyle desserts and some American ones like the Tiramississippi.
The stores had hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows and gifts galore. Merch merch merch, all with prices not previously seen in these parts.
And thirteen years later it all came to an end. Was it that there are now other pretty places in New Orleans selling nice things at high prices? Or did the very people that made Sucre turn on it?
Whatever it was, that lovely space on Magazine will be missed, along with the pale teal boxes, and ribbons. . . the desserts, not so much.