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FEBRUARY 2021 • FREE MAYOR Q&A 21 VALENTINE’S DAY 54 MARDI GRAS IN BR 61 225BATONROUGE .COM

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WITH NEW TRAILS AND A BIKESHARE EXPANSION ON THE HORIZON, LOCAL INTEREST IN BIKING IS EXPLODING

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8 Great Restaurants. 1 Great Offer. Dine-in. Take-out. Save over 40%. See Page 68. 1/15/21 2:41 PM


• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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Todd Howell MD, Brittany Lipoma MPAS, PA-C, & Crystal Fontenot ANP-BC

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LAFAYETTE 5000 Ambassador Caffery Building 1, Suite 101 | (337) 484-1234

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CELEBRATE the History

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To g e t h e r w e h a v e the energy to move Baton Rouge forward

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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ai160998014947_MGR_225Ad_Feb2021_print01_amf.pdf

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The King of B urgers

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UPFRONT //

Wheels up AT LEAST ONE good thing has come out of the pandemic: It got us all outside more. When the weather is nice, you’ll see scores of bikers pedaling the paths along the Mississippi River levee downtown, the LSU and City Park lakes, and around Southern University. And no, your eyes haven’t been mistaken: There really have been significantly more cyclists outside than ever before. It’s evident in stats from the Gotcha bikeshare program, which saw ridership double in 2020. By the end of last year, Gotcha was attracting an average of 1,500 new users per month. It’s also been evident at local bicycle shops. At the height of the pandemic, businesses like Capital City Cyclery were up to 1,000 bikes on backorder per location, with some taking a year to arrive. I saw this firsthand—we actually had a flat tire on one of our bikes, and I wanted to drop it off there. However, they couldn’t take me for BY JULIO MELARA four weeks! As demand has increased, there’s also been more places to ride. Several new bike pathways either opened or expanded in 2020, including the newest phase of the Downtown Greenway, lanes associated with the Government Street road diet, and an extension of the Mississippi River Levee Bike Path. There’s more in the works for 2021, from Ward Creek Greenway additions for the planned 10-mile Health Loop and the new CMAQ Trail that will connect downtown to BREC’s Scotlandville Parkway at Monte Sano Avenue. Perhaps the biggest development, though, happened when the Metro Council passed the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan last June. The comprehensive plan urges the city to create more than 100 miles of safe on-road bike paths and 250 miles of off-road trails. These events all come during a global health crisis and economic Issue Date: January 2021 Ad2 proof #2 recession, when the city needs access • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. safe24transportation options more • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are receivedto within hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production than ever. fees.

Baton Rouge is evolving to meet those needs, and we’re excited about the progress being made in our city. We explore it all in this month’s cover story. And while it’s not the first time 225 has written about Baton Rouge’s long and challenging path toward becoming a “biking city,” the past year has offered more reasons for optimism than any other time in recent history. Turn to page 30 for a look at the status of bicycling in Baton Rouge—and for tips on how you can safely get out on the road.

A new term Leading a city through a pandemic is something very few past and future mayors have or will ever face. It wasn’t a task that Mayor Sharon Weston Broome could have imagined when she was first sworn into office back in 2017. But it’s an experience she will now bring to her second mayoral term after being reelected this past December. The mayor says she understands the big problems confronting our city and is ready for the challenge ahead. In a new interview, we ask Broome how she plans to approach Baton Rouge’s biggest issues going forward, from rising crime to pandemic recovery. She shares what’s next for her administration, including plans for ongoing infrastructure projects through MOVEBR and new initiatives like the Safe, Hopeful and Healthy program and the ConnectBlue Baton Rouge camera-share program aimed at combating crime. Turn to page 21 for the full story.

Celebrating in times of the coronavirus In last month’s issue of 225, we explored how Mardi Gras 2021 plans had been largely canceled or modified. Now, we’re looking at the impacts those cancellations are having on local krewes and businesses. What does it mean for shops like Parties Start Here, which make much of their annual revenue selling throws and decor for parade season? How

are bakeries’ king cake sales being impacted? Meanwhile, groups like the Baton Rouge BeignYAYS dance troupe and the Florida Street Blowhards jazz band are looking for ways to bring positive energy through socially distant performances. Turn to page 59 to read more.

Celebrating restaurants We all cherish our local restaurants and the good experiences and food they serve. We also appreciate the many jobs they provide our economy— and we know it has been tough for them since 2020. We encourage you to support our local industry, and you can find stories on many restaurants to check out in the pages of 225 every month. This month, we came up with a new idea for 225BestEats.com to benefit your pocketbook and support eight partner restaurants. It’s called “225 Restaurant Celebration!” Eight great restaurants will share one great offer: For only $22.50 (Get it? 2-2-5), you’ll get a $40 voucher to use for dine-in or take-out. Eat well, and save over 40%. You can go online this month and buy one voucher or buy them all. You’ll be able to use them through March. 225 Restaurant Celebration starts Feb. 1. Just go to 225BestEats.com to see details on each offer and get yours. Our eight partnering restaurants are shown on page 68 of this issue and include Elsie’s Plate & Pie, Rouj Creole, City Pork Brasserie & Bar, Eliza, Mike Anderson’s Seafood (Baton Rouge), Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine, Monjunis and Bistro Byronz (Willow Grove). Enjoy the 225 Restaurant Celebration, and support all of our local restaurants. Bon appetit! FE

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Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

THINKING OF BUYING OR SELLING? NOBODY DOES IT BETTER

225.218.0888 delriorealestatebr.com

WE LIVE HERE. WE GIVE HERE. WE LOVE IT HERE. 6 

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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Celebrating Black History Month Peace

Prosperity

Progress

“Black History Month again provides us an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the strong threads of African American contributions that make up the rich fabric of American history. �

Happy Black History Month!

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome

 @mayorbroome

MayorPresidentSharonWestonBroome 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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CONTENTS //

Features 16 How to get your king cake fix now or any time of year 28 What it was like to administer the first vaccines in BR 44 How a local mom finds inspiration for her trendy T-shirt designs 52 Who is taking the lead at the Red Stick Farmers Market And much more …

Departments 12 What’s Up 21 Our City 28 I am 225 30 Cover story 41 Style 47 Taste 59 Culture 66 Calendar

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Biking in BR At long last, Baton Rouge seems to have the ingredients it needs to move toward becoming a biking city. The pandemic has helped generate new interest in cycling, with local bike shops seeing demand skyrocket. Meanwhile, more locals are using the Gotcha bikeshare program introduced in 2019. Bike paths are being added or expanding across the city. And the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan calls for even more development, recommending the city ultimately create more than 350 total miles of on-road and off-road paths. For our cover, photographer Collin Richie headed to a Gotcha bikeshare station along the LSU and City Park lakes to capture some riders in action. And in our cover story, writer Maggie Heyn Richardson explores what’s next for local cyclists. Turn to page 30 for more.

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AMY SHUTT

ON THE COVER

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: January 2021 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

A S K T H E S TA FF

The best king cake flavor is ... Publisher: Julio Melara

EDITORIAL

“Everyone always wants one with fancy fillings—Bavarian cream, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, lemon curd, peanut butter and bananas, fig, whatever … Just give me plain old cinnamon!” —Penny Font

Editorial director: Penny Font Editor: Jennifer Tormo Managing editor: Benjamin Leger Staff writer: Cynthea Corfah Digital content editor: Mark Clements Staff photographer: Collin Richie Contributing writers: Julia-Claire Evans, Caroline Hebert, Tracey Koch, Maggie Heyn Richardson, Stephanie Riegel Contributing photographers: Ariana Allison, Sean Gasser, Amy Shutt, Haskell Whittington

ADVERTISING

Sales director: Erin Palmintier-Pou Account executives: Manny Fajardo, André Hellickson Savoie, Jamie Hernandez, Kaitlyn Maranto, Brooke Motto Advertising coordinator: Devyn MacDonald

CORPOR ATE MEDIA

Editor: Lisa Tramontana Content strategist: Allyson Guay Multimedia Strategy Manager: Tim Coles Client Experience Coordinator, Studio E: Nicole Prunty

“I’m a big sucker for the ‘doughnut’ king cakes, and also the ones filled with either chocolate or Bavarian cream. Mouth is watering just thinking about it.” —Mark Clements

MARKETING

“Ambrosia Bakery’s pecan praline flavor. It’s just so darn good!” —Ariana Allison

Chief marketing officer: Elizabeth McCollister Hebert Marketing & events assistant: Taylor Floyd Events: Abby Hamilton Community liaison: Jeanne McCollister McNeil

ADMINISTR ATION

Assistant business manager: Tiffany Durocher Business associate: Kirsten Milano Office coordinator: Tara Lane Receptionist: Cathy Brown

PRODUCTION/DESIGN

Production director: Melanie Samaha Art director: Hoa Vu Graphic designers: Melinda Gonzalez, Emily Witt

Rachel Eggie Gibbs, Salon Owner

“Bavarian cream.” —Cathy Brown

AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

TAKE YOUR CONFIDENCE TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL CALL US TO SCHEDULE YOUR CONSULTATION TODAY! 8221 GOODWOOD BLVD., STE. D | 225.328.4998 EGGIESALONSTUDIO.COM

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“PLAIN. I’m a fan of the original, old school cinnamon.” —Melanie Samaha

Audience development director and digital manager: James Hume Audience development coordinator: Ivana Oubre Audience development associate: Jordan Kozar A publication of Louisiana Business Inc. Chairman: Rolfe H. McCollister Jr. President and CEO: Julio Melara Executive assistant: Kathleen Wray 9029 Jefferson Highway, Suite 300 Baton Rouge, LA 70809 225-214-5225  •  FAX 225-926-1329 225batonrouge.com 

©Copyright 2021 by Louisiana Business Incorporated. All rights reserved by LBI. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Business address: 9029 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Telephone (225) 214-5225. 225 Magazine cannot be responsible for the return of unsolicited material—manuscripts or photographs—with or without the inclusion of a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Information in this publication is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information cannot be guaranteed.

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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F E E D B AC K / / W H AT ’ S O N L I N E / /

Going through changes

Last chance!

THE WINTER OF 2020-2021 saw plenty of changes to the local food scene in Baton Rouge, from the unfortunate closure of some favorite restaurants to the celebrated return of others and the welcomed sight of new restaurants—all despite the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what some of our readers had to say about it all:

THE 2021 BEST OF 225 AWARDS nominations are still open until Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m. Head to 225batonrouge.com/ bestof225 now to submit your write-in nominations for your favorite local restaurants, shops, personalities and more. We’ll be releasing the official final ballot in March! For the latest, subscribe to 225 Daily at 225batonrouge.com/225daily.

—Deborah Todd

IA NA

ALL

ISON

About the revamped Beausoleil:

“Hands down the best new restaurant in Baton Rouge.”

AR

225 Restaurant Celebration PH OT

FI LE

—Kelly Bridges

O

“I miss The Dish at White Star Market (both of them) every day.”

About the opening of Finbomb Sushi:

“I love to see BR growing like this! ” —@go.woody

Throughout February, join 225 Best Eats for the first-ever 225 Restaurant Celebration. Spend $22.50 to get a $40 voucher for dining in or take-out at eight local restaurants. Participants include Elsie’s Plate & Pie, Rouj Creole, City Pork Brasserie & Bar, Eliza, Mike Anderson’s Seafood (Baton Rouge) Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine, Monjunis and Bistro Byronz (Willow Grove). Vouchers will be valid through March. You can visit 225besteats.com, and buy one or buy them all. Turn to page 68 for more on this special promotion.

