Welcome to the Shoofly Magazine's section for Bay-Waveland breaking news stories. The newest stories will be at the top, but scroll down or use the search feature in the sidebar to explore past Buzz articles.
One of the coast's favorite healthy eateries branches out into meal planning and take-out. The main take-away? What's healthy can also be delicious!
- story by Lisa Monti
By “clean” they mean the proteins are grass-fed, humanly-raised and free of steroids, antibiotics and nitrates. Here’s a tiny sampling of meals: Egg, Bacon, Avocado, Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potato for breakfast; Mediterranean Soup with Sausage for lunch; and Sesame Chicken with Cauliflower Rice for dinner. The kitchen staff also specializes in low-carb breads, pastries and desserts. (KETO King Cake is available.)
“For the last couple of years a lot of customers really wanted us to do grab-and-go and meal-planning made from scratch and healthy,” Di said. When the Zone Meals owner decided to move on, Di said, “The door opened for us.”
Wholey Foods offers five plans consisting of five days of breakfast meals, lunch meals and dinners with salad. The plans start with the basics (proteins, veggies and fruits) and progress with the addition of more protein, dairy and grains. There’s a KETO plan, too, and an add-on option for snacks.
Soon the kitchen will also roll out a “Wholey Seniors” plan designed for those over 60 who want smaller portions of healthy meals. “We will be taking orders starting now for delivery or pickup on Feb. 25,” Di said.
Don’t worry about getting bored by the same meals over and over. There’s a six-week rotation of recipes. The weekly meal plans start at $80 plus tax (for 15 meals) and top out at $145. There’s a small charge for delivery.
And speaking of Starfish, 10 percent of the profits from Wholey Foods goes to support the nonprofit cafe. which helps those recovering from life’s hardships through education and training.
And more good news from the new venue. Wholey Foods will begin using compostable containers by March 15 if not sooner.
Wholey Foods will host a grand opening on Wednesday, Feb. 19. There'll be special incentives offered all day to try out the service, plus treats and bites from 4pm - 6pm.
295 U.S. 90
Bay St. Louis
3-6 p.m. Tuesday
11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday.
Shoppers looking for pre-owned treasures are having a field day, thanks to a trio of new shops on Highway 90.
-- Story by Lisa Monti
The shopping options grew last November, when Anne Mann opened Sea Gypseas Antiques and Collectibles nearby on Highway 90.
Anne has been involved in selling antiques for 14 years. She has around ten dealers sharing space in her new venture, where you can buy locally made candles, garden accessories, antiques in the Mid-century Modern style and with a Bohemian look. The eclectic collection of antiques, gifts and home decor is arranged neatly, with a four-foot path to easily maneuver the layout.
“It’s very open and bright, which I love,” she said.
Also, opening last November was Dawn Letellier’s Worth Repeating, a home goods consignment store with an emphasis on quality in her former pharmacy location in Bay St. Louis.
Dawn describes her Worth Repeating as a quality home goods consignment store selling “gently used” furniture and some art.
“Things are going out of here so fast,” she said. “We started out with an empty warehouse and now it’s packed full.”
Items are available for 60 days only and prices drop 10 percent after 20 days and 10 percent more after 40 days. If something doesn’t sell, it’s returned to the owner or donated. New items show up virtually every day, and one item is featured daily on Facebook and Instagram. The shop’s motto: Repeat, Reuse, Recycle.
Not long after the two new shops opened, Donald was referring shoppers to them if his flea market didn’t have what a customer was looking for. Anne and Dawn started doing the same after seeing traffic referred by Donald. It didn’t take long before a sort of retail revolving door was benefiting everyone. “We help each other,” Donald said.
“Everybody is so supportive,” Anne said of the cooperation. “Bay St. Louis and Waveland, the other businesses have been absolutely wonderful.”
She said that recently she referred seven customers to other stores. “That’s what we do in this business. Antiquers want to know all the different places. You’re not losing customers, you’re creating new business when you do that. It’s how you develop an area.”
Anne also had high praise for the support and encouragement provided by Countryside Antiques owners Mike Mayo and Tom Cottom, who have been in business in Waveland since 1978.
In a note sent from their trip to Europe sourcing more antique treasures for their store, they wrote, “We are so excited to have additional antique, vintage and consignment stores in the Bay-Waveland area. Each store brings an additional perspective to our business and new customers to us all. We wish everyone great success and a big welcome to the antique, vintage and collectibles business in Hancock County!”
