Welcome to the Shoofly Magazine's section for Bay-Waveland breaking news stories. The newest stories will be at the top. Scroll down or use the search feature in the sidebar to explore past Buzz articles.
After a brief pause for COVID-19, the vendors are back, and the food – and the deals – are as good as ever.
- Story and photos by Lisa Monti
In the middle of it all, Susie of Suchilicious Thai restaurant is selling freshly made egg rolls, spring rolls and tempura. Kenny said everything at the market is hand-made or grown. Baked goods and meals made in home kitchens follow the Mississippi cottage food industry laws.
He said new vendors are calling weekly, especially during peak summer and fall/winter season. This week the newcomers include a Pearl River, La., farm that sells stuffed chicken and stuffed turkey. They will join two regular vendors who sell USDA-certified meats and dairy once a month on alternating Saturdays - Honestly Beef of Collins, Miss., and Black Creek Farm of Picayune.
The market now has self-regulated foot traffic, with shoppers lining up to enter the pavilions as others are exiting to keep safely distanced. Vendors are expected to wear masks and gloves. The market is handicap-accessible, and bathroom facilities are available for vendors and customers.
Vendors can set up at the Farmers Market free of charge, thanks to the Board of Supervisors. If you need more information, check the Market’s Facebook page (@HancockCoFarmersMarket) or call David Kenny at (228) 860-6203.
Bay St. Louis and eight Bay businesses swept up a lion's share of the Best of Mississippi awards this year, thanks to lots of local support.
- story by Lisa Monti
- photos by Ellis Anderson
Bay Books was nominated for Best Bookstore and earned a place on the “M List,” which is comprised of the nominees with the next five highest vote totals. Brooklyn Pizzeria, which has restaurants in the Bay and Gulfport, also earned a spot on the M List.
In addition for taking top honors for Best Place to Live in Mississippi, Bay St. Louis also made the M List in three different categories: overall shopping destination, downtown area and weekend trip.
This was the second Best of Mississippi win for The French Potager in three consecutive nominations. Owner Martha Whitney Butler’s shop on Main Street also won in 2018 and was nominated last year. The win, she said, comes at a time when everyone is looking for a boost.
“It’s such welcome news,” Butler said. “We needed something happy to happen.”
Earning the best in state online contest is an honor that Butler says gives The French Potager credibility, especially with new customers and those from out of town. “If someone is not familiar with our work, we’re able to stay we’re rated the best in Mississippi. It helps ease their mind.”
Butler trumpeted the win on her Facebook page on Saturday, congratulating all the winners and expressing gratitude to the Shoofly Magazine for a month-long campaign to subscribers and on social media encouraging readers to vote for the Bay's nominations.
Nikki Moon, owner of The Bay Town Inn (which just reopened), said winning on her first nomination was “fabulous,” considering the large number of B&Bs throughout Mississippi.
“I truly am honored. To be voted the best is a huge honor.”
Moon shared the honor with the Inn’s employees. “A lot of credit goes to the great team working here. They treat the inn like it’s theirs. They are the best.”
Looking collectively at all of the Best honors for Bay St. Louis, Moon said, “We know it’s a great place to come to, but to get these kinds of accolades solidifies what we believe. To have everybody say the same thing and believe in us with all these wins for the Bay puts a stamp of approval on it.”
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Fleurty Girl founder Lauren Haydel can’t imagine opening one of her New Orleans-centric shops in a market that doesn’t have a connection to her hometown. “And I can’t replicate it unless I truly have a love for the place,” she said.
Lauren is so fond of Bay St. Louis that she and her family recently bought a house here, and a small office building at 201 Main Street.
On Monday, Fleurty Girl closed the sale on 216 Main Street. That historic building currently houses California Drawstrings, another women-owned, New Orleans-born business (CD owner Linda Keenan will remain at this until the end of the year).
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Bay St. Louis will be the eighth Fleurty Girl location and the first outside Louisiana. Opening is set for fall of 2020.
Fleurty Girl is known for New Orleans-inspired merchandise that includes clothing for the whole family, home accessories, gifts and jewelry tied to Mardi Gras, the Saints, seafood and other local iconic connections.
Lauren was a single mother of three when she used a $2,000 tax refund to get her online t-shirt business off the ground. Now she has locations in New Orleans, Mandeville, Kenner, Metairie and Gretna.