N

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Number of likes for this photo we posted on Instagram of District Donuts’ king cake doughnuts. We were highlighting how so many Baton Rouge bakeries are still working to fulfill king cake orders despite the cancellation of many local Mardi Gras celebrations. Read about one local bakery’s approach on page 16, and find out more about alternative Carnival festivities around Baton Rouge on page 59.

About the restaurants we lost in 2020:

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CAMILLE DELAUNE

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CONNECT WITH US facebook.com/225magazine

twitter.com/225batonrouge

instagram.com/225batonrouge

pinterest.com/225batonrouge

youtube.com/225magazine

WE CARRY EACH OTHER It’s how we do things in Louisiana during times of challenge. We’re stronger together and we know our strength lies in the helping hands of our neighbors. So let’s wear a mask and protect one another. And protect the life we love. 01MK7496 12/20

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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February

Home is where the heart is Mia Estolano-Levert, a Prairieville home cook and blogger, shares online recipes from her homeland

Mia Estolano-Levert started food blogging in 2018 and launched her website in 2020.

FOOD HAS BEEN an important part of Mia Estolano-Levert’s life for as long as she can remember. As a toddler, she would help her grandma make meals from scratch in their home kitchen. When she was old enough to cross the street, her mother sent her to the market to pick up fresh fish. She has vivid childhood memories of watching her grandmother peeling handfuls of garlic while smoking a cigarette. It’s no wonder why the vivacious Prairieville home cook began sharing cooking tips and recipes on social media in 2018. After moving from the Philippines to Louisiana in 2017, she missed the cuisine from her homeland. She began making Filipino dishes and sharing images on Facebook. As her online following grew, she started posting recipes on Instagram and launched her blog in July 2020. “I hate to call them followers, because they’re my friends,” Estolano-Levert says about her social media audience, clutching her hands to her heart. The 42-year-old is just as engaging online as she is in person. Her big personality translates through The Prairieville home cook pays her energetic videos and homage to her homeland by exploring thoughtful responses to traditional Filipino dishes. her followers. She shares recipes, food tips and kitchen hacks on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and her website. Her posts include everything from how to make fragrant rice to the anatomy of a charcuterie board. It’s not all Filipino dishes on EstolanoLevert’s blog, though. She enjoys exploring foods from other regions. Recipes on her blog include tres leches ube champorado (rice porridge) with crispy dried squid; ramen eggs; balsamic chicken and pork adobo; turmeric rice; and Ligurian focaccia. She enjoys learning about the history of dishes, making them as true to their origins as possible and sharing the results with her friends, husband and neighbors. “I really want Filipino cuisine to have a bigger space in the global food scene,” Estolano-Levert says. “There’s Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Chinese, but you don’t often see traditional Filipino dishes. We are more than our street food.” bewithmia.com

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COLLIN RICHIE

B Y CYN TH EA CO R FA H / / PHOTOS B Y COLLIN R IC H IE

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

DIGITS

2 3 4

Make a holiday-inspired cocktail: It’s time to be your own mixologist. Browse “Valentine’s Day cocktails” on Pinterest, and pick a festive one to make yourself. Take photobooth-style snaps: Ready, set, pose. Set up a backdrop on a blank wall, pull out some props and take silly photos with your partner or roommate. Watch a romantic comedy on a projector: Who needs a movie theater when you have a projector? Pop some popcorn, grab your blanket and watch your favorite romantic comedy projected onto your wall or a backdrop outdoors.

take-out: Whether it’s Italian or Mexican, 8 Order keep it casual and order dinner to-go from a local restaurant. Set up a picnic at a park or eat on the couch watching Netflix.

your loved ones Valentine’s Day cards: Bring 9 Mail back the art of receiving love letters in the mail.

Handwrite a letter or mail a handmade card to your loved ones to show them you care.

chocolate-covered strawberries: Strawberries 10 Make should start arriving at the Red Stick Farmers Market

this month. Snag a few so you can finish the evening with this go-to Valentine’s Day treat. They are sweet, easy to make and affordable.

Make a scrapbook: Hold on to your favorite memories with a scrapbook. Make a creative book of letters, stickers and pages featuring photos of yourself, your partner or best friend.

5

a picture of your Valentine: Want a 11 Paint personalized and thoughtful present? Get artsy and

Bake heart-shaped treats: What’s Valentine’s Day without sweets? Bake heart-shaped cookies, a cake, rice crispy treats or cupcakes, and top them with red, pink and white decorations.

6

to a Valentine’s Day playlist: Get grooving and 12 Dance dance to a romantic or heartfelt playlist on Spotify or

Plan a romantic dinner: Candles? Check. Tablecloth? Check. Fresh flowers? Check. Wine? Check. You don’t have to go out to get fancy. Turn your dining room table into a restaurant-quality fine dining experience.

your heart out during karaoke: Valentine’s Day 13 Sing can be bittersweet. Whether you’re happy or sad,

Have an at-home spa day: Show yourself some selflove. Do a facial, paint your nails, deep condition your hair, massage your feet and relax.

couples yoga: Get in zen mode with your partner. 14 Do Do your own freestyle yoga flow or watch a free

Apple Music.

sing your heart out to classic love songs with the lyrics on your phone or a karaoke machine.

couple’s yoga class on YouTube.

ISTOCK

7

break out the paint brushes. Paint a portrait of your loved one, and wrap it with a bow.

Josh Simmons

Black is beautiful 10 songs by local Black artists to listen to in celebration of Black History Month

RAEGAN LABAT

BATON ROUGE IS bursting at the seams with local talent. From R&B to folk music, Black musicians are taking the local industry by storm. Here are 10 upbeat, head-bobbing, foot-tapping songs to listen to by local Black music artists. Some songs contain explicit language. 1. “Monteagain” by _thesmoothcat and Wakai 2. “Somebody Smile” by Alabaster Stag 3. “Swag x 2” by Crazy Swag 4. “Cortana Mall” by Michael Armstead ONLINE Listen to all of these songs 5. “Just Bizz” By Dave $tokes on Apple Music, Sound6. “No Cap” By Josh Simmons cloud, Spotify or YouTube. 7. “Weekend” by Ronday 8. “The Prefix” by Adam Dollar$ 9. “Breathe” by Cypress Whyman 10. “James Bond” by Matt Good and Nanoesca

“If we get serious in the South about building Black and marginalized voting power, we can flip the South. Pay attention: Stacey Abrams has had us all in class.”

HIE

1

RIC

lockdown

The number of charcuterie boards Bites & Boards sold in February 2020 during Valentine’s Day season. During the pandemic, sales for the snack board business increased dramatically, Bites & Boards’ Robyn Parker says. Locals wanted contactless ways to send treats to their loved ones’ homes, show health care workers they are appreciated and gift edible presents. Find Bites & Boards on Instagram

VALENTINE’S DAY MAY look a lot different this year. Instead of packing movie theaters, restaurants, bars and cooking classes, locals will have to explore other ways to celebrate the holiday due to the pandemic. That doesn’t mean your day of love has to be boring. Here are some fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home.

IN

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14 creative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home

KRISTIN SELLE

LL CO

—Baton Rouge social justice activist Gary Chambers tweeted in January 2021, after he announced he was running for congress in Louisiana’s second congressional district. 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

W H AT ’ S N E W

Buzz feed

By Julia-Claire Evans

Sunday funday A new cafe opened last month at Mid City’s Circa 1857 complex: Leola’s Cafe and Coffee House took over the former Yvette Marie’s Cafe space. It serves brunch and lunch items, from a mimosa flight with four seasonal flavors to the “bro-ritto,” a brunch burrito with brisket, eggs, hash browns and cheese. Beginning Feb. 3, the restaurant will be open Wednesday through Sunday, and you can stop by for live music on its outdoor patio on Sundays. leolascafeand coffeehouse.com

Ice cold

Andy’s Frozen Custard, a Southern frozen treats chain, opened its first Baton Rouge location in January on Lee Drive across from Arlington Marketplace. The shop features just about every kind of treat your sweet tooth could desire, from frozen custard concretes to banana splits to milkshakes. eatandys.com

140,000

JOBS LOST NATIONWIDE in December 2020, according to data reported by CNN Business. Women accounted for 156,000 positions lost that month, while men accounted for a gain of 16,000. Inc.com also reported on the results of a Facebook survey showing that women-owned businesses had been hurt by the pandemic and lockdown orders more than others.

—Rouses co-owner Donald Rouse Sr. The Louisiana-born grocery store chain came under fire on social media after photos circulated on Facebook of Rouse at the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., prior to the mob that overpowered police and stormed the U.S. Capitol.

14 

IN THE WORKS

Developments coming soon to Baton Rouge:

Cofé Concepts North Baton Rouge coffee shop Southern Cofé is opening a new location downtown. The brand’s second shop is slated to open inside Main Street Market this month in the space formerly occupied by Go Ya Ya’s. “For us, it’s an opportunity to get in a space with a strong history in the community,” says Cofé owner Horatio Isadore. Find it on Facebook

Amazon distribution center Talks of a possible Amazon distribution center at the former Cortana Mall space have been revived. A developer connected to the expansive retail company has filed paperwork to use the shuttered mall site as a nearly 2.9 million-squarefoot regional distribution center. The mall’s last remaining store, the Dillard’s Clearance Center, will close in April.

SoLou The former Rum House space on Perkins Rowe has been empty since the restaurant closed in May, but not for much longer. SoLou will open there in early spring. The concept will serve south Louisiana cuisine and be operated by restaurateurs and business partners Peter Sclafani, Kiva Guidroz and Michael Boudreaux.

PHOTOS BY ARIANA ALLISON AND JORDAN HEFLER

“I attended the rally yesterday as a supporter of the president and to be in our nation’s capital at the close of his presidency. I left before the violence began and was shocked and saddened to see it unfold on TV.”

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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Your Doctor. Your Health.

Anywhere.

Video visits with extended hours until midnight 7 days a week.

In need of a doctor? Concerned about getting out during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak? We’ve got you covered. Our doctors stand ready to virtually visit with patients and help you navigate your health during these challenging times.

Visit ololrmc.com/videovisits to schedule, or call us at (888) 765-7428. Already a patient of one of our doctors and have an active MyChart account? Simply login to your account to schedule!

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

K

COLLIN RICHIE

Thee Heavenly Donut sells king cakes themed for St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and beyond.