151 Highway 90
1140 Highway 90
Bay St. Louis
Wish List Flea Market
212 Highway 90
128A Highway 90
Don’t miss these Old Town Bay St. Louis locations:
111 N. 2nd Street
Bay St. Louis, MS
200 Main Street
Bay St. Louis, MS
A 96-year-old WWII veteran is making his second run across the U.S. to raise money for a memorial. You're invited to join him on Saturday, January 25!
- story by Lisa Monti
- photos courtesy Coast2CoastRuns Facebook page
The last time Mr. Ernie’s course ran through Bay St. Louis, more than 70 people showed up to cheer him on. “When I ran from the same spot on the bridge four years ago it was the biggest turnout I had,” he said by phone as he rested up from Monday’s run.
He’s hoping for that many or even more people to join him on Saturday morning (January 25 2020) to go from the west end of the Bay Bridge to the Kiln/Waveland Cut Off.
“I do the running and everybody else walks because I’m slow,” he says laughing. “The more runners, the more fun.”
Staying active apparently is second nature to Mr. Ernie who hit the ground early. “My mother said I stood up at 8 months and then I didn’t walk, I just ran.”
Mr. Ernie, a Navy veteran who served in World War II, is raising money on his travels for a memorial featuring the LST 325, the only transport ship of its class that is restored and operational. He was among the crew that brought the 325 back to the U.S. from Greece. “My dream is to take the ship back to Normandy for a D-Day Memorial,” he said.
Anyone who wants to accompany Mr. Ernie on Saturday should gather around 6:30 a.m. at the west end of the bridge ahead of the 7 a.m. start. And if you want to follow his remarkable journey online, go to coast2coastruns.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The famous Budweiser horses drew big crowds of fans last year in Bay St. Louis - now they're returning on January 31st at 6pm for a repeat ride through the city.
-story by Lisa Monti
- photos by Brenda Comer
Fans can catch the parade at the beginning and on Union Street, then Second Street to DeMontluzin where it will turn west to Beach Boulevard and right on Court Street before returning to the Depot grounds.
The parade last year included marching bands and the same is expected this year though details haven’t been worked out yet.
Anheuser-Busch introduced their Budweiser Clydesdales in 1933 and their fame and following have grown ever since. The horses star in Budweiser commercials and keep a full schedule of appearances throughout the year including such major events as the Rose Parade and a couple of presidential inaugurations.
Two local retailers - and longtime Shoofly Magazine sponsors - hit the "reset" button in time for holiday shopping: California Drawstrings and Pass Books.
- story by Lisa Monti
And happily for shoppers, there are more books on the shelves on both floors than before, Scott noted. It was worth the wait for fans.
“Our customers/guests were wonderful during the six week renovation,” he continued, “walking a few extra feet across the street to our second location in The Commons, where we normally sell only gelato and our freshly-baked goods.”
While the work was underway, Pass Books and its fans didn’t miss a beat. “We had several author events, and our guests were wonderful in lining up down the street and in the courtyard of our second location,” said Scott.
The improvements come as the popular bookstore and coffee shop marks a lucky milestone. “As we reopen in our refreshed building, we begin our seventh year in the structure as a coffeehouse and bookstore.”
Meanwhile, California Drawstrings has moved back to the very building where the New Orleans boutique opened a branch in the Bay ten years ago. Last weekend the boutique moved to its new location in Lulu’s on Main at 126 Main Street. Early next year another New Orleans original, Fleurty Girl, will make its Mississippi debut at 216 Main Street, California Drawstrings’ old location.
Owner Linda Keenan, who’s operated her flagship shop at 812 Royal Street for 36 years, is hosting a sale at both locations while the move is under way. Shoppers can enjoy savings of 25 percent in the new location and 70 percent off everything in the store at 216 Main.
“I started there with one little room, and by the time I left I had the whole back of the building,” Linda said on the original spot in the first block of Main. The spot is now occupied by Nancy Moynan, owner and chef of LuLu’s on Main restaurant.
California Drawstrings customers will find the same friendly sales staff working in the new location and also their favorite labels including FLAX, Match Point, Krazy Larry pants and the Fridaze wrinkle-free linen line. The Krazy Larry’s line has a particularly strong following, Linda said. “They’re great pants, and they come up with new prints, colors and fabrics all the time. Most people who try them on love them and come back for more.”
Linda will be headed to market in Las Vegas and Dallas in January, so customers can expect more great finds plus comfort, style and quality at California Drawstrings’ new location.
