AVONDALE, La. -- From the outside, the Circle Food Store looks OK. But the inside is gutted, and at the groundbreaking, Amelia Mays started crying.
"It's a blessing, and it brings back so many memories,” said Mays, a former customer.
She remembers pulling a wagon to Circle Food with her grandfather, so she drove in from Avondale with a welcome back sign.
"Coming up, and coming to this store with your grandparents, and your parents, and getting everything you needed, one stop,” Mays said.
Mays met Lori Gabriel, daughter of the original owner, and they hugged.
"I know that my father is in heaven smiling, because I'm here, and he sees the store is coming back,” Gabriel said.
"It's like I was dreaming, and it is like I finally woke up,” said new owner Dwayne Boudreau.
The post-Katrina flood swept into Circle Food 5 feet deep, and new owner Dwayne Boudreau spent years lining up the $8 million needed to repair the store and reopen it.
"Basically, we're gonna try to bring back the things we had before,” Boudreau said. “The fresh fruits and vegetables."
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, "And if you asked people about how's your Momma and 'Nem, and where y'all make groceries at, everybody would say I'll see you down at Circle Foods."
And the customers can't wait to come back to shop.
"We shopped pretty regular, and we're happy to see it come back,” said customer Reverend Lionel Vincent.
Mariniece Vincent said, “I am happy too, because I really loved the vegetables.”
The contractor says construction work will actually begin in about a month, and take about seven months to complete. Daayne Boudreau is hoping to get Circle Food Store reopened by mid to late summer.