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[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #1 W H AT ’ S U P / /

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

ORDER THIS

King cakes every day

By Julia-Claire Evans

How Thee Heavenly Donut keeps the king cakes going long after Mardi Gras season ends DURING CARNIVAL SEASON, it feels like we can’t go a single day without spying a gooey, sprinklecovered king cake in the aisles of the grocery stores or on the desk of a coworker. By Ash Wednesday, though, the frenzied production of king cakes mostly halts until the next year. But have you ever craved one in late April? How about around Halloween? I mean, who hasn’t? Local bakery Thee Heavenly Donut has become known for satisfying those cravings year-round. It sells St. Patrick’s Day- and Easter basketthemed king cakes in the spring, “spooky” Halloween king cakes in the fall, and white chocolate peppermint king cakes in the winter. Co-owner Kara Castille opened the bakery, which now has two locations in Baton Rouge, on Sherwood Forest Boulevard in 2000. She began making the year-round cakes, she says, because of the demand for birthday and wedding king cakes. “A lot of brides and grooms come and want a tiered king cake for their cakes,” Castille says. Some Louisianans, she says, just prefer it to regular cake. In fact, the bakery’s busiest holiday besides Mardi Gras is Christmas. During Carnival season, Thee Heavenly Donut's king cakes are made fresh every morning by

Castille’s husband, Shane Castille. He sometimes starts baking as early as 10 p.m. the night before. The cakes are deep-fried to maintain a nice, thick texture. Instead of normal sanded sugar, Thee Heavenly Donut uses its own sprinkle mixture. The bakery serves up a variety of king cake flavors, from sweet to savory. Its most popular sweet flavor is the bananas foster rum flavor from its gourmet line, while its most popular savory flavor is the baked boudin king cake. With orders down earlier this winter due to COVID-19, Castille and her team tried to keep their offerings creative. They started selling makeyour-own king cake kits. Customers can buy a king cake, along with the decorating materials, and decorate their own cakes at home. “Parents can buy a king cake,” Castille says, “and families can talk about the tradition and story of the king cake and decorate it.” Even though parades and other festivities are canceled this year, Castille and her team are hopeful the Mardi Gras season will help them bounce back. “We actually anticipate having more sales, since people are stuck in their homes,” Castille says. “The king cake is a way to celebrate traditions we’ve had since we were born.” theeheavenlydonut.com

“We actually anticipate having more sales [this season], since people are stuck in their homes. The king cake is a way to celebrate traditions we’ve had since we were born.” —Thee Heavenly Donut co-owner Kara Castille

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Corporate Blvd at Jefferson • 225.925.2344 townecenteratcedarlodge.com • HEALTH • BEAUTY • DESIGNER SHOPPING HOME DECOR • GOURMET DINING • AND MORE 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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W H AT ’ S U P / /

YOUR FLAVOR

First thing you do every morning

William Johnson Sales rep, Pepsi 38

Shelli Brown Tomplay Artist and singer 36

Sit still in bed for a moment

Take my sleep mask off. I can’t sleep if I can see light.

Larry Bullins Owner, Kingdom Investments Group 25

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Do you decorate for Mardi Gras?

I would not.

No

Worst road for Baton Rouge traffic

Current hobby

Biggest pet peeve

Airline Highway

Clothes shopping

People wearing boots in the summer

Perkins Road or anything by LSU

I’m pregnant, and I love listening to my baby’s heartbeat.

I don’t have any pet peeves—I guess I’m not really a peeve-y person!

Yes, once it’s been out for a while.

Liars

Probably yes, but still undecided.

Uncleanliness

Yes

Mallory David

Owner, Quinn Alexandra Photography 35

Would you get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available to you?

Have coffee

Perkins Road

Check my phone and 5-min meditation

Siegen Lane

Running with my dog and reading biographies

Launching my real estate consulting business

Our jobs keep us too busy to decorate for any holidays.

Yes. I love decorating with wreaths, mantle pieces and fun accessories.

Yes. Now that I own a home, I’m going to start decorating.

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: February 2021 Ad1 proof #6

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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Associated Grocers proudly supports inclusivity and diversity.

#WeGotYou A variety of career options are available throughout Associated Grocers.

JOIN OUR TEAM! For employment opportunities, visit AGBR.com

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I N S I D E : The latest news around Baton Rouge

Take

TWO

Mayor Sharon Weston Broome was reelected for a second term. Here’s what she has to say about the past, present and future of her time in office

BY CYNTH E A CO R FA H // P H OTOS B Y CO L L I N R I C HI E

Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, seen outside City Hall downtown, was sworn in for her second term in January.

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OUR CITY //

“I learned that you can see the true character of a leader during a time of crisis.” —Mayor Sharon Weston Broome on what she’s learned about herself during the pandemic

AFTER LEADING THE Baton Rouge community through a pandemic, multiple storms and a statewide shutdown, Sharon Weston Broome was reelected for her second mayoral term in the December runoff. Some of Broome’s biggest first-term achievements include receiving a $5 million grant with Build Baton Rouge to help fund the Plank Road master plan, signing multiple local tax executive orders to protect small businesses during the pandemic and installing traffic signal synchronization throughout the city with the MOVEBR transportation and infrastructure project. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the mayor, though. She’s been involved in an ongoing lawsuit against the St. George incorporation. She also faced criticism during the election about how she’s dealt with rising crime in the parish. Now that she’s beginning a new chapter of her time in office, spoke with Broome about her record thus far and what she’s looking forward to in the future.

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What’s the one accomplishment from your first term you are most proud of? Passing the largest infrastructure project in the history of Baton Rouge with MOVEBR. I think it is an example of what happens when people—Republicans, Democrats, young, old, everybody— coalesce around a shared goal and vision. You are able to get things done. What’s something in your first term you wish you had done better? I would like to see stronger results in terms of our efforts to address litter and blight. We did not ignore litter and blight. We addressed it and we do have processes in place, but I would have liked to see stronger results surrounding those issues. With such a large pool of candidates competing for mayor, you had to face

public evaluations during debates and in the media. How did you handle the criticism? What critique stuck out to you as something you want to improve on? I have been a public servant as a leader in this community for decades. One of the things I first learned when I started came from a very wise woman: my mother. She said to me, if you’re going to do this, you’re going to have to develop some tough skin. Part of being a leader is being able to endure criticism that is not always merited, and keep it moving and continue to lead. The concerns not only of the candidates, but mostly of the constituents, certainly always resonate with me. I am not in denial about any of the challenges we face—I know firsthand, probably more than anybody else does. So it’s my mission to tackle and remove the challenges and turn them into triumph.

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #3

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

FREE ONE BOOK ONE COMMUNITY AUTHOR EVENT WITH SARAH M. BROOM & MARGARET WILKERSON SEXTON

Celebrate the One Book One Community selection by The Yello w House Sarah M. Broom

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225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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OUR CITY //

BEYOND POLITICS What’s been a book, TV show, album, podcast or other item that helped get you through 2020? My Bible has helped me get through this. I have some books that I read every morning while I’m sitting at my kitchen table. Some include: Jesus Calling; Trusting in God: 366 Devotions; and Relational Intelligence by Dharius Daniels. Most recently, my husband and I watched Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Queen’s Gambit and The Undoing. On your social media posts from home, you’re often holding different mugs. What’s your favorite mug from your collection? I love mugs with messages and statements. I have a plethora of statement cups at the office, too. I usually pick the one that I feel best expresses my day or mood. My favorite is one I designed myself. It says, “Don’t worry about anything. Pray about everything.” My favorite one at the office says, “Work hard. Stay humble.” What’s been a local restaurant you’ve loved to support during the pandemic? Cafe Jean Pierre makes the best omelettes in the world. I would also say BLDG 5. I get myself in a little trouble because I try to patronize a bunch of restaurants in Baton Rouge. So, shout out to all the great restaurants that we’ve had the ability to visit through this time.

Art unWINEd

Leading the city-parish through a pandemic is something very few past and future mayors have or will ever experience. What do you see as the biggest obstacle now facing us as we recover from the pandemic? I believe maintaining hope in the midst of a crisis has to be fundamental and foundational. We’ve been dealing with this pandemic for almost a year, and we’re still not out of it. But better days are ahead. Working with our health care and business partners to protect our economy and our health, in the midst of this pandemic, will be a top priority for me as we go into 2021. Looking ahead to your second term and beyond the pandemic response, what else is a priority for you? What new initiatives do you hope to introduce during your time in office? The Safe, Hopeful & Healthy initiative, where we will partner with residents and businesses to help in public safety. That’s going to be a new initiative that will roll out in 2021. We will be empowering communities as resident leaders and violence interventionists to help us create a safe, hopeful and healthy community. We are also going to be working on what we’re describing as a fair-share program to bring equity to our community for disadvantaged business enterprises. When crime started surging during the pandemic, you were working on short-term solutions as well as focusing on long-term tactics for combating the root causes of crime. With 2020 closing out with record-high homicides, what is the next step? In addition to the Safe, Hopeful & Healthy Initiative, we are now working on

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OUR CITY //

“We have 21 projects that are set to begin construction in 2021. These are projects that are touching almost every area of the city and parish.”

STOCK PHOTO

ConnectBlue Baton Rouge, which is a camera share program [where local residents, businesses and organizations give the government permission to view their public-facing security camera footage to aid in solving crimes]. We also will continue to add to our police department, not only with more police officers but utilizing our technology to continue to create safe communities. Tell us what’s ahead for the MOVEBR program. What’s one road project on the docket that’s really important and something that will give tangible results for local commuters within your term? We already started the light synchronization project. But we have 21 projects that are set to begin construction in 2021. They include some areas like South Choctaw Drive, from Flannery to Central, Old Hammond Highway, from Millerville to O’Neill, Dijon Avenue and Picardy and the Mall of Louisiana. I believe there are projects that are touching almost every area of our city and parish. The total traffic signal synchronization will be 470 traffic signals that will be upgraded and connected to our Advanced Traffic Management Center. We will be finished and complete with synchronization by 2022. In 2021, we will have 21 started, but there’s a total of 70 planned projects [underway impacting the Baton Rouge community]. And among those 70 projects will include Airline Highway. Airline Highway touches both north and south of our community. So I’m looking forward to that.

A large percentage of voters who chose Steve Carter in the runoff are situated in the South Baton Rouge/St. George area. Why do you think your message for a second term wasn’t received well there? What do you plan to do in your second term that would directly benefit them? Some people aren’t understanding the motivations behind the litigations that are involved. I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that a city should have a plan. If you’re trying to start a city, you don’t start the city and then develop the plan. You show the plan, and then you start the city. And to date, they have not shown us a plan. I think that’s why I didn’t get overwhelming support from that area. But everyone in that area is not in agreement with a breakaway city. I still represent them and will continue to represent them as mayor-president. I never will neglect any constituent or community. Many of the projects, such as storm water drainage, will help the people in that area. I will work with them if they have other community goals they want to discuss with me. If you weren’t jumping into your second term as mayor, what else would you see yourself doing? Service is part of my DNA. I’m going to always in some capacity or another serve and help people. That’s part of my mission in life. When service is part of who you are, opportunities to serve never cease.

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FMMLA.COM 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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OUR CITY //

IMAGE TAKEN FROM GOOGLE STREET VIEW

The Archives Building on Southern University’s campus sits on the edge of the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.

The Little White House

Southern University aims restore Issue Date: FEBRUARY Adtoproof #2its oldest and most historic building • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions.

• AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

IT WAS ONCE the university president’s home ... and the administration building … and a dormitory … and a dining hall—and sometimes all those things at once. Known as the Archives Building and dating back to 1840, the historic structure with just six rooms became part of the original campus when Southern University moved to Baton Rouge from New Orleans in 1914. Last November, the university received a nearly $500,000 grant from the National Parks Service to restore what was affectionately called “The Little White House.” Sitting on the edge of the bluff overlooking the turn of the Mississippi River north of downtown, it rests on the highest point on campus—and likely the highest point in the city, too. “That building, probably thousands of people pass by it regularly. It’s an unassuming building, but it is important for Southern,” says C. Reuben Walker, executive vice chancellor for Southern’s AgCenter and the lead grant writer on the project. “We do not have the funds of other universities. Our ability to restore it is limited. So we’re appreciative of the National Parks Service that they have this program.” Walker, Facility Services Director

Maurice Pitts and several other university administrators delved into the long history of the building in order to secure the NPS grant, which was awarded to 18 historic properties at HBCUs across the country. Their plans are to repair and restore the structure to use it as an interpretive center for visitors and to store important university artifacts. Walker sees it as a starting point for visitors and tour groups of the university grounds. “It’s a very important part of the fabric of the university,” he says. And while rehabilitation work is set to be complete by the middle of the year, Walker already has his eyes on the next restoration project: The Martin L. Harvey auditorium building just two doors down. It once served as a meeting place for organizers of the Baton Rouge bus boycotts and sit-ins of the civil rights era. It also hosted speaking engagements from major civil rights figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois. At press time, Walker had submitted a grant to the NPS African American Civil Rights Grant Program, with hopes of soon adding the building to the historic preservation already happening at Southern.