Lauren said Cicada, a New Orleans architecture firm, is working on plans to renovate and improve the retail space as well as the two residential units in the building. Lauren says she’ll also have a "she shed" on the property to use as a pop-up venue.
Fleurty Girl will have six employees at the Main Street store. Anyone interested in applying can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put BSL in the subject line.
California Drawstrings owner Linda Keenan says she's going to take some time off to travel after the first of the year, but after that, she'll be considering opening a smaller location in the Bay-Waveland-Pass area.
-story and photos by Ellis Anderson
On Friday, October 4, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality issued a long-awaited statement: It's O.K. to splash, wade and swim again at all Mississippi beaches.
According to the press release, water contact warnings were lifted for all 21 sand beach segments, as well as the four nonstandard segments that were issued on August 6. Water contact warnings were also lifted for Pass Christian Harbor, Long Beach Harbor and Bay St. Louis Harbor.
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"According to the National Park Service, there has been no observed evidence of the algae bloom impacting the barrier islands of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. All beaches in the park are currently open. In addition, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resource’s sampling indicates that recreational and commercial fishing off-shore in Mississippi waters remains unaffected by the algal bloom and is safe for consumption."
We couldn’t have received better news to welcome this years cruisers," said Moon. "Let’s replace those red flags with “welcome to our beaches!"
Also the beaches along Mississippi's coast have technically remained open to sun-bathing, walking and other activities, water-contact warnings issued on June 23, have prevented people and pets from wading or swimming in the waters.
Seasonal HABs have been common in other parts of the country for years, especially the Lake Erie area, but this is the first time they've shut down Mississippi beaches.
To ease the threat of flooding along the lower Mississippi River earlier in the year, Louisiana's Bonne Carre spillway was opened, allowing that nutrient-rich “fresh” water to pour into Lake Ponchartrain and directly out into the Mississippi Sound.
The river water changed the natural salinity of the lake and the Sound, providing a fertile environment for the cyanobacteria to grow. For more in-depth information read FAQs About Mississippi Sound Algal Bloom, The Shoofly Magazine published on July 12.
However, some experts are predicting that HABs could become a regular occurrence if massive Mississippi River diversion projects continue in Louisiana. The projects, pitched to help re-silt the river's eroding delta, divert Mississippi River water directly into the Mississippi Sound - much like the opening of the Bonne Carré spillway did this year.
Wendy McDonald, candidate for Mississippi House of Representatives, District 122, has been sounding the alarm on the diversion project. She has built her campaign platform around the issue and says that when elected, her "number one priority" will be to stop the diversion project.
"We celebrate the reopening of the beaches," said McDonald. "But we're going to have to work to keep them that way. It's going to take all of us pulling together. "
Another group that believes the diversion project will be disastrous for the Mississippi Gulf Coast is Gulf Coast Resource Coalition. The group is making a presentation before the Hancock County Board of Supervisors at their October 7 meeting and again at the Bay St. Louis City Council meeting on October 8, starting at 5:30pm.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
A Bay St. Louis couple is hosting a family from the Bahamas whose baby daughter was born in Florida a day after they lost everything to Hurricane Dorian.
Gretchen and Roger Caplinger had owned a home for 10 years on Great Guana Cay, a sparsely populated narrow islet in the Abaco Islands. “We lost it in Dorian, along with 70,000 other people,” she said of their home.
The Caplingers’ longtime caretaker, Tacuma Balfour, looked after their property and prepared it to perfection ahead of their visits. They consider him and his wife Shamell, who worked as a cook at an island resort, part of their family.
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Just before the hurricane devastated the Bahamas, Tacuma and Shamell went to Freeport to be near her doctor and the hospital where Shamell was due to give birth any day. Gretchen said, “They were staying with friends. They didn’t realize the storm was approaching."
After the storm made landfall, the couple tried to evacuate on a cruise ship but weren’t able to board because of the overwhelming number of people trying to leave the islands. Roger was able to get them on a private plane for a flight to Florida.
Shamell was already in labor so the Caplingers arranged for friends in Florida to meet the couple when the plane landed, get them through Customs and take Shamell straight to a hospital.
Within hours, their daughter Nyluh was born, tiny but healthy. Baby Nyluh is “doing fine. She’s beautiful,” Gretchen said.
