An entrepreneurial banker-turned-caterer adds a new eatery to the burgeoning 200 block of Main Street.
- by Lisa Monti
Michele chose the name for her new venture because the dragonfly symbolizes change and transformation. “I planned to retire after 25 years managing banks and become a motivational speaker,” she said, laughing.
As she hit the 20-year mark in banking, she found her way into the hospitality industry, which she always had in interest in, hosting large events and political parties. A year and a half after leaving the banking industry, she bought Smokin’ Jo’s barbecue at Buoy’s on Beach Boulevard and then branched out to operating a food truck and a catering business. As a caterer she prepared everything from charcuterie boards to special occasion dinners and brunch boards and holiday hams and turkey with all the sides.
Michele, a Louisiana native, is not a newcomer to the Bay. She had been coming here since she was a teenager and regularly visited as an adult before moving here permanently.
“This is my home,” she said, and it’s the place she chose to go into the restaurant business and to open her new business. She plans to continue catering events for up to 100 people after Dragonfly opens. “I can’t get away from catering. People call me all the time. That makes me happy.”
When Dragonfly does open in the multipurpose building on Main Street, lunch will be served from 11am to 2:30pm daily except Sunday and Monday. The brief menu will lean toward Mediterranean flavors in healthy, freshly made bowls with tuna and salmon, acai bowls topped with fresh fruit, salads, hummus and other healthy choices including some for kids.
“The front two rooms will have tables with seating for 16 and we will eventually have seating outside,” Michele said.
After lunch service, customers can come in for grab-and-go items from coolers. The Dragonfly also will be part sundry, offering local and regional products such as Honestly Beef and Indianola Pecan House products plus imported olives, meats and cheeses.
For visitors at the harbor or staying in vacation rentals nearby, Dragonfly will also stock a few toiletry items. There will also be a room dedicated to items for beachgoers, such as hats and a few clothing items made in Monroe, La., by Honey Hole, new to the local market.
Eventually, Michele said, she plans to add a small selection of beer and liquor.
At night, the Dragonfly will be available for rent to small groups of 20 or so guests for showers, birthday parties and paint parties. It’s all part of Michele’s vision to add options to visitors and residents. “I’m trying to bring something new and unique,” she said.
Michele’s sister, Sharon Miller, a home interior designer, helped to create the Dragonfly’s look by decorating the walls and arranging the displays inside.
After her successful restaurant and catering career, Michele said, “I’m so excited about this adventure and offering these new options. I’m excited about the food, the grab-and-go and the gifts. The vision is there. It’s good to go.”
Dragonfly will be open Tuesday through Saturday and open on Sunday for special events.
211 Main St.
Bay St. Louis
10am - 5pm
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