—BENJAMIN LEGER

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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OUR CITY //

News briefs

DIGITS

DATE S

Compiled by Benjamin Leger

60,000

Still in Phase Two

Potential commuters who would travel between Baton Rouge and New Orleans via passenger train each day for work. That’s according to Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which noted that President Joe Biden has pledged more resources to passenger rail during his administration.

February 2022

AT A PRESS conference Jan. 14, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said East Baton Rouge Parish would not revert back to Phase One restrictions for the time being. This was after health data showed much of the state was seeing an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases. Overall, the state saw a surge in cases in the winter months that nearly doubled the springtime and summer waves of 2020. In Baton Rouge, the total number of recorded cases surpassed 28,000 in the first two weeks of January. The Phase Two restrictions keep most businesses at 50% capacity indoors while outdoor events are limited to 25% capacity. Bars are still closed to indoor consumption. Broome said she was prepared to move the parish back into Phase One if the situation doesn’t get better. “If we don’t change our course, as in the next few weeks, I may not have any other choice,” she said.

STOCK IMAGES

Editor’s note: This was reported as of press time in mid-January.

150 Amount of new free parking spaces in the works downtown under the Interstate 10 overpass. The first phase of the project stretches from Louisiana Avenue to North Boulevard and will also include lighted gateways and improved crosswalks. “Paid parking downtown can get a little pricey, especially for the service industry workers,” says Gabriel Vicknair, Downtown Development assistant executive director. “Our goal is to make this a safe parking option.”

Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

When Hollywood Casino is expected to complete construction of its on-land expansion along River Road. Spurred by 2018 legislation that allows casinos to move their gambling components off riverboats, Hollywood Casino is planning a 38,000-square-foot addition that includes a fast-casual chicken restaurant from Shaquille O’Neal, a sports bar and other amenities with plenty of outdoor seating. Construction will cost close to $25 million.

Spring 2022 When Baton Rouge residents can expect to see proposals for a new Mississippi River bridge—at the earliest. Atlas Technical Consultants is working with the Louisiana DOTD on a study that will lead to 15 possible locations for a new structure between the I-10 bridge downtown and the Sunshine Bridge near Donaldsonville. Once presented to the public, location options will be trimmed to three.

“After a further review of what’s going on with [virus case] numbers rising, and recognizing that businesses are trying to eke out a living ... we felt like this wasn’t the right time to bring the ABC ordinances back into effect.” —Paolo Messina of the Alcoholic Beverage Control board on Jan. 11. The ABC board was initially planning to ask the Metro Council to reinstate a ban on all curbside alcohol sales, which had been temporarily lifted during the pandemic. Many bars and restaurants had come to rely on such sales to keep their businesses afloat. —Compiled from news reports

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #3

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

I AM 225 //

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Meshoca Williams

LOVE YOURSELF. LOVE THE SKIN YOU’RE IN.

ON THE MORNING of Dec. 15, Meshoca Williams got ready for work as normal. She showered and got dressed. She did her makeup. And then—her kids filmed a TikTok video. After all, they had to record the beginning of their mom’s big day. Williams’ family cheered her on before she drove to Ochsner Medical Center, where she would administer the first COVID-19 vaccine doses in Baton Rouge. Over at Ochsner, cameras would roll again. But this time, it was press cameras clicking and Williams’ medical colleagues cheering. It felt like the whole city was watching as Williams administered many of the first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to employees at the medical center. Williams proved herself capable of taking on new responsibilities and adapting to challenges during the pandemic, which is why her supervisor asked her to work in the vaccine clinic. The city’s first health care workers to get the vaccine were full of emotion and gratitude. But Williams’ favorite reaction was from pharmacist Joan Broussard. “She and I just laughed and laughed. She just kept telling me thank you. And I said, no, thank you,” Williams recalls. The vaccine is hope in a bottle for Williams and her coworkers. They have felt the crushing weight of working on the pandemic’s frontlines for nearly a year. Williams, 35, has been a licensed practical nurse for 12 years. It’s a job she’s cherished, as she’s gotten to show her patients compassion and love. But 2020 was trying, watching people die isolated in their hospital beds. Many didn’t even get to say goodbye to their loved ones, she says.

Even as the vaccine rollout is underway, Williams still equates going to work with entering a battlefield. State hospitalizations hit record highs in January, and a new, more contagious variant of the virus has begun spreading in the U.S. Williams knows firsthand what her patients are going through. In September, her own COVID-19 diagnosis led to pneumonia. The whole time she was sick, she had one thought in mind: “Let me get better, so I can go back to work and help my friends,” she says. “We are at war.” Last year, her mother was also diagnosed with the virus, and her 78-year-old grandfather became so ill with the disease they had to break the door down to get him out of the house. Both are still having lingering side effects. But the end of the nightmare seems finally within sight. By the time you read this story, Williams will have received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. But there’s an even bigger date Williams can’t stop thinking of. April 23 is when she’ll become the first person in her family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. When she gets her vaccine, one vision will dance through her head: her five children, plus her mom, aunt and grandfather, watching her walk across the stage for graduation. It seems almost too much to hope for. She wipes away tears as she imagines it. “Graduation is supposed to be a joyous time to celebrate with your family. I stood on all of their shoulders to get where I am today,” she says. “It takes a village, and they are the village I need at that graduation.” —JENNIFER TORMO

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In December, Meshoca Williams gave a large percentage of the first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to health care workers in Baton Rouge.

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I AM 225 //

COLLIN RICHIE

“Giving the vaccine feels like hope. We’ve been holding out for this since March. Whether you’re a hospital CEO or a janitor, we’ve all been in this fight together, exposing ourselves every day. We’re standing next to patients with COVID. We’re cleaning them, and we’re taking care of them. I’m getting this vaccine, too, so I can protect myself for y’all.”

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C OV E R S T ORY

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C OV E R S T ORY

D

w o H e w

L L O R O N RO T A B N I

UG E

DE D O L P X KING E I B N I NE X T ? T S S N E E R P I NT E T H AP A H W 0. IN 202

BY M AGGI E HEYN RI C HARDSON P HOTOS BY COLLIN RICHIE

OUG MOORE IS a longtime advocate for the expansion of Baton Rouge’s bike culture, and lately, he’s noticed something interesting. “Every time I ride, I see someone else riding,” says Moore, president of Bike Baton Rouge. “That’s a big change from a few years ago.” For some time, Moore and other bike proponents—public and private—have been trying to shoehorn an alternative transportation network into Baton Rouge’s decidedly car-centric transportation infrastructure. Change has been gradual. But a recent wave of momentum could give the movement an adrenaline shot. In 2020, Baton Rouge saw the opening or expansion of several new bike pathways, including dedicated lanes on a portion of Government Street, Phase II of the Downtown Greenway and an extension of the Mississippi River Levee Bike Path. In June, the Metro Council passed the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, which recommends the city ultimately create more than 100 miles of safe on-road bike paths and 250 miles of off-road trails. BREC, which has spent the last decade adding off-road bike paths, is in the process of expanding its Ward Creek Greenway, part of the planned 10-mile Health Loop. A new trail known as the CMAQ Trail will begin construction in the next few months, connecting downtown to BREC’s Scotlandville Parkway at Monte Sano Avenue. And, a master plan spearheaded by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to revamp the LSU and City Park lakes calls for dedicated walking and bike paths around this popular recreational area that will link to other bike routes.

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But what’s most interesting is that this convergence of projects, some of them years in the making, is playing out against an unexpected backdrop. The coronavirus pandemic caused interest in recreational biking to soar, reaching levels no one could have A few stats anticipated. demonstrating “It was definitely a silver lining. All of a sudden, there biking demands and was this new enjoyment safety concerns of the outdoors,” says Dustin LaFont, founder and executive director of the community bike shop, Front Yard Bikes. The shop has experienced its own ongoing Number of Gotcha bikes boom of retail and repair currently available around Baton Rouge through the requests. “People needed bikeshare program, a number space, and riding a bike was that will double in 2021 just a great way to get out of the house.” As COVID-19 forced social distancing everywhere and the quarantined beleaguered turned to biking, Louisiana retailers watched their Estimated number of local inventories sell out in a households with limited matter of weeks. Consumers transportation options who couldn’t find new bikes settled for secondhand ones or plumbed their garages for aging models in need of repair. Pedestrian- and bicycle“We sold an insane related crashes in East Baton amount of bikes, and our Rouge Parish from 2011 to repair business was through 2015 the roof,” echoes Clayton Weeks, manager of the Essen Lane location of Capital City Cyclery. It’s the largest bike retailer in Louisiana. “We were up to 1,000 bikes on back order per location, with it taking a year to get some of them in. And what we were seeing was happening throughout the country.” Weeks says global supply chain issues caused a shortage in not just bikes but bike parts, causing a slow-down in bike availability, especially for adult riders, that will be felt into 2021. Throughout 2020, some riders opted into Baton Rouge’s recently established bikeshare program, Gotcha. New riders mounted up on the bright blue electric bikes—that is, when rental racks weren’t already emptied. The app-based program arrived in Baton Rouge in summer 2019. It was performing well when the virus hit. The Capital City Cyclery is the largest bike retailer in the state. pandemic triggered usage to double, says local operations manager James Newkirk. From January to mid-December, Gotcha Baton Rouge logged 80,000 trips. “In 2020, the average number of new users was 1,500 per month,” he says. Gotcha Baton Rouge began with a fleet of 400 bikes SCOOTER RENTAL COMPANIES are officially allowed to operate in Baton Rouge, thanks to a Metro placed in stands across downtown, LSU, Southern Council decision last November. Gotcha is exploring University and BREC’s City Park. The company will double a possible scooter program launch in the city-parish, that number in 2021, Newkirk says. Gotcha also plans to and the Downtown Development District says it’s expand in Mid City at locations to be determined, says in talks with several possible vendors interested in setting up in that area. partnership manager Katie Sims.

E : BY TH G N I K I B RS NUMBE

400

78,000 1,303

ARE SCOOTERS NEXT?

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“We were up to 1,000 bikes on back order per location, with it taking a year to get some of them in. And what we were seeing was happening throughout the country.” —Capital City Cyclery’s Clayton Weeks, on bike demand during the pandemic

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PL AY IT

SAF E

BIKE BATON ROUGE founder Mark Martin hasn’t owned a car in 30 years. As one of the city’s biggest cycling advocates—and as someone who has seen pretty much every part of the city from two wheels—he knows a thing or two about how to operate safely on the road. He shares advice for new riders. bikebr.org

—AS TOLD TO JENNIFER TORMO ANSWERS HAVE BEEN EDITED FOR CLARITY AND BREVITY.

