Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS, La. -- It was a grand re-opening years in the making.

Circle Food Store has been a 7th Ward staple for decades and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the store has been given new life.

Owner Dwayne Boudreaux says he won't forget the scar the storm left on the community, but Friday the store has truly come full circle.

'I will never be passed that moment because it will always be vivid in my imagination, but the joy I have to see what we have and how we are going forward is what keeps me going, what keeps me happy and I am so delighted,' he said.

Many years ago circle foods gave people like Lawrence Lear his first job.

He once worked as a bagger and now after the remodel, he says the new store still has the same old feel.

'It is very good to see it come back, very, very good. They treated us so nicely when we were first here,' Lear said. They treated us good.'

It costs nearly $8 million dollars in renovations to repair the store.

Some of the funding came from a city-wide grant aimed to bring fresh food and jobs to communities.

For some who left after Katrina, coming back to Circle Foods was like a neighborhood reunion.

Kim Taylor said, 'I have been back in New Orleans two years since Katrina and we were wondering when the store would open. We are just excited.'

Another customer, Elise Walter, said, 'It gives them hope. It gives them hope that everything will be like it used to be and better. We have waited for this for so long after Katrina.'

Mayor Mitch Landreiu said the renovations are part of a several projects to revitalize areas of downtown New Orleans.

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