Successful Pass Christian business owners are starting a new venture here in Bay St. Louis.
- by Lisa Monti
That’s when they opened Sea Level, a tiny but complete kitchen inside a beach cottage on wheels that operates seasonally in the West Pass Christian Harbor. It’s known for its award winning tacos and burgers, hand-cut fries and homemade spinach and artichoke spring rolls.
Sea Level closed Oct. 30 for the winter and will reopen in January. Dana, Thomas and their employees are now focused on getting Coffee Culture up and running. “We have such fantastic employees we wanted to keep them year round,” Dana said.
They’re leasing the space for their new coffee shop to test the waters in a new location. “We’ve never done anything over in the Bay and wanted to get a feel for it first,” Dana said.
Coffee Culture will offer a variety of hot and cold coffee, Chai tea, breakfast pastries and sandwiches, scones and bagels, most of which will be made from scratch. It will feature Coast Roast coffee, a local favorite based in Long Beach. The coffee will be sold either in whole beans or ground at the coffee shop.
The Barretts will start out staffing Coffee Culture with their Sea Level employees but would hire locals as the need arises. “Being a part of the community is very important,” Dana said.
Coffee Culture will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. There’s seating inside for 18 customers and a screened-in porch in back that’s dog friendly. There’s also a handy drive-thru window where orders and dog treats will be dispensed.
Watch for Coffee Culture on Facebook and Instagram.
From planning to cleanup, The Wedding Collection has everything needed for that perfect special day.
- story by Lisa Monti
photos by Ellis Anderson and The Wedding Collection
“We have about 30 gowns from four designers and will offering dresses by two more designers by the end of the year,” she said.
“The bride can come in and try on as many as she wants. We take one bride at a time to make sure the consultation feels super special.”
Plans are to expand into bridal veils, jewelry and mother of the bride and bridesmaid gowns.
The new bridal shop is Kerri's second local venture with husband Kevin Pellegrin and business partner, Daniel Clark, whom she makes very clear she couldn't do this without them by her side.
She also manages the day-to-day operation the Harbor House and Suites at 222 South Beach Boulevard which offers vacation rentals in a restored 1840s beachfront home.
Keeping with the local theme, Kerri says she makes every effort to work with local vendors for each wedding she’s involved in. “I couldn’t do my job without really great vendor partners, and we try to keep everything local.”
She remains mindful of the couple’s budget, keeping an eye on their bottom line. Catering is outsourced to local partners including Claiborne Hill and 200 North Beach.
“We look at the menu the bride and groom want and suggest the best vendor suited for them,” she says. “We’re very selective who we work with.” Also outsourced are flowers, the cake, the bar, music and photography, she says.
“We’re very hands-on and use a customized checklist,” she said.
That includes finding and securing the venue and designing the space. Kerri uses the city-owned indoor and outdoor venues including the Bay St. Louis Community Center, the park and duck pond at the depot, the Longfellow Community Center and the Harbor Event Deck plus the Balcony on South Beach Boulevard and a property in Biloxi.
No matter where the wedding is celebrated, she says, “We take a lot of pride in making sure the space looks and feels different for every bride.”
So far, she’s done nine weddings and four more are coming up. “We have one every weekend in November.” Locally, an average wedding has 150 invited guests, but Kerri is prepared to handle up to 600 people.
In keeping with her Louisiana family’s traditions, the couple have the option of having a formal receiving line at the reception and a second-line dance so the guests can join in.
Kerri said about half of the brides she’s worked with have been locals and others live in Jackson, Baton Rouge, Hattiesburg and New Mexico, among other locations. She expects word will spread far and wide that the Bay is a growing wedding destination.
The Wedding Collection will have a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration Nov. 22. You’ll find details on our Shoofly Community Calendar.
The Wedding Collection
104 U.S. 90 W
Bay St. Louis
228-344-3212 (Shoppe) 228-365-3115 (cell)