Tell us your background and experience with biking in Baton Rouge. I haven’t had a car since 1991. When I moved to Baton Rouge in 2000, I thought someone needed to do something about the city’s lack of biking resources, so I started Bike Baton Rouge in 2006. In 2019, I rode 6,000 miles around town. I wasn’t taking trips; I was mostly just getting around doing what I needed to do. I started tracking my mileage because most people say you can’t safely ride your bike across town. And clearly, that is not the case. What would you say, then, to someone who wants to start commuting by bike but is concerned about safety? Consider taking a different route than the one you’d take if you were driving. The Bike Baton Rouge website has a map of recommended routes. We’ve vetted them all pretty thoroughly, riding them multiple times on different days of the week. You could also put your bike on a vehicle, drive to a point closer to your destination, and then bike from there. Take a weekend when you don’t have any time constraints to practice the route. Developing map-reading and navigation skills is critical. Besides a helmet, what safety measures should riders follow? Make sure your bicycle is in good mechanical condition. Check that the tires have air and the brakes work. Actually learn how to ride it—how the bike behaves, how you behave on it, how to navigate turns and make emergency stops. Always use lights at night, so people can see you and you can see in front of

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you. Pay attention. Do not use your phone while riding. And never, ever assume that someone in a vehicle is going to obey a law. Even though you have the right of way at an intersection, never assume they know you do. What about drivers? With more bikes on the road, how can they practice caution? Recognize that under the law, a bicycle is a vehicle. We don’t necessarily want to be riding in traffic on the road, either. When I’m on Highland, I don’t want to be in front of anybody any more than they want to be driving around me. Show respect, and have patience. The Gotcha bikeshare program has made bikes much more accessible. What wisdom do you have for new electric bikers? Be cautious in the beginning. A lot of people trying Gotcha bikes are taken by surprise when that electric boost kicks in. The bike suddenly feels out of control. You really do need to ride electric bikes for a little bit to adjust, because they are top heavy and don’t behave like normal bikes. Gotcha bikes are designed to fit as many body types as possible, so the frame size may not be as specific to you as you’re used to. What else should we know about the local future of safe biking? Drivers and bicyclists are natural allies in that we both want to be able to operate our vehicles safely. When it comes time to support bicycle infrastructure that will allow bicycles to operate with traffic—but not in traffic—support it. It’s going to make driving better. It’s going to make riding better. Everyone will benefit.

This year, Front Yard Bikes will move its retail and repair shop into a new space in Mid City, which will also be home to the nonprofit’s youth development program.

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It will also eventually add stations along BREC’s Health Loop, a trail system that includes existing and proposed bike paths roughly linking the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Perkins Road Park to Ward Creek along Siegen Lane all the way to Pecue Lane. Last spring, riders enjoyed the completion of Phase II of the Downtown Greenway connecting North Boulevard to Expressway Park and the Mississippi River Levee Path by way of a newly lighted route along East Boulevard/TJ Jemison Boulevard. Plans are in the works

"You don’t think about it if you have a car, but people in Baton Rouge are figuring out how to do transportation every day.” —Front Yard Bikes founder Dustin LaFont

to eventually link the Greenway to Memorial Stadium to the north, and City Park to the southeast. Cyclists also took advantage of new paving on an 8-mile stretch of the Mississippi River Levee Path connecting BREC’s Farr Park to the L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. One of the city’s longest anticipated projects, the Government Street road diet, brought the first portion of bike lanes and sidewalks now installed

between South Eugene and Hebert streets. Ultimately, the project will connect 13th Street to Independence Park. “Things were already happening, but the pandemic resulted in a shift in our biking culture,” LaFont says. LaFont’s 10-year-old nonprofit will be making big moves this year, too. It has outgrown its existing retail shop on Government Street and its warehouse on Terrace Avenue and will soon move into the former Sarkis Oriental Rug store at Government and Wiltz streets. The new facility will house its retail and repair operations and will function as a nonprofit “youth lab.” (Other nonprofits, including Big Buddy, Line4Line and Humanities

Amped, will also hold programming there.) Working with a low-income demographic, LaFont has a window into the importance of biking to transportationchallenged families in Baton Rouge. “This year, I’ve had kids walk to us, one from Choctaw and another from Essen, for example, just to get a bike,” says LaFont, whose mentoring program trains young people to fix bikes in exchange for a personal bike of their own. “You don’t think about it if you have a car, but people in Baton Rouge are figuring out how to do transportation every day.” Indeed, according to the new Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, 7% of households in East Baton Rouge Parish have no vehicle 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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YOU BE FOR E A” “ G OT C H Things to know before your first electric bike ride AT THE START of the pandemic last spring, I signed up for a Gotcha monthly subscription. The $10 pass covers an hour of biking per day, and it seemed like a great way to escape and get some fresh air. It was my first time climbing onto an electric bike, and throughout 2020, I learned a few things about them. If you’re a newbie like I was, here are my tips. ridegotcha.com

—JENNIFER TORMO

available for their daily transportation needs, while 39.4% have just one vehicle. That’s a total of more than 78,000 households with limited transportation options. That begs a big question about conditions, say advocates. Safety, a lack of appropriately timed crosswalks and sharing the road with vehicles traveling at high speeds were all cited as barriers to walking and riding, according to a public survey in the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. “There are more people than you think who rely on biking and walking to get around in Baton Rouge, especially in low-income neighborhoods,” Moore says. “Pedestrian fatalities were especially bad in 2020.” While data about bike and pedestrian accidents is hard to collect, according to Moore, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan counts 1,303 pedestrianand bicycle-related crashes in East Baton Rouge Parish between 2011 and 2015. Black riders and walkers sustained 58% of the Average new monthly users of Gotcha bikes accidents. in 2020 A contributing factor to bike safety—and general enjoyment—in Baton Rouge is that the network of bike lanes and paths lacks connectivity. That’s a big part of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, as well as coordinating new trails with the parish’s ongoing MOVEBR transportation infrastructure plan and its Complete Streets Policy, says Whitey Hoffman Sayal, assistant director of urban trails for BREC and chair of the city’s Complete Streets Advisory Committee. “I think we have the right momentum right

Check rental availability on the app first. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked to the opposite side of downtown only to discover all the bikes at the station I’d walked to were already rented out. Womp womp! Check the app’s map. It will tell you how many bikes are currently available at each station, plus how much battery power each bike has left. Watch the battery power. I like to ride for about an hour, so to be safe, I’d always look for bikes with at least a 70% charge. If bikes are scarce, grab one with a low battery, ride to another station and exchange for a different bike. Get ready for a fast ride. All it takes is a few pumps of the pedals for the bike’s electric assist to kick in. Suddenly, you’ll feel like you’re flying. Watch your speed on the bike’s digital screen, and remember that you’ll need to hit the brakes quicker and earlier than you might on a regular bike.

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Know that electric bikes are much heavier. Because of the batteries, computer parts and a generally thicker frame, e-bikes weigh significantly more than traditional bikes. Be mindful if your route takes you to a place where you’ll need to walk the bike over unpaved terrain or carry it up a hill. Avoid dropping the bike so you don’t injure yourself.

Gotcha has bikeshare stations set up across downtown, LSU, Southern University and BREC’s City Park, with plans to expand in Mid City.

Don’t forget to end your rental on the app. It might feel like locking your bike back up should simply end the rental, but there’s one more step. Make it official on the app, too, so you can avoid being charged for the minutes when the bike is not in use.

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The scenic route Three easy and photo-worthy bike rides to try around Baton Rouge By Benjamin Leger // Photos by Collin Richie

THE DOWNTOWN GREENWAY 1.5 miles WHILE THE FULL trail—connecting Memorial Stadium, downtown and BREC’s City Park—isn’t yet complete, you can still ride along one of its most picturesque sections. The North Boulevard and East Boulevard stretches provide a designated bike path where you can glide under a canopy of live oak trees and past historic landmarks and churches through downtown and ending at Expressway Park. Crossing some of the downtown intersections might take some maneuvering, so avoid during the morning and afternoon rush hour. Reward yourself with a bite or drink at places like Pastime Restaurant, George’s Place, Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar or The Vintage.

PENNINGTON/DAWSON’S CREEK TRAIL 2 miles PART OF THE proposed Health Loop Trail, this would be one of the few sections to take you away from the bustle of the Health District and Perkins Road. It also offers a nice variety of scenery, skirting along the backside of BREC’s Perkins Road Community Park, across a green meadow on the other side of Kenilworth Parkway and then straddling Dawson’s Creek through a wooded area behind Pennington Biomedical Research Center before ending on Quail Drive near the quiet and well-manicured neighborhood of Pollard Estates. There aren’t many eating or drinking options with easy access from the trailheads, but you could take Kenilworth Parkway all the way to Superior Grill-Highland for a margarita and chips and salsa to cap off the bike ride.

THE LEVEE PATH 13 miles IS THERE A more quintessential Baton Rouge biking experience than riding atop the levee path and seeing the Mississippi River roll on alongside you? With the final stretch recently paved, you can now ride from downtown all the way to L’Auberge Casino & Hotel. Just make sure your bike is in proper working order and that you’re prepared for an hour or two without shade or access to many amenities. Along the way, take in the downtown skyline, the futuristic Water Institute of the Gulf jutting out over the river, Tiger Stadium and the quiet farmlands south of LSU still untouched by urban sprawl. Reward yourself at a restaurant or bar downtown, or try your luck at L’Auberge. *Editor’s note: Trail lengths are estimates in one direction.

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• Additional r

Carefully che This ad design

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now,” Sayal says. “We’ve seen through COVID how important those things are to us as a community. They’re much more than just trails. They help with stormwater runoff. They raise property values. They’re the No. 1 concern of homebuyers— access to pedestrian opportunities. They’re economic drivers and help immensely with safety. And if you’re a person without a car and you need to get groceries, who wouldn’t want a safe place to bike or walk?” The plan will guide how and when the parish will connect future bike trails, lanes and paths with existing ones. It pays close attention to linking separate projects underway by the city parish, especially traffic signal synchronization and sidewalk construction, with BREC greenways, Sayal says.

“It’s a really big deal that we finally have a plan,” she says. “It gives us direction on where to go next. Biking advocates have been waiting a long time for something like this.” And advocates are hopeful that 2020’s surge in bike enthusiasm remains over the long-term. “Early on, we thought this new interest in biking might be a craze. But I think there’s a large number of folks who really enjoy it. It’s going to be a lifestyle change for them,” LaFont says. “We have no idea how the future is going to unfold with the pandemic and the vaccine, but I think cycling is going to continue to be a great way to spend time.”

W- I N O L G A TAKE K RIDE R A D E TH Each night in downtown Baton Rouge, Geaux Ride lights up the roads with its brightly lit bikes and fun music. Bikes decked out in neon lights and portable speakers are available to rent from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. nightly. The company also hosts group bike rides every Thursday at 7 p.m. The weekly social rides are free to those who bring their own bikes, or you can rent a bike starting at $25. Find it at 521 N. Third St. geauxridebikes.com

DRIVE-THRU BIKING BIKE BATON ROUGE is calling for a short-term ban on businesses denying drive-thru service to those not in a car. Many businesses are relying more on drive-thrus during the pandemic. But the nonprofit points out this shift may limit access to residents without cars, with the organization’s president Doug Moore calling it “downright discriminatory.” Bike Baton Rouge launched a petition last month asking the mayor and Metro Council to enact the ban. Read more at bikebr.org/news/drive-thrus.