All Shamell had was what she had packed in a small suitcase for the hospital. Tacuma had nothing but the clothes he was wearing. Like thousands of Bahamians, they lost not only their home but their livelihood to Dorian.
During their short time in Bay St. Louis, the couple is trying to get accustomed to life here. “It’s their first time ever off the island,” Gretchen said.
The couple expressed their gratitude to the community, although Tacuma says he longs to be helping with recovery efforts back on the island. Asked if they felt homesick, Shamell looked down at Nyluh and smiled. “Wherever she is, is our home,” she said.
Elise Deano, a friend of the Caplingers, has been organizing fundraisers and coordinating donations made to the family. Gretchen expressed thanks to the community for its “outpouring of love and generous support” to their visitors.
There are a couple of ways to help out the family.
- Monetary gifts are welcome and a fund has been set up for the family at The Peoples Bank in the names of Baby Lyluh and Gretchen Caplinger.
- On Saturday, Nov. 2, a combination baby shower and open house to meet and greet Nyluh and her family will be held at 2 p.m. at Starfish Cafe.
- Story by Lisa Monti
Artists, crafters and anyone else who is part of the creative economy now can have access to a spreadsheet listing virtually every market, festival and art show within 250 miles of Biloxi. That covers Louisiana to North Mississippi and east to the Florida Panhandle.
Local artist Kathleen Johnson, who gathered all the information, said having access to the new Southern Event List will save many hours tracking down events, dates, locations and application fees.
She should know. She used to spend hours a week looking for places to sell her art and called the process “a nightmare.”
“Now all the artists will have access to the same information. They don’t have to dig for it at all.” The Southern Event List will also help organizers plan dates so they don’t overlap with other events, she said.
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Shay Raphael signed on to help with the project and has input all the information into a 100-page spreadsheet. The list can be sorted by event name, date, miles from Biloxi, cost to participate, contact information and any deadlines that may apply.
Johnson said the smaller Beta version is available for $15 and the final version will be available Oct. 1 at no charge. Updates to the Excel Spreadsheet 2013 version built for Windows 10 will be available for $5.
To make the list as accessible as possible, Johnson said she’ll meet with anyone who needs help for a lesson in how to use the spreadsheet. She’ll even print out the list for anyone who needs a paper copy.
For more information, go to the Southern Event List Facebook page.
- Story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
Another free music event presented by the Alice Moseley Folk Art and Antique Museum - this year dubbed "Fun Festival" - is on track to be bigger and better than last year’s Alice Moseley Festival, which drew about 1,400 people and won high praise.
For this year’s event, organizers say there will be even more music, food, art - and more fun for all ages.
The Fun Festival will take place Aug. 17 from 11am to 8pm on the grounds of the Historic Train Depot in Bay St. Louis. Admission is free.
“Last year's concert was very successful, and we’re just as excited for this year,” said Tim Moseley, son of artist Alice Moseley. “There will be more of everything.” That includes music by two of last year’s headliners, Amanda Shaw and Monsters at Large, along with Ryan Foret & Foret Tradition.
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Other performers will be local favorites Bay Ratz Marching Battery, the Dave Mayley Band and Coastal Native Delights - plus Faith Becnel, a dynamic young singer from the New Orleans area.
The Fun Festival will also showcase loads of local artists. For young fest-goers, there will be a kid’s play zone where they can enjoy bounce houses, slides, a chalk art contest and face painting.
Delicious food and refreshments will be available throughout the day.
Francina’s Foods & More will be preparing “home cooking right there on the spot, including beef brisket and other local favorite dishes,” said Lonnie Falgout, who since 2004 has been executive director of the museum, serving on a volunteer basis. The Daiquiri Shak will be selling beer, wine, soft drinks and water. Snowballs also will be available.
“It’s going to be a great time,” said Lilyana Gandour, the museum’s operations director. “The museum will be open and welcoming everyone to come in and look at Alice Moseley’s wonderful art.”
Like the festival, the museum is free. That’s in keeping with Miss Alice’s philosophy that art should never have an admission charge.
The museum attracts large numbers from out of town, and organizers hope more locals will drop by to see what’s new at the ever-evolving collection.
“We get fantastic snowbird visitors, but we want local people to give it a second look,” said Tim.
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