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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