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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symptoms to find imbalances and toxicities to prevent disease and sustain good health. Individualized lifestyle education and modifications are at the core of how Integrative Health works to prevent disease and optimize wellness. “I believe that healing is possible, but it doesn’t happen overnight,” Mays says. “I also believe in approaching health and wellness from a whole person perspective, taking time to dig deep into lifestyle habits, exercise patterns, nutrition, sleep, and stress management in order to get to the root of your health concerns.” Personalized wellness programs can teach you how to rebalance your body, replace what is deficient, and remove the toxins that keep you from experiencing optimal health. Future Fitness offers a 12-week program with all the support you need to find wellness. Future Fitness gets to the root cause of imbalances through four consultation sessions during its 12-week program. They will identify possible functional medicine lab tests that can provide more insights and help uncover what’s holding you back from achieving your health goals. You are taken through a health, lifestyle, and toxicity assessment to identify areas of improvement and receive a summary of the consultation,

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recommendations, and an action plan you can start implementing right away. Because every client is unique, Future Fitness tailors each wellness plan to include a bio-individualized diet, exercise, sleep, and mindset plan as well as a recommended supplement protocol. The weekly check-ins help with accountability, fine tuning and adjusting your wellness plan as you go. Clients rave about the unlimited email support they receive throughout the full three months. Visit futurefitnessbr.com to learn more and take the first step to getting well and staying well. 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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I N S I D E : Krafty Kravingz’s fun T-shirts and accessories

Feel the the Feel

love

Denham Springs maker Grace Holden sells funky and functional tufted art creations and quilted goods B Y CY N THE A CO R FA H / / P HOTO S B Y CO LLIN RICHIE

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STYLE //

Fiber artist Grace Holden makes vibrant wall hangings.

T

HESE DAYS, THE quirkier your home decor, the better. Denham Springs artist Grace Holden creates bold, textured, pop-off-the-wall mirrors, wall decor, stylish pillows and nontraditional rugs. Her Stuff and Co. pieces are bright, colorful, fuzzy—and a little whacky. Some of her creations look as if a ’70s rug and a crayon box had a baby. Her modern art shop includes a grass-green tufted snake-shaped wall hanging and poofy smiley and frown faces made from yarn. A triangular tufted mirror blends a black-andwhite yarn pattern with bright bursts of colored yarn in circular formations. “I want to add a little bit of weirdness to your wall,” Holden says. After experimenting with her

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tufting gun for a few months, Holden turned her hobby into a business. She started Stuff and Co. during the summer of 2020. She handmakes her creations in her home studio by tufting, quilting and sewing novelty fabrics and eco-conscious yarn made from reused textile waste. She’s not totally new to the local makers scene. Outside of her own business, the 29-year-old is a product specialist for jewelry business Mimosa Handcrafted. Before exploring tufted works, Holden studied art with a concentration in sculptures at LSU. She wasn’t interested in many of her non-art classes, but when she discovered art and sculpture, she fell in love. Her passion for using her hands with sculptures later translated into her own business.

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Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #1 STYLE //

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

“I love being tactile with my work. It’s like making sculptures, but they’re flat on a wall.” —Grace Holden

“I love being tactile with my work. It’s like making sculptures, but they’re flat on a wall,” Holden says. For the visual artist, creating these pieces is a total mind and body experience. She enjoys feeling the yarns and fabrics as she strings them together, mixing complementary colors and seeing where her creativity leads her on each project. In 2020, she started participating in the Mid City Makers Market and plans to continue selling her work around town. Holden has big goals for the future. She plans to participate in more pop-up events, showcase her work in art galleries, continue expanding her shop and experimenting with more functional home decor. “My inspiration comes from the process of getting to know a material,” Holden says. “I want to make bad art to explore a new process.” etsy.com/shop/ StuffandComp

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“I wouldn’t be where I am physically right now without my faith and hope.” —Krafty Kravingz owner LaKenda Johnson-Rogers

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‘Mom of the year’ Krafty Kravingz creates clothing with women’s empowerment messages B Y JU LI A - C LA I R E E VA N S / / P H OTO S BY CO L L I N R I C HIE

WHEN LAKENDA Johnson-Rogers started Krafty Kravingz in the spring of 2019, it was a passion project. Now with more than 2,000 followers on Instagram, her online shop has grown, as has its message. Johnson-Rogers was working as a nurse practitioner when she decided to pause that part of her life and pursue a different interest. “I decided that I needed to take a break and develop something that I love to do,” she says. When looking through the many items Johnson-Rogers offers through Krafty Kravingz, the mom-centered, faith-based and female empowerment themes are obvious. Shirts with slogans like “Mom of the Year,” Girls Inspire Girls” and “Carpool Mom” are decorated in bold fonts on the fronts of colorful, trendy T-shirts, and there are stylish tees for her favorite local sports teams like the Southern University Jaguars and New Orleans Saints. The majority of the options in the store are original designs by Johnson-Rogers, along with some curated items made by other artists. Johnson-Rogers is the sole employee of Krafty Kravingz, although her husband helps out when she needs the extra hand, and she freelances some pieces to other designers. For Johnson-Rogers, the motivational messages inscribed on the clothing are personal. The words come from her own experiences with motherhood, and specifically as a working mother. “I’m a mother, so just knowing how hard motherhood is,” Johnson Rogers says, “especially for mothers who have to go in and work and want to be casual and cute at the same time—that was important.” She also says female empowerment is a central ideal for her and the shop, as it’s something she sees need for. “As women, I feel we have to work twice as hard as men to get to the top,” Johnson-Rogers says. But the shop doesn’t stop at T-shirts. You can browse its website

for other accessories like festive beaded earrings and baseball hats. And in January, Krafty Kravingz launched a new faith-based collection called Lily of the Valley. Johnson-Rogers drew strength from her own experiences, including a September car accident that injured three bones in her foot. Her faith played a large role in helping her get, quite literally, back on her feet. “I wouldn’t be where I am physically right now without my faith and hope,” Johnson-Rogers says. The new collection fits in

perfectly with what sets Krafty Kravingz apart from everyone else. The company, Johnson-Rogers says, is authentic and organic, and its Christian values are incorporated into everything it does. Johnson-Rogers’ messages are connecting with customers from Louisiana—and as far away as California and Illinois. “We are very diverse,” JohnsonRogers says. “We are serving the people, and that is what is most important. When people see us on social media, they see a diverse group of women.” kraftykravingz. com

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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I N S I D E : Farmers market’s new leader / Dinner for two

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COLLIN RICHIE

Cozying up to the dinner menu at Mansurs on the Boulevard

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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TA ST E / /

The Duck Mansur gets its crispy exterior from a twiceroasted preparation. The Chambord blackberry sauce adds a touch of sweetness.

THE BASICS: While the Creole restaurant’s roots date back to 1989 on College Drive, Mansurs moved to its current location on Corporate Boulevard in 2003. It has maintained a loyal following for its classy atmosphere, service and much-loved dishes.

R E S TA U R A N T R E V I E W

Mansurs on the Boulevard B Y D.J. B E AU T ICIA // P H OTOS B Y COLLI N R I C HI E

Our food critic’s name may be false, but the credentials are not. This gastronome has studied the history, cultivation, preparation, science and technology of food for more than 30 years. mansursontheboulevard.com 5720 Corporate Blvd., Suite A Open 11 a.m. every day Brunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

EVERY FINE DINING establishment in town seems to have its own particular draw. Some are known for boisterous bars. Others have built their reputations as the place to entertain a larger group, while a few have built a following on the excellent food alone. When I think of Mansurs, I consider the food, of course. And I have gathered there with friends and family groups large and small. But it’s the intimacy of the place that enthralls me again and again. No one can accuse Mansurs of being small, but tucked-away tables and quiet niches with banquettes make it a worthy location for a romantic dinner. Add the softly colored decor, cloth tabletops and live pianist, and you have the start of an enchanting evening. Opening with an aperitif is never a bad idea, and the specialty cocktail

list doesn’t disappoint in quantity or uniqueness. But drinking on an empty stomach can kill any party before it begins, so we ordered several appetizers. Zydeco Mushrooms had tender fungi overflowing with a mildly spiced and heavenly seafood stuffing. This serving of four delighted our palates, and was diminutive enough to feed to your love or pop into your own greedy mouth. Seldom found on fine dining menus, the Acadiana Egg Rolls had a definitive south Louisiana flair with duck and shrimp. The rolls were sliced for sharing with a crisp, nongreasy wrapper stuffed with a very flavorful filling that far surpassed any takeout egg roll. A bright yellow spicy mustard sauce was wonderful with the meats and crisp cabbage, but the unnaturally red dipping sauce was unimpressive.

WHAT’S A MUST: Charbroiled oysters are a no-brainer, but don’t pass up starters like the Zydeco Mushrooms or Acadiana Egg Rolls. For an entree, try the Duck Mansur, considered a house favorite for its twice-roasted duck topped with decadent Chambord blackberry sauce. And for dessert, save room for the chocolatey Louisiana Lust pecan pie.

We completed our snacking with a Mansurs must: charbroiled oysters. Piquant zest with a lingering heat, loads of butter and a dusting of melted cheese made these bivalves particularly noteworthy. The Veal Oscar entree looked intriguingly mouthwatering. The veal cutlets were pounded thin and nicely breaded, then topped with a ridiculous pile of lump crab. I found the bearnaise a bit bland, but the luscious brown gravy more than compensated. I’m not sure if the side

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The Zydeco Mushrooms starter doesn’t skimp on its hefty seafood stuffing.

TA ST E / /

was mashed potatoes with a boatload of butter or a boatload of butter with a whisper of potato. For me, a tiny portion was plenty. I adore the flavor imparted when food is cooked atop fragrant wood, and Cedar Roasted Redfish did not disappoint in savoriness, juiciness or flakiness. Beneath the large, slightly smokey filet was a simple, delicate risotto that was toothsome and not too heavy with a light sprinkling of cheese. With a caper lemon butter that added tang and richness, this was a supremely satisfying dish. With the Duck Mansur entree, the sensationally golden-crisp skin first caught my eye. Underneath was a perfectly roasted and juicy boneless duck, tender and mildly seasoned. An accompaniment of Chambord blackberry sauce helped quell the richness of the fatty skin while adding a touch of inky sweetness. With risotto already included with one entree, we substituted it for Creamed Spinach. Pleasing, bright green spinach was plentiful as was—I believe—earthy white pepper. It turned out to be an exceptional substitution. Though I usually shun bread pudding, I thought Mansurs seemed

Oysters can be served fresh or charbroiled at Mansurs.

Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #1

Perfect for a Valentine’s Day dessert, the Louisiana Lust is like a chocolate chip cookie pie with pecans and a rich chocolate and caramel glaze.

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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The Veal Oscar entree features thinly pounded veal cutlets topped with lump crabmeat and a bearnaise sauce.

like the kind of place that would do it well. Its bread pudding was soft and almost, well, pudding-like with a scattering of raisins. The rum butter sauce was a revelation—creamy with an easy sweetness. A final flourish of fresh blueberries added a touch of tartness. The Bailey’s Cheesecake Chantilly was an overtly sweet slice with plenty of chocolate chips, a topping of chocolate and stuffed with chocolate. It was rather overwhelming and definitely not our favorite. If you possess a sweeter-than-sweet tooth, though, this dessert may suit the bill. Louisiana Lust lived up to its name. The chocolate chip pecan pie was served warm with chocolate glaze along with added a la mode vanilla ice cream. Not very pie-like, it was more a thick cookie—though this is not a complaint. The included caramel and chocolate sauce added more sugar but enhanced rather than overpowered the dessert. I’ve never had a bad experience at Mansurs. Brunch, lunch or dinner has always been superb. Staff is attentive, knowledgeable and always friendly. There’s just something in their sauce that makes even an ordinary night out a little something special. Add a special occasion to the menu, and sparks will fly.