One of the hottest entrepreneurs in the South has chosen Bay St. Louis as the next location for a new Fleurty Girl shop, slated to open in early 2020.
- by Lisa Monti from Lisa Monti's Notebook
photos by Ellis Anderson
“It’s always good for a city when people fall in love with it and want to live there and open a business,” Haydel said.
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.
Haydel joined in last Saturday’s annual Witches Walk festivities, which drew hundreds of costumed celebrants to Old Town’s shops, restaurants and bars.
“It was awesome,” she said, adding that the new Fleurty Girl will be another draw for Old Town events. “I can’t wait to be a part of that,” she said.
Fleurty Girl will have six employees at the Main Street store. Anyone interested in applying can send an email to email@example.com. Put BSL in the subject line.
Editor's note: While the California Drawstrings location on Main Street will close after the first of the year, the flagship location that’s been operating at 812 Royal Street in the French Quarter since 1984 will remain open.
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.
Veteran reporter Lisa Monti writes and edits for the Shoofly Magazine, and also maintains her own blog! Check it out and sign up here.
Page visits since 4pm, 10/22/2019
After three months of being closed to water contact due to an algal bloom, Mississippi's beaches are now open again for all activities.
-story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Water samples collected on October 2 and tested for Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) toxicity, were "all below the EPA guidelines of eight parts per million."
"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."
Moon notes that the timing couldn't be better - Cruisin' the Coast - the region's largest event - officially begins this week.
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.
Their home and community in the Bahamas destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, a couple and their newborn find temporary refuge in a place that understands that kind of loss - Bay St. Louis.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
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.
Tired of spending endless hours of searching for events, artist Kathleen Johnson and volunteer Shay Raphael have compiled a comprehensive list of virtually every market, festival and art show within 250 miles of Biloxi.
- Story by Lisa Monti
Johnson came up with the idea about five years ago and began collecting information in earnest a year ago. She figures she spent about 800 hours gathering details on some 400 events featuring arts and crafts including farmers’ markets.
Shay Raffael working with Kathleen Johnson on the Southern Events List Data Base. Shay, not an artist herself, recognized the enormous impact this list could make to the art community and stepped up to offer her expertise to incorporate the data into an Excel spread sheet - an enormous task as the list is 100 pages at this point.
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.
The beta release is just in time for the holidays, the most lucrative season of all for artists and crafters. “We pulled everything we could together to meet the Christmas rush,” she said. “I don’t care as long as it’s a market serving the creative economy. It goes on the list.”
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.
Thanks to the Alice Moseley Museum, Fun Fest brings back regional favorites - including Amanda Shaw and Monsters at Large.
- Story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
“Monsters at Large are the best known local band, and Amanda Shaw and Ryan Foret are top regional bands from Louisiana," said Tim. "We’re very excited to have all of them perform this year."
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.
For two decades this annual event has been working to empower women across the coast in all aspects of their lives.
- story by Lisa Monti
Labat said the celebration’s purpose from the start was to give women time together to talk about things of common interest and allow them to share their thoughts.
“We are trying to keep this program going and empower women to see that they can do even more than they think they can,” she said.
The celebration on Saturday at the St. Rose Parish Holy Spirit Center (on Necaise Avenue in Bay St. Louis, across from the church) includes informative forums on health, education and politics led by professionals in each field.
Leading the Health Forum discussions will be:
The education issues forum participants will include:
Other speakers with connections to Bay St. Louis and St. Rose include:
Also on Saturday, the Book Review Forum will be led by Dorothy Wilson, Publisher and Editor of Gulf Coast Woman Magazine and co-founder of the Success Women’s Conference.
She will be joined by locals:
The day will conclude with a reception for participants and presenters.
On Sunday, participants will be recognized at 9 am Mass at St. Rose Church (301 Necaise), where the Women’s Mass Choir will be directed by Sherry Hill and the Liturgical Dance will be choreographed by Marion Brewer.
We had lots of questions and wanted reliable answers - so we asked the folks who know. Here's what we found out.
- story by Ellis Anderson
UPDATE - July 17: MDEQ conducted water tests after Barry passed through and says the results warrant leaving the water contact warnings in place. Click here for the full July 17 press release.
Below is a compilation of the answers we received - along with some from other reliable scientific sources.
Is the culprit a bacteria or an algae? We’ve heard it called both.
