New store at The Esplanade offers deals to die for
Don Ames Reporting
The recent court decision allowing the monks of St. Joseph's Abbey in Covington to sell their handmade caskets has paved the way for a new retail outlet in New Orleans.
Now, caskets are about to become available at a store near you.
Owner Jonathan Lahatte calls his place a custom memorial store.
"Basically we supply customer-personalized caskets, urns and cremation jewelry for loved ones or pets."
The store, 'Til We Meet Again, will open at The Esplanade Mall this Saturday, but Lahatte says he's already getting plenty of inquiries.
"One of my most popular items, right now, is the LSU casket for all of our Tiger fans," says Lahatte. "We have the rights to use the trademarks or the symbols for NCAA teams...right now, it the NCAA Division One teams."
And, yes, there's a black and gold Who Dat casket, adorned with fleurs-de lis, so Saints fans can spend an eternity with the blessed boys.
"We're going to have something called a 'Diva Casket' which is hot pink with a leopard or zebra print interior. We're going to have a New Orleans casket with, basically, everything New Orleans on it, with some graphics."
"We're going to have a 'Kiss Casket' which features, of course, the Kiss rock band. We're going to have a picture casket...you're able to put your family's pictures on the casket itself to celebrate your love for your family...or your favorite photo or location or anything you can dream of, actually."
And, for those more religiously, says Lahatte, "We're going to have Vatican products which are licensed and approved from the Vatican with their seal on it which comes in caskets and urns."
The personalized caskets sell for 35-hundred to four thousand dollars. Lahatte says they can have the final resting places ready in three to four days.
"Of course, we can always get it the next day...just be a little more money for shipping."