During the Second Saturday Art Walk each month in Old Town Bay St. Louis, you'll find cool deals, fresh meals and lots of art and live music!
- Stories and photos by Caitlin Bourgeois
131 Main St. #D
Bay St Louis
Serious Bread bakery has a Serious following. Capital “S” type serious.
Al Jensen, a well-traveled oceanographer, began the family-owned bakery in 2003. Al developed a deep love for a good loaf of bread during time spent in Europe. Later, he began returning from family visits in California with his suitcases stuffed with sourdough bread. Nearing retirement, he found time to give his bread obsession more attention.
First, Al took a class in Vermont with King Arthur Flour, then continued his studies at the legendary John Campbell Folk School in North Carolina to learn more about sourdoughs and the background of old-time bread artistry.
Since 2003, Al and Vivian have given new life to baking in Bay St. Louis and the Gulf Coast. They began baking and selling loaves and later cookies, muffins and sweet rolls in local coast markets, making a name for themselves quickly. Moving into the current Main Street location gave Al a full-sized commercial kitchen, a display area and tables where customers could enjoy baked goods and sandwiches made from the legendary bread.
After Al’s passing in 2018, Vivian fully took on the daily operations of the bakery and speaks easily about the passion she and her late-husband held for bringing healthy and delicious baked goods to Bay Saint Louis. Vivian can also explain the ins and outs of every loaf of bread on the shelf.
Serious Bread Bakery will be celebrating their Second Saturday Hot Spot status on September 12 by hosting The Sones Boys, a bluegrass and gospel band, from 4 - 7 pm. There will be football cookies, finger sandwiches, homemade pimento cheese and many more delicious samplings available to taste. Be sure to indulge in a homemade cinnamon roll made by the bakery’s new head pastry chef, Patti Kallinikos.
As Vivian said, “Serious Bread will be offering samples of a variety of offerings, from savory to sweet.” Let the Saturday festivities begin!
Jane Evans Designs
The Shops at Century Hall
112 South 2nd Street
Bay St. Louis
Jane Evans’ career has focused on the benefits of creativity gifts to those who use them. A self-described lifelong artist, Jane turned her hobby into a business. She first painted ceramic plates, but in 2012, she decided to begin crafting ceramic crosses. Using an idea that came to the artist one night while resting, each cross includes a poem to comfort its owners while undergoing the trials of life.
A Baton Rouge native, Jane sold her crosses to local shops, eventually being represented by 15-20 retail outlets throughout the Gulf Coast. When she decided to open her own retail location, she searched the Bay Saint Louis area with her husband, Walter. She found The Shops of Century Hall and fell in love with the ambiance and Old Town location.
Behind each of Jane’s creations is her artistic family. Jane’s father was an architect, and she credits her eye for design to him. Her husband creates her ceramic molds out of shells, from crabs to turtles. Now, Jane’s daughter is also an architect and helps bring her mother’s visions to life with linework used on many of the ceramic ornaments.
Most of the items in Jane’s store are made by the artist. Many of the pieces are decorated with sheets of gold-leaf and gold-leaf paint, while others are glazed. “Pretty much everything that is in here has gone through my hands,” said Jane. “I cut all of this out of clay, and then I fire it and finish it.”
To celebrate her Second Saturday “Hot Spot” status on September 12, musician Bradley Bones will be playing from 4 - 7pm at The Shops of Century Hall. Individually wrapped cookies and refreshments will be offered to those stopping by to shop. A table of beautiful butterfly ornaments created by Jane will be on the porch of The Shops of Century Hall, and the proceeds from the sale of these butterfly ornaments will be donated to local community garden, Ruth’s Roots (just a stone’s throw away on Court Street).
“I just discovered Ruth’s Roots while walking around Old Town with my husband,” said Jane. “This will be my way of giving back through my time and work, while offering others a way to give as well.”
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