The organism that’s causing our problems is actually a bacteria – a cynanobacteria, to be specific. So technically, it’s not an algae bloom.
The proper terminology now, according the Liz Sharlot, Director of Communications at the Mississippi Department of Health is “Algal,” pronounced, “All-gul.”
The University of California’s Museum of Paleontology says that:
Cyanobacteria are aquatic and photosynthetic, that is, they live in the water, and can manufacture their own food. Because they are bacteria, they are quite small and usually unicellular, though they often grow in colonies large enough to see. They have the distinction of being the oldest known fossils, more than 3.5 billion years old, in fact!
It may surprise you then to know that the cyanobacteria are still around; they are one of the largest and most important groups of bacteria on earth…
Do other places in the country have problems with HABs?
Big Buzz Breaking News
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
CASA of Hancock County’s 6th annual Poker Run has shady new headquarters this year, overlooking the harbor on the ground floor of Dan B. Murphy’s Restaurant (109 S. Beach Blvd.) in Bay St. Louis. The event will take place on Saturday, July 20 (the event was rescheduled from the 13th because of weather).
Last year, the popular event to benefit CASA (a national program that recruits and manages court-appointed special advocates for abused and neglected children) was held on the harbor grounds near the piers.
Hancock CASA director, Cynthia Chauvin, says that the new location, right on Beach Boulevard is likely to engage more passersby and also help participants beat the mid-summer heat.
This Big Buzz
is sponsored by
“We’ve surpassed our goals in terms of sponsorships,” she said, “and the response on social media has been very enthused.”
The event coincides with Old Town’s popular Second Saturday Artwalk. Each July, the Artwalk is dubbed “Frida Fest” because it celebrates the birthday of iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Frida Fest draws hundreds of visitors from across the region.
“At Dan B.’s, we’ll be more visible to folks who’ve come for Frida Fest,” says Chauvin. “And we’ll get a cooler breeze.”
One doesn’t need to be a gambler to participate in the benefit, or even be present on the day of the event to win one of the three prizes.
- Friday, July 19, 5pm – 7pm, downstairs at Dan B’s and in Diamondhead at the Lazy Gator (3410 Yacht Club Circle).
Poker hand sales start at 10am the morning of July 20th at Dan B’s.
Hands must be purchased in person. If a purchaser can’t make the actual event, CASA tucks those hands into an envelope and the cards will be dealt at the culmination of the event.
Poker “hands” are actually event cards that have to be physically punched at four of the twelve participating locations. Players can use their preferred mode of transportation – boat, car, golf cart, or bicycle. Since several of the locations are within a block of each other in Old Town, walkers will have it easy as well.
“We listened to feedback from last year and reached out to more water stops this year,” said Chauvin. “The Lazy Gator in Diamondhead is one, and so is Hollywood Casino. The casino will have beer and water right at the dock, along with someone to punch your card.”
At the Bay St. Louis Harbor, players arriving by boat will have several more choices (see the full list of participating businesses below).
Professional dealers from area casinos have volunteered to deal each player five cards. For an extra $5 donation, players can purchase a sixth card before their hands are dealt.
The three people with the top hands when the cards have all been dealt win an impressive array of prizes. The top prize is a condo stay in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
People who aren’t actually playing will be welcome to support CASA by buying t-shirts and tickets for a 50-50 raffle. There’ll also be a live and silent auction. All day, a DJ at Dan B’s will be keeping the energy upbeat. To cap off the day, beginning at 6pm, “The All-Nighters” band performs.
Chauvin says the event’s focus is squarely on community and charity - not on consumption of adult beverages.
“The poker run is about spending time with friends and family and being out on the water for a great cause,” she said.
Big Buzz Business News
story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Main Street in Old Town has always been a focal point for locals and visitors to Bay St. Louis.
But now it’s “cooking with gas,” according to one resident. Since the first of the year, six new businesses have opened on the 100 block alone.
And on Second Street, which divides the first and second blocks of Main, four more shops have recently launched in historic Century Hall (112 S. Second Street).
This Big Buzz
is sponsored by
Field’s Steak and Oyster Bar
111 Main Street/A
Chef Field Nicaud heads up the new restaurant. He recently returned from New York after studying at the Institute of Culinary Education and gaining experience in two of Manhattan’s fine dining establishments.
Nicholas Carter, who has worked for the Nicauds for eight years as their “all around guy” and opening manager, says that the family of restauranteurs has always had its eyes on the Bay.