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Fresh beginning Darlene Adams Rowland takes the helm of BREADA and its popular Red Stick Farmers Market By Maggie Heyn Richardson

EVERY WEEK FOR nearly a quarter-century, the Red Stick Farmers Market has been a cheery gathering place that connects small farmers and producers with passionate food lovers. The new year brought new leadership to BREADA, the organization that runs the farmers market as well as the Main Street Market downtown and other programs. Veteran BREADA staff member Darlene Adams Rowland replaced the retiring Copper Alvarez as executive director in January. 225 checked in with Rowland about what first drew her to work with BREADA and why the market is so important to the community now more than ever. breada.org

farmers market when it was on North Boulevard and had just a few vendors. I used to love talking to the farmers back then and bringing home fresh produce, and I still do.

You’re originally from Mobile, Alabama. What first brought you to Baton Rouge? I got a scholarship to attend LSU. Even as a student, I shopped at the

Now as BREADA’s executive director, what ideas do you have for the future? Our mission is to build a healthy food system that supports local farmers, so anything we do should

How did you first come to work for BREADA? I was working as an account executive for a nationwide mortgage lender in 2008 when the housing market crashed. I was looking to shift gears and do something meaningful in the community. A friend of mine [sent] me a job posting for the development director position at BREADA, and I thought it sounded perfect. I’ve been with the organization for 13 years.

Darlene Adams Rowland watches over BREADA’s Red Stick Farmers Market downtown.

Southern University, established in 1880, is an honored heritage of progress, education and excellence. Our founders and first students built the doors — that countless students and alumni walked through — to ensure an enduring mission of quality teaching, research and learning for future generations.

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support that. The Red Stick Farmers Market is our biggest public-facing program that reflects that mission, and is really important right now. COVID has been hard on our farmers and our customers. But we’ve found a way to create a safe experience that, in the case of some of our farmers, has actually saved them from going out of business. As things return to normal, we’ll be exploring new ways of connecting farmers to more customers, and hopefully encouraging young farmers to get in the business.

I try to sneak in as many vegetables as possible to what they eat. One of my favorite things to do is to chop up some kind of green really fine, like kale or spinach, and put it in red beans and rice. Same for spaghetti sauce. I chop up mushrooms and squash and other vegetables really tiny and throw them in. My kids love to shop with me. Just seeing the vendors, I think, has made them understand where food comes from and helps them try new things. Lately, they’re loving kohlrabi, lion’s mane mushrooms and tatsoi.

The farmers market has a really loyal following, but there are still a lot of locals who have never shopped there. What do you say to them? Especially now, when we’re so concerned about our health, shopping at the Red Stick Farmers Market is one of the healthiest things you can do. It’s outdoors, everyone is asked to wear a mask, not touch the produce and keep 6 feet apart. And you’re able to buy some of the healthiest, most immunebuilding foods you can possibly find. As a weekly farmers market shopper It’s also a great way to make a direct, yourself, tell us about some of your positive impact in your community. favorite ingredients and how you use When you shop, the farmers absolutely them. Issue Date: Feb 2021 Ad proof #1 feel revisions. it. I have two boys, ages 7 and 5, and • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor

Issue Date: February 2021 Ad proof #1

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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What do you think people might not realize about our farmers market? That it’s run by a nonprofit with an extremely small staff, and not by the city or the state. You come to the market, and you see this robust exchange of money and goods, but there’s a ton of behind-the-scenes work that goes into putting that experience on, starting at 5:15 a.m.

• AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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DINING IN

Valentine’s Day at home A menu of romantic, fine diningstyle dishes for a night in

BY TRACE Y KO CH A N D ST E PH A N IE R IE G E L PHOTOS B Y A M Y S H UT T

SINCE WE ARE not able to celebrate Mardi Gras properly this year, we wanted to focus our attention on the other holiday February is known for: Valentine’s Day. We decided to go all out and develop a restaurantcaliber menu you can easily make for your special someone. This menu may sound a little intimidating, but by following our simple instructions you can create a fine-dining experience right in your own home.

On the menu • Seared Scallops • Ice Cream Bon Bons • Sweet Corn and Andouille Risotto • Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest Recipes by Tracey Koch (Find the risotto and asparagus recipes at 225batonrouge.com/food.)

Servings: 4 1 pound dry sea scallops (3 to 4 scallops per person) 2 tablespoons grapeseed or avocado oil (or any oil with a high smoke point) ¼ teaspoon sea salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper 3 tablespoons butter 1 ⁄3 cup dry white wine 2 tablespoons minced shallots 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

Q. WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR CORONARY HEART DISEASE? A. There are a variety of risk factors for coronary heart disease, including but not limited to, elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and diabetes. Most people don’t “feel bad” with high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol or diabetes. It is important to have a yearly appointment with your doctor to screen for these conditions. Incorporating exercise (at least 150 minutes per week) and smoking cessation will also decrease your risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Q. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR ME TO SEE A DOCTOR, EVEN IF I DON’T “FEEL BAD”?

Seared Scallops We love scallops and order them whenever they’re offered fresh on a menu. Contrary to what most people think, scallops are not difficult to make at home. Make sure to look for scallops that are “dry” and not packed in a phosphate solution, which is designed to help preserve their freshness. The solution causes scallops to retain too much liquid that releases when cooking, thus preventing them from searing on the outside. Besides, scallops packed in this solution tend to have an off taste and texture. The scallops we find around here are frozen, but the label will indicate if they have been treated with a solution. When preparing the scallops, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator. Pat them dry before searing to ensure they will form a nice crust on the outside and stay moist and tender inside. Searing scallops only takes a few minutes, so have everything else from your meal ready to go so you can spend the last few minutes giving the scallops the attention they deserve.

ASK THE EXPERT

1. If using frozen scallops, allow

them to thaw in the refrigerator for several hours.

2. Remove the scallops from the fridge and pat them dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the top of the scallops with half the salt and pepper.

3. Heat a heavy nonstick skillet

over high heat for 1 minute. Once the skillet is hot, add in the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Place the scallops into the pan, allowing enough room between each scallop so they will sear and not steam.

4. Cook the scallops for 2

minutes without moving them.

5. Use a pair of tongs to flip the

scallops over. Add the butter, and season this side of the scallops with the remaining salt and pepper.

6. Cook for 1 minute more and

then quickly remove them onto a serving plate.

7. Turn off the heat under the

skillet. Add the wine and return the heat to medium. Stir in the shallots and fresh lemon juice. Stir the sauce and then spoon it over the scallops.

8. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Serve immediately along with the risotto and roasted asparagus.

A. Very important. It is imperative for individuals to be aware of factors that can help prevent coronary heart disease, irrelevant of their age. It is estimated that coronary heart disease is responsible for one-third of deaths of individuals over the age of 35. It is also estimated that half of middle aged men and one-third of middle aged women will develop some manifestations of coronary heart disease in their lifetime.

FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART MONTH To Maintain a Heart Healthy Lifestyle Follow These Tips: Visit with your healthcare provider at least once per year Stop smoking Aim to exercise 150 minutes minimum per week Maintain a healthy weight and incorporate fresh vegetables, fruits, and proteins into your diet For more information on Hypertension, check out one of our Baton Rouge Clinic health tip videos at:

WWW.BATONROUGECLINIC.COM/HEALTH-TIP-HYPERTENSION/ TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH ONE OF OUR INTERNISTS PLEASE CALL (225) 246-9240

MAIN CLINIC: 7373 PERKINS ROAD BATON ROUGE, LA 70808 (225) 769-4044 BATONROUGECLINIC.COM 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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Ice Cream Bon Bons 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Use a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon to

Nothing screams Valentine’s Day more than one of those heart-shaped boxes of chocolates wrapped in red cellophane. A total cliché, yes, but chocolate candies are synonymous with love. We decided to scrap the packaging and make our chocolate bon bons with ice cream. These little treats are fun to make with any flavor ice cream you like. We went very traditional by using vanilla, chocolate and coffee ice cream. We rolled some in chopped toasted nuts, while others were rolled in chocolate cookie crumbs or covered in a dark chocolate shell. We like the different textures and flavors this combination provides. Make these bon bons a couple of days in advance to give them plenty of time to set in the freezer. Personalize these fun little frozen treats with your favorite flavors. Store the bon bons in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

make and shape small, round ice cream scoops. Place them on the lined baking sheet and put them in the freezer for several hours or overnight.

3. In a microwave-safe bowl, place the chocolate

chips and vegetable shortening together and heat for 30 to 40 seconds. Stir and place the bowl back into the microwave for another 25 to 35 seconds.

4. Remove the bowl and stir until the chocolate is smooth. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly, and then transfer it into a squeeze bottle for easier application.

5. Place the cookie crumbs and chopped nuts

into separate shallow bowls. Line another baking sheet with parchment.

6. Working quickly, remove the mini-ice cream

scoops from the freezer and separate into three groups. Roll one group in the cookie crumbs and another in the chopped nuts. Place these on the lined baking sheet and put them back in the freezer to keep them frozen.

Servings: 4 1-3 pints of ice cream of your choice 12 ounces dark chocolate chips 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs 1 cup chopped toasted nuts

7. Squeeze the chocolate sauce over the remaining ice cream scoops, allowing the chocolate to completely cover the scoops of ice cream. Place them back into the freezer to keep them frozen. Keep the ice cream bon bons in the freezer for several more hours before serving.

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Six feet apart or six feet together—it’s all in how you see it. What we see is Louisiana. Whether it’s familiar faces working together in person or our free ePerks that make life simpler anywhere, any time, we’re always working for Louisiana.

redriverbank.net 225-923-0232 Alexandria • Baton Rouge • Lake Charles • Northshore • Shreveport

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• Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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ASK THE COMP GUY: HOW TO AVOID MISTAKES IF YOU GET HURT AT WORK

WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND AVOID SOME COMMON PITFALLS Don’t wait to tell someone you were injured Failing to report an injury in a timely manner will almost always be used against the injured worker. Louisiana’s statute of limitations only allows for one year from the date of the injury for a claim to be filed. TIP: Avoid issues by immediately reporting any injuries in writing, with as many witnesses as possible. Documenting the details of your accident is crucial. As more time passes after the accident, the more difficult it is to remember the exact details. It is important to remember what you were doing before the accident, at the time of the accident, and immediately after it occurred. If there were any witnesses, make sure to note their names and contact information. You should note any conversation and action that took place before, during and after the accident. All this information is vital for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

P

lenty of people may make simple mistakes that can hurt their workers’ compensation claim. Most are not familiar with the legal system or workers’ compensation, so they often do not fully understand their rights, eligibility for benefits, how much they may be owed, how to file, or what to do if their claim is denied. At any point in the process, a small mistake can carry big consequences. John D. Ray is the owner and operator of The Ray Firm, LLC and has practiced law for over 21 years specializing in workers’ compensation. John previously served as a mediator for the Office of Workers ’ Compensation Court (“OWC”) and as an Assistant Attorney General for the Louisiana Department of Justice. In addition, John served as Section Chief of the Workers’ Compensation Section of Louisiana Department of Justice’s Litigation Division. John has also worked in the private sector

58 

for a defense firm in New Orleans. To say the least, John has seen it all. The best way for you to protect your rights under the workers’ compensation system is to have proper legal counsel. The Ray Firm represents all types of injured workers and gets them the compensation they deserve. According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission (“LWC”), both mental and physical injuries are covered by law as long as they are the result of stress or accidents at work. The law also covers occupational diseases like lung cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos. Is it too late? Even if a claim has been denied or you think it may be too late, it is important to speak to a lawyer to help you build a stronger case. The Ray Firm can evaluate your case and help you understand the type of benefit you’re entitled to receive. Visit rayfirm.net to learn more or call 225.960.4449 to schedule a free consultation.

