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K & B Drug Store


Gustave Katz partnered with Sydney J. Besthoff at 732 Canal Street, New Orleans in 1905, and continually expanded through the 20th century to become a regional chain. It was well known for its unique purple color, with everything in the store (signs, cash registers, employee uniforms, etc.) being "K&B Purple". This color became well known as a descriptive term in the local lexicon - as one might describe something as "forest green", New Orleanians will still describe a particular shade of purple as "K&B purple."

K&B had many of its own private label items, including its own liquor label, and for a time a brand of beer. While the majority of K&B brand products were inexpensive non-descript products locally regarded as just above a generic brand, the line also included well regarded products such as the much-beloved K&B ice cream; the distinctive K&B "Creole Cream Cheese" ice cream was a local favorite.

K&B's corporate headquarters were located at Lee Circle in the New Orleans Central Business District; a synagogue was torn down to construct the office building in the 1960s. The building is still known as K&B Plaza despite the fact that K&B sold its drugstores to Rite Aid in 1997. The older headquarters and warehouse on Camp Street was donated to become the headquarters of New Orleans' Contemporary Arts Center at the start of the 1980s.

Sidney Besthoff III, the grandson of the drugstore founder, is a well-known local philanthropist and collector of sculpture. His collection of sculpture includes works by significant contemporary sculptors. The Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art was created from his donations.



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