“It had to be the right space and the right time,” said Carter. When C&C’s Italian Bistro closed earlier this year, the Nicauds scooped up the location and began redecorating. Carter said that although it was a beautiful space before, the goal was to lighten and brighten the atmosphere.
One C&C’s fixture that stayed behind was the custom brick oven which now turns out flat breads and oysters.
Field’s is open Wednesday for dinner (6pm – 9m, bar opens at 3pm), Thursday through Saturday (11am – 9pm, Friday and Saturday ‘til 10pm) and Sunday, 11am – 2pm for brunch.
According to Carter the food is so special, “some people are coming here twice a day.”
“I might be biased,” he said with a smile, “but I feel guilty calling it just ‘food.’”
Marina Soap Company and
The Warehouse Event Venue
(111 Main Street, D)
A few doors down, Ocean Springs business Marina Cottage Soap Company, opened its Bay location in March. Owner Vanessa Mueller was met with a warm welcome and has since become a resident of Bay St. Louis.
Mueller carries natural skin care products, catering to those with sensitive skin. One best seller is her Gneau Gnaughtly Gnat natural insect repellent, voted as most effective by Outdoor Life in both 2014 and 2015.
In the back of her spacious storefront, she’s been working on “The Warehouse,” a new event space that is slated to open this summer. The venue will be able to host receptions, parties and weddings. Special events that are open to the public will be ticketed through online sales, with a limited number available.
“It’s basically a community driven space, 1700 square feet of fun,” Mueller says. “We want it to be different from other establishments on the street.”
“The city’s been fantastic to work with” during the build-out process and the entrepreneur says she loves living in the warm-hearted town.
“It’s nice to have people wave and greet me as ‘the Soap Lady,” as I walk down the street, she said. “Everybody’s looking out for everybody else. It’s why I wanted to move here.”
124 Main Street
Fashionista and owner Chelsea Cure’s new space may be small, but it’s packed with power.
“Our concept is to carry clothes that are trendy, but classic – pieces that become wardrobe staples,” said Cure. “I want designs to be current and fashion-forward, but still feel great and look good a year from now.”
The lines Sage carries also appeal to a wide range of customers. Their denim line, Liverpool, is especially hot, said Cure. One day recently she sold pairs of the pull-on pants to a 15-year-old and to a 70-year-old woman.
Accessories like Buddha Girl bangles are a big hit as well, since they’re wearable in the water and at the beach and the soft, flexible material doesn’t make noise when several are worn at once. Cure carries gift items like unique candles as well, with more on the way.
While many of her customers are locals, a good number are out of town visitors and boaters who have docked in the harbor.
“We had people in here last week from Australia,” said Cure, who grew up on the coast. “They love what Old Town has going on. And so do I.”
126 Main Street
Also opening doors this spring is Salty Soul, specializing in nautical themed clothing, décor and gifts – but with a masculine slant.
Owner Jane Alford’s first boutique, Bay-tique, has become an Old Town anchor over the past several years. Yet, she noticed men twiddling their thumbs while their wives were shopping and realized there was nothing in Old Town to interest them. The large space at 126 Main became available in April when fellow boutique owner Melissa Hamilton purchased her own building a few doors up. Alford jumped.
She’s had the idea for Salty Soul years before and went into the new business with plenty of experience and established relationships with quality vendors. Alford, who designs many of her own products, is also carrying yoga and sportwear.
Steel Magnolia Decorating and High Tide Builders, LLC
146 Main Street
Locals began celebrating when they saw construction work taking place at the historic Creole cottage at 146 Main Street. While major structural repairs had been undertaken after Hurricane Katrina, the building had been vacant for 14 years.
Last fall, real estate developer and Kiln resident Harry Fisher began plans to renovate the cottage as a duplex and build an addition. His first tenants are Jay and Elise Kobs, a contractor and interior design duo.
Jay Kobs hails from Hattiesburg and his wife grew up in Pittsburg. The couple moved to the Bay from Colorado to be closer to Jay’s father who recently turned 80.
The couple leased both sides of the duplex so Steel Magnolia Decorating and High Tide Builders, LLC are side by side. They plan to have a ribbon cutting in the near future.
When pressed for a date, Jay laughed. “She’s an interior designer,” he said. “Until it’s perfect, nobody’s coming in.”
Restored by Vicki and Doug Niolet and Ann Tidwell post-Katrina, the lower two levels have hosted arts, antiques and gift businesses since 2008. Yet, the building’s third floor remained uninhabitable for years until New Orleans developer/owner Jim McPhaille purchased the building and began work last year.