Don’t brush it off or try to tough it out Getting immediate medical treatment is the core of a workers’ compensation claim. Generally, insurance companies assume that if you didn’t seek medical attention immediately, you weren’t that hurt. In the case of emergency, ask your colleagues to take you to the emergency room or a walk-in clinic. In quite a few cases, instead of getting better, your injuries may get worse. It’s also important to follow through with any doctor’s order or recommendations such as follow-up appointments and referrals to a specialist. If possible, collect copies of every medical record including bills, prescriptions, MRI scans, test reports, X-rays and CT scans. Plus, you should maintain a record of all costs related to your injuries including lost wages, medical bills, and special services.

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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CULTURE I N S I D E : John Alleyne’s latest artworks / Music and arts events

Still celebrating The pandemic could have decimated Carnival season. But Baton Rouge is still trying to stay festive—whether at home, online, or from the comfort of our cars

COLLIN RICHIE

B Y JU LI A C LA I R E E VA N S

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NEW IN 2021 Introducing the 225 DAILY… Good news every day!

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C U LT U R E / /

Beads on display at Parties Start Here, which supplies the bulk of the beads and throws to local parading krewes.

Celebratory alternatives

PARTIES START HERE, the longtime Mardi Gras supply store off Perkins Road, usually orders large numbers of beads and other throws for float riders each season. This year, owner Nelson Maddox decreased his orders in case the threat of COVID-19 would make it unsafe to parade. Now, he feels that decision made him one the luckier shop owners. “Most everyone in this industry did what I did and bought very light,” he says, “because everybody knew there was a big chance that this would happen. … I’ve been in business for over 30 years, and this is catastrophic.” The good news, though, is that Maddox is still seeing some customers coming in to buy Carnival-themed items. When he asks why they’re still buying, their answer is simple: They just love Mardi Gras. “People are still going to celebrate Mardi Gras,” he says. “I just don’t know how it’ll be done.” The cancellation of nearly every Mardi Gras parade in the Baton Rouge area this year has meant a financial blow to places like Parties Start Here and local bakeries, as well. It’s also been a huge bummer for the dance troupes and musicians who usually perform on the parade routes. But those Parties Start Here shoppers aren’t the only ones rethinking the season. Everyone, it seems, is still trying to celebrate in whatever way they can.

The all-female dancing krew e Baton Rouge BeignYAYS part icipating in the Krewe of Artemis parade in 2020.

Jessica Newsom, founder and captain of the all-female dancing krewe Baton Rouge BeignYAYS, says they plan to participate in Mid City Gras’ reimagined “reverse parade” (read more about that at right). Newsom and the BeignYAYS plan to perform in the front yard of a home on Capital Heights Avenue, between Concordia and St. Landry streets, during the event. The Florida Street Blowhards, a local jazz band whose musicians usually walk in area parades, hopes to still bring its vibrant music to the community. “We’re trying to set up some drive-by locations where we can come and play one or two songs on a float,” band leader Sam Irwin says. Irwin says the band hopes to visit individual homes for small Mardi Gras parties and gatherings, and even some commercial establishments this festival season. And for those of us who plan on marking the Carnival season at home, local bakeries aren’t slowing down. Ambrosia Bakery is operating in

FILE PHOTO

COLLIN RICHIE

How to still celebrate Mardi Gras without the parades and parties

much the way it has in past years, bringing in additional staff to help bake its Zulu king cakes and other favorites. “My game plan is to do what we’ve always done,” co-owner Felix Sherman says. “I feel like people will still want their king cakes.” Sherman says they are encouraging customers to keep adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing masks during a time when there’s usually an influx of customers picking up king cake orders. “So many people have suffered from the virus, and we want them to be back in the usual spirit,” he says. “We’re just taking it a day at a time, like everyone else.” And while celebrations this year are surely going to be different, the locals we talked to for this story all say they are ready to bring Mardi Gras back bigger and better once the pandemic is over. “When this is back to normal,” Newsom says, “we’re going to do as many parades, if not more, than we usually do.”

Mid City Gras’ reverse parade The only Baton Rouge parade to offer up a modified celebration is Mid City Gras. Its reverse parade will feature dozens of participating homes and businesses in the Mid City area decorated to match this year’s theme, “MASKparade.” Locals can use an online map and drive by to see the decorations, performers and more on Sunday, Feb. 7, 1-4 p.m. midcitygras.org Mystic Krewe of Mutts’ virtual parade Always a crowd pleaser, Capital Area Animal Welfare Society’s annual parade of pets downtown was canceled. But animal lovers submitted images and videos of their dogs, cats, birds and more to be featured in a virtual parade with the theme of “There’s No Place Like Home.” The video compilation will be shown on CAAWS’s YouTube channel on Feb. 13. caaws.org Mardi Gras for All Y’all Hoda Kotb of the Today show hosts a three-night streaming event celebrating New Orleans Mardi Gras and featuring performances, interviews and more revelry available on NOLA.com and The Advocate’s websites and social media. It begins Friday, Feb. 12. Throw Me Something Bacchus! The Bacchus krewe of New Orleans created its own game app where participants can “catch” virtual throws from more than 1,600 krewe members. Some of the throws will be redeemable for real-life prizes. Download the “Throw Me Something Bacchus!” game from the app store. Show us how you celebrate Send pictures of your at-home Mardi Gras celebrations to editor@225batonrouge.com, or tag us on Instagram. You just might see your images appear on our social media pages throughout Mardi Gras season.

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FEB. 11 + 25 Get your song on at Tin Roof Brewing Co. with its family-friendly Open Mic Night. Participants are asked to bring their own equipment, and singers may perform originals—or covers. Find the event on Facebook STOCK IMAGE

FEB. 23 Curious about what it takes to produce music? Join PreSonus Audio Electronics for a Studio One Meetup over Zoom. You’ll talk to Keith Baker from Dusty Attic Studio about mixing and producing beats. Find the event on Facebook

LE G AL UG E RO

Kathleen Lemoine’s acrylic work “On Balance”

FEB. 12 Head to the Manship Theatre as The Family Dinner Comedy Troupe presents “Socially Distant Spoof Night! with Pretty in Pink.” Need more convincing to attend? There will be drink specials for the interactive movie experience. manshiptheatre.org

FEB. 24 Maryland native Warren Wolf is making his way to Baton Rouge’s Manship Theatre to perform in the River City Jazz Masters Series on the Shaw Center for the Arts’ fourth floor River Terrace. Keep your ears open for his classical, ragtime and jazz sound at this familySTOCK IMAGE friendly event. manshiptheatre.org Issue Date: Feb Ad proof #4 • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

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FEB. 25 Join the Baton Rouge Symphony as it presents “Mozart Madness” with conductor David Thorns and Tyler J. Bourque on clarinet. R U CO They’ll perform “Eine kleine Nachtmusik,” “Clarinet Concerto” and “Symphony No. 40” Alyce Simon’s “D3 (Tree ofDate: Life)” uses irradiated 2021 Ad proof #2 Issue February at Istrouma Baptist Church. brso.org acrylic to achieve its arresting image. • Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees.

Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

it’s back!

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ALL MONTH The Louisiana Art & Science Museum is showcasing the works of Alyce Simon and Eva Lee through the “Experimental Light” exhibition in its main galleries. Simon crafted her works while using a particle accelerator— also known as the “atom smasher”—showing how light can represent nature and human life. Lee crafts digital animation videos that represent different viewpoints of what our eyes are capable of seeing. lasm.org

BA TO

FEB. 5 Louisiana bands The Hippie Witch and Killer Whale are back in Baton Rouge by popular demand and are performing at Beauvoir Park, bringing rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Find the event on Facebook

FEB. 2-25  View the work of three artist members at Baton Rouge Gallery in BREC’s City Park. Brian Kelly’s work follows his journey from Louisiana to Colorado using animal forms to personify personal and social issues. Colorado native John Harlan Norris’s painted portraits present what we experience in our everyday lives and jobs and how they contribute to our societal roles. Lastly, Kathleen Lemoine was born in New Orleans and has always looked toward the beauty of south Louisiana for inspiration for her paintings, prints and sculptures. batonrougegallery.org SY

ALL MONTH Visit the Louisiana Art & Science Museum for the “Landscape Abstracted” exhibit, showcasing the modern artwork of painter Will Henry Stevens. Admire his work of representational naturalism and Southern modernism. lasm.org

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FEB. 4 Head to Beauvoir Park for a night of music as Hash Cabbage brings its rock, reggae and NOLA sound to Baton Rouge. Find the event on Facebook

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ARTS BEST BETS

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MUSIC BEST BETS

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Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

Mardi Gras

Mambo Burger

“The service was professional and the technician was courteous. Job well done. I will recommend them to my family and friends.” — CUSTOMER REVIEW Our MARDI GRAS MAMBO BURGER is BACK for a limited time! Featuring signature beef covered with melted cheddar, crispy bacon and placed between two slices of Calandro’s Supermarket cinnamon king cake. Grab your krewe and catch the burger fit for royalty before they’re gone! Limited quantities available at all location now through FAT TUESDAY, February 16th.

PLUMBING & DRAINS Burgersmith.com

Baton Rouge • Broussard • Denham Springs • Lafayette

225.925.8710 • ROTOROOTERBR.COM LMP: 5430 225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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C U LT U R E / /

ARTIST’S PERSPEC TIVE

John Alleyne’s ‘Raggamuffin’ “RIGHT NOW, I’m working on some silkscreen-collage portraits that explore my identity as Barbadian and American. I’m exploring the similarities and differences, similar to what W.E.B. Du Bois describes as ‘Double Consciousness’ in his book, The Souls of Black Folk. In Caribbean culture, ‘raggamuffin’ is a term used to refer to someone who is a roughneck or a streetwise tough guy. Other definitions of the term include a ragged, often disreputable person or a poorly clothed, dirty child. Growing up in Barbados, a popular Soca/calypso/ dancehall group named Square One made a party song called ‘Raggamuffin.’ After watching the music video and listening to the song, the word then became a term of endearment for myself and others throughout the Caribbean. I wanted to make a more contemporary depiction of the term. I’m interested in seeing my culture depicted in a fine-art setting. For this work-in-progress piece, I was inspired by a portrait from a hairstyle-guide poster from my local barbershop in Baton Rouge. The image was scanned, transferred to Photoshop, then screenprinted, cut and pasted onto a spray-painted background. The hair was added after a personal longing for more representation of figures in styleguide posters bearing dreadlocks. This piece will be one of four works to be included in an upcoming exhibition at the Exchange Museum in Barbados called ‘Non Traditional: Contemporary Bajan Expressions.’”

John Alleyne in his studio with the workin-progress piece, “Raggamuffin,” at left.

—AS TOLD TO CYNTHEA CORFAH

Growing up, the Barbados native didn’t feel like Black people were being represented in the fine art world. Through his work, he wanted to depict Black people in an otherworldly, abstract and artistic way like he hadn’t seen before. The 30-year-old visual artist makes art out of anything he can get his hands on. He has created mixed-media pieces from spray paint, acrylic paint, screen prints, silkscreen, wax, acrylic ink, enamel and oil paint sticks. Alleyne’s work is a melting pot of his own life experiences and observations. At 16, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he was exposed to everything from fine art galleries to street art. His abstract collages featuring spray paint and paint splatters resemble the bold graffiti and posters that decorate the streets of New York ghettos. In 2015, Alleyne moved to Baton Rouge to pursue his master’s of fine arts with a focus in studio art at LSU. In 2018, he graduated with concentrations in painting, drawing and printmaking. Since receiving his master’s, he