Winn-Dixie (Kenner, LA) – Demo 13 walk-ins

Laponica Refrigeration got the job to pull down some boxes at the Winn-Dixie on Vintage and Williams. As many in the area is aware Rouses is moving from Chateau and W Esplanade to this location. While we have experience in putting up walk-ins this size – this it was our first attempt at a demo job. Before we start I should thank Walter and his crew for their, beyond expected, high level of work and professionalism. The crew of Fixture Finders, LLC. were also extremely helpful, patient, and kind to us. The photos from this project are divided by day.

—– Monday May 11th —–

—– Tuesday May 12th —–

Next morning and a fresh start to the project. The box had beams holding it together and here we see the guys trying to pull the beam out with straps. While I don’t have photos of what came next I will give you a hint: My Toyota Celica had hooks on the back running into the frame of the car.

—– Wednesday May 13th —–

—– Thursday May 14th —–

By Thursday we had the forklift on site and things were going smoothly. With one crew cleaning up the outside for the concrete guy coming in an hour a second crew was busy finishing up one of the bigger boxes by the loading docks.

Once the first crew was finished cleaning up they would pull the truck inside and start on the smaller box towards right inside. This was the one location where a forklift could be attempted to help tear down some of the boxes inside – it was to little space elsewhere.

For lunch my beautiful wife Hoan cocked the crew Vietnamese food. She said, “If they like it tell them I’ll make them more and they can pay me.” Always thinking ahead. They loved it. No orders as of yet though.

The goal was to have this finished by Friday, but being the season for refrigeration work we were called to another project. On the bright side the team had done such a tremendous amount of work in a short time, so a smaller crew working the next week would be able to do it just fine.

—– Monday May 18th —–

Another beautiful Monday morning. Focus today was to get down the center box. Our original plan to cut down the center of the roof was decided to be too unsafe and scraped. From what we had learned taking down the outside box we knew that cutting away the bottom half of the box would have just about the same results. I had rented a gas powered concrete saw, but… omg that thing was heavy…

You’ll see, from the photos, that the back end of the box came down very easy, but the front was hanging on for dear life. My crew left at 4 pm, but I stayed not wanting the roof to fall during the night. A few hours later the crew from Fixture Finders, likely wanting to go home and tired of waiting on me, came by with the forklift. It came down in 5 minutes. Someone take a memo – forklifts are quicker than mallets… marro in spanish for those interested. Ask me how I know that.

—– Tuesday May 19th —–

Not many photos from Tuesday. We started cleaning up the mess from the night before and then moved on to the two boxes in the front of the building. The one box I was hoping to keep didn’t not obey my authority: some of the locks didn’t unlock and there was about 5 mm of wiggle room trying to get it out. It’s less than an inch. What a bummer…

—– Wednesday May 20th —–

Interesting day. I had dropped from a crew of 8 last week to 3 Mon/Tues to 2. It’s cool it’s cool… almost done. Rented a forklift and started taking down 4 hood vents. Only took 2.5 hours, but they were heavy.

Brought the forklift outside. Remember the 3 doors we had closed inn the week before? Well, there were floors to that box with 2 layers of diamond grid (first layer welded steel). The smart thing would have been for us to have used a forklift on it before closing inn the doors. You’ll see two photos of me trying to bring the forklift around the edge… to no avail…

Some bolts for the compressors on the roof needed to be loosened. Crane was coming the next day. Tried using an impact for the screws, but once again a saw-saw was the most effective.

The last few photos are from the boxes around the store. With the exception of the floors outside on the big box everything had been taken down and cleanup was now the top priority.

—– Thursday May 21th —–

Took the better part of the day to finish cleaning. Shouldn’t really have taken all that long, but I wanted to make sure no trace of us was left. There were some panels in the back corner that needed to be disposed of and the front box location needed some TLC.

By 2 pm we had started on the floors outside. This was the very last thing and something I dreaded. Had I thought about it we would have had a forklift on site day one and these floors would have been taken out before we closed the door openings. Crane came around 3 pm, so we were allowed to come back the next morning.

—– Friday May 22th —–

My father and owner of Laponica Refrigeration, Ragnar Haug, came to the site to help us finish. That’s a concrete grinder he is using. Worked pretty good on the welded steel diamond grid. Always helpful, Butch, came with the forklift. Didn’t take us more than a few hours to finish. We took the diamond grid off and used a crowbar to lift up the panels, then we strapped a chain around it and the forklift. Look how low those power lines are 🙂 We were done by noon, but it could have gone a little quicker hadn’t the propane run out. Lucky us the office was right down the street and we had some there.

Laponica Refrigeration


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