Artist Tami Curtis Guy first opened Tami Curtis Studio in the lower floors of Century Hall last year. Now the well-known Louisiana artist has expanded and added one of the new spaces upstairs as well, where she’ll be able to offer painting classes and group “paint parties.”
Transforming another one of the third floor spaces into a scene from a French living room is Holly McNaughton, owner of Holly House, which offers "imaginative home décor."
Century Hall manager, Susan Peterson, said in July, they’ll be joined on the third floor by Jane Evans Designs, an award-winning artist who works on canvas and in ceramics, focusing on religious and cultural iconography,” according to her website.
On the second floor, earlier this year the Century Hall gallery reorganized. Managed now by Susan Peterson, the sleek space features contemporary art by some of the region's top talent.
Across from the gallery, a new home design store has settled in, Sassy Bird Interiors. Holly Harrison, a residential interior designer for more than 30 years in Baton Rouge, teamed up with Shannon Stage, also originally from Baton Rouge.
Stage and her husband owned a house on Sycamore Street pre-Katrina and built back in 2013. Now she spends as much time in the Bay as she can and likes to call it “home.”
Stage’s experience ranges from 17 years as owner of a wholesale giftware business to being executive director of a green-building non-profit. Both Stage and Harrison have a special interest in “creating inspiring spaces that are healthy.”
The two carry artwork, lighting and lamps, pieces for home entertaining, home accessories and furniture. The mix is “lots of fun new things with antiques mixed in.”
“We both believe that spaces should be beautiful to look at, but also healthy places for families to be, “ Stage said. “That means we pay attention to everything from rugs to upholsteries to make sure they’ve been made using environmentally sound practices.”
For instance, the pair sought out washable cotton cocktail napkins that can be reused. Durability is important too, as they want the things they sell "to be treasured for a long time.”
As for the name? Stage says she’s been called “Sassy” for years and Holly’s been known as “Birdy,” so Sassy Bird Interiors was born.
- Story by Lisa Monti
As the Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor reached its fifth year of operation this month, local officials announced plans to add more slips to the popular harbor. Work is expected to get underway sometime this fall to add Pier 5 with 43 slips. Work is slated for completion six months later.
“Right now we are at capacity,” said harbormaster Chuck Fortin. “There’s nothing available for long-term lease, and the majority of boats we are turning away are 50-foot plus.”
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Fortin said the harbor has experienced growth in occupancy and fuel sales since it opened in June 2014. The popularity of the harbor among boaters has brought customers to downtown restaurants, shops and galleries and has spurred new business growth and expansions, city officials said in making the expansion announcement.
According to the city’s economic projections, the harbor generates approximately $30,000 per year in Mississippi sales tax and $9,000 annually in state fuel tax. In the last fiscal year, it also generated $314,000 in slip fees, $75,000 in utilities and $298,000 in fuel sales. Transient dock age and ice were another $5,000.
The addition of Pier 5 with 80 percent occupancy will generate an estimated annual revenue of $81,192 for the harbor and $5,683 in State sales tax revenue, according to a statement from the city.
The last major project was adding a wave screen to reduce the wave action inside the harbor.
Hancock County committed $1 million to build the new pier, which is expected to cost around $1.5 million. Tideland funds will make up the difference. In announcing the partnership with the city, Board of Supervisors President Blaine LaFontaine said, “The expansion of Bay St. Louis Harbor will continue to invest in our downtown and assets at a time where we are seeing unprecedented growth and tourism in Bay St. Louis.”
Fortin said the majority of slip holders are from out of state, with most of those from Louisiana. Others are from Texas, Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee. “It’s their getaway. It’s almost like a second home for a lot of folks. Some people get a cabin in the woods or a house on the beach, and some people get a boat.”
Boaters stay overnight or for three to four weeks. Many will boat over to a barrier island or to Biloxi casinos. Recently a few boaters left their Bay St. Louis slips and headed for visits to Florida and the Bahamas.
- story by Lisa Monti
Two Hancock County signing events will be held with the four women from Bay-Waveland.
The first will take place at the Women’s Leadership Roundtable on Tuesday, June 25, from 5pm – 7pm at the Waveland Ground Zero Museum, 335 Coleman Ave. in Waveland. Publisher Dorothy Wilson will be present, as well as the four local writers.
