Cole Halpern

My story is a bit untraditional, so it is probably best for me to start backwards. I operate Promenade Fabrics on Saint Charles Avenue. This is a family business, forty-six years old, started by my father. My grandfather owned Halpern’s Fabrics on Dryades Street, one of the only integrated shopping districts in the South during the Jim Crow era. This gives me a personal interest in the work that is being done to progress the Lower St. Charles neighborhood.

It was never my intention to go into the family business.  In fact, if you asked me five years ago if I would be selling ribbon and fabric I probably would’ve laughed. I actually was a graduate of Loyola Law School with the intention of being a prosecutor.  Before law school I clerked for the District Attorney of Orleans Parish. Throughout high school and college I also worked on political races, knocking on doors, making phone calls. I was accepted as a Congressional and White House intern. Also, in law school I was able to intern for Mayor Landrieu and be a campaign manager in a local city council race.

As I completed my second year of law school, I began to realize that practice was not for me. My  father talked me into working for the family business and after my first week of work, I decided that Promenade was my future. I take pride in the fact that I am the 3rd generation for the family business and I am proud to keep the tradition going. I also appreciate that the store was established on Dryades Street and it’s place in history as a Civil Rights landmark.