A second Hancock County Unboxed event will be held Thursday, June 27, at Brandi Stage Portraiture, 833B U.S. 90, Bay St Louis. There will be light refreshments, drinks and networking starting at 6pm, with the writers sharing more about their stories.
Twenty-five women share their inspirational stories about how they unpacked negativity and rejection and stopped being boxed in by the expectations of others.
The result is the Unboxed Book Project, an anthology that’s filled with lessons on how to move forward and upward in your life and career.
The project is led by Dorothy Wilson, publisher of Gulf Coast Woman magazine and an accomplished leader in marketing and strategic planning. She brought together 25 Coast women to share their stories of becoming “unboxed,” from circumstances and people who had kept them from achieving their best life.
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Publisher Dorothy Wilson says that although she believed the finished project would be inspirational, even she was surprised by the completed manuscript, once all the stories were assembled.
“I knew this had the potential to be powerful,” says Wilson. “I had no idea how powerful until I read the final version before it was sent to the printer. I was overwhelmed and so, so empowered and encouraged to see what these women had overcome. I thought I knew them all, yet discovered so much more about them.”
All four of the Hancock County writers say that the project helped them grow further by pushing them to record their pivotal life experiences.
“I had learned to soar early on. My mom that taught me I could do anything I set my mind to do. I believed her, even in the midst of trials and tribulations that are inevitable in life.”
Local real estate broker, Holly Lemoine-Raymond, also wrote about her mother’s encouragement. “She helped me find the courage to pursue my career in real estate, even though it seemed riskier to step out on my own," says Lemoine-Raymond. Her mother passed away in 2005.
"Owning your own company is something you have to grow into. Mom helped me understand that it is a process and that I’d learn along the way. She's no longer alive, but it seems that she still here encouraging me.”
Southgroup Insurance company owner, Angelyn Zeringue, says she found writing for the Unboxed book “very introspective and humbling.”
“It made me realize that all the bad times and good times define who you become,” she says. “For the project, we were invited to share an inspirational story from our lives.
"I am always inspired by learning how others overcame obstacles and accomplished great things."
Ellis Anderson, digital publisher of The Shoofly Magazine and French Quarter Journal, found the Unboxed assignment challenging, even for a professional writer and editor.
“To reveal how you overcame an obstacle, you have to relive it,” says Anderson. “That’s not always easy. But writing about an experience gives you a better understanding about yourself and a deeper appreciation for all the people who helped lift you up.
The first coast-wide book signing was held June 13 at 5:30pm at the White House Hotel in Biloxi. Several of the authors spoke, followed by a group book signing.
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson
Resumption of passenger rail service from New Orleans to Mobile received a major boost today when the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded $33 million to the Southern Rail Commission.
The money will go toward funding a $65.9 million railroad and infrastructure improvement project along the route needed to upgrade it for passenger trains.
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Southern Rail commissioner Knox Ross agrees.
“Restored passenger rail service will spark economic development along the coast,” said Ross in a telephone interview this afternoon. “The Mississippi coast towns are already set up for it. They have stations downtown, with vital and attractive downtown areas that have been the beneficiaries of substantial investments since Katrina.”
Knox said that presently while there is some limited public bus transportation on the coast, there is nothing that runs between all the coast cities or between the coast and New Orleans. This puts the coast at a distinct disadvantage, because in the field of economic development, “the ability to get around is becoming more important all the time.”
“If someone on the coast needs to go to the New Orleans, they have to get a ride or drive themselves,” Ross said. “People in the Mobile ship building business are renting vans to transport employees across the coast and the New Orleans.”
Ross also noted that the coast is missing out on an important tourism market.
“750,000 people from other countries around the world are visiting New Orleans each year,” he said. “Many would love to take a day trip out of the city and see more of this country, but they can’t get to the coast unless they rent a car.”
The Southern Rail Commission will help put together operating agreements with Amtrak and between Amtrak and CSX Railroad (which actually owns the tracks). Amtrak estimates the improvements will be completed within 24 months.
When it begins service, two passenger trains will run from New Orleans to Mobile each day – one in the morning and one in the evening. A morning and evening train will also run from Mobile to New Orleans daily.
“We’re grateful to Senator Wicker and his team – and all the other supporters who understand what a difference rail service will make,” Said Ross.
Colorful architectural replicas are at the heart of Jenise McCardell and Mark Currier’s business, one that's found a special place in the heart of Bay St. Louis.
- Story by Lisa Monti
It’s been 35 years since ceramic artist Jenise McCardell left New Orleans, moved to Bay St. Louis and opened her own working studio at 220 Main Street.
She and husband Mark Currier’s house is right behind the art deco building that also is home to Gallery 220, a popular artists co-op that has never stopped evolving since the couple opened it in the front part of their building.
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All of the pieces are sculpted from white clay, hand-painted, and fired in kilns right on the premises. Over the years, thousands of Clay Creations nostalgic pieces have been exchanged as gifts, stuffed into Christmas stockings, decorated gift packages and walls and otherwise made their way to the hands of many a grateful recipient.
Clay Creations and Gallery 220 are longtime favorites for everyone who visits Old Town’s shops and stores and both hold a special place in the open door tradition on the Second Saturday ArtWalk.
That’s because after Hurricane Katrina roared through in 2005, Jenise and Mark were the first business to revive the Second Saturday tradition just a few weeks after the storm. With all of the destruction and disruption caused by Katrina, residents saw the return of Second Saturday as a welcome relief from the chaos and a chance to reconnect with the community. The couple even turned the monthly Second Saturday into a weekly gathering at their studio for several months.
Not surprisingly, in 35 productive and successful years, Clay Creations and its owners have been featured in news stories, on television and even in a mini-documentary about Bay St. Louis. Click here to see it on Youtube!
Jenise said that after 35 years, she’s seeing a new generation of customers collecting their own memories from among Clay Creations’ colorful inventory. “They’ll say, ‘My mom collected these,’ so they want to have their own memories for their children.”
Since the storm, the Old Town business district has been steadily revitalized, Jenise said, and there is more traffic in the area, which is good news for the city. “It’s so exciting to see all this vibrancy happen,” she said. “Everybody got on board and did it together.”
Jenise said Clay Creations is “going forward” in the future. “It’s been a really great ride, and we have enjoyed it. It’s our passion.”
Talk of the Town - June 2019
A restored PT boat made by Higgins Industries in New Orleans will give history buffs a rare chance to go aboard one of the craft credited with winning World War II.
- Story by Lisa Monti
PT-305, the National World War II Museum’s fully restored Higgins patrol-torpedo boat, will be open for tours June 22-23 in the Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor. This will be a rare chance to step aboard a piece of World War II history on the Bay waterfront.
Among those who will be on hand will be Bay St. Louis resident Skip Higgins, grandson of Andrew Higgins, the larger-than-life boatbuilder whose New Orleans shipyard produced thousands of PT boats and landing craft. The boats were deployed all over the globe during the war, and most notably for the Normandy invasion on D-Day.
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Skip Higgins notes that when President Eisenhower met his biographer, the late historian Stephen Ambrose, his grandfather’s name came up. “Eisenhower told Ambrose, ‘I see you’re from New Orleans. Did you know Andrew Higgins? He’s the man who won the war for us.”
Ambrose, who lived in Bay St. Louis for several years, later co-founded the sprawling World War II Museum in New Orleans, which recently opened a permanent exhibit called “Bayou to Battlefield: Higgins Industries during World War II” that highlights the company’s history and accomplishments. It includes videos, artifacts, text panels and oral histories featuring former Higgins Industries employees.
Skip’s father, Roland, was one of four Higgins sons who worked in Higgins Industries under his grandfather’s leadership. Skip was just nine when Andrew Higgins died but he has a slight memory of his worldly grandparents entertaining guests from all over the world. Their friends included Argentina’s president Juan Peron and his wife Eva.
Andrew Higgins was one of the first equal opportunity employers in the South, according to his grandson. “If someone could do the job well, it didn’t matter if that person was a woman or a person of color or disabled,” said Skip. “They were hired and paid the same as every other worker.”
The shipyard also offered a nursery and a school for those who needed child care, along with maternity leave, unheard of at the time. At the peak of Higgins Industry’s production, nearly 30,000 people were employed, “around the clock.”
Skip said the PT boat coming to Bay St. Louis, USS Sudden Jerk, saw combat and was fully restored by hundreds of volunteers who devoted thousands of hours working on it at the World War II Museum. They searched worldwide to find original parts for the restored craft.
World War II PT Boat Tour
Bay St. Louis Municipal Harbor
June 22 and June 23
Tickets available on site.
Admission: $12 Adults ($10 for military and kids age 8 to 17)
Must be 8 years of age
Not ADA accessible
Phone: 504-528-1944 Ext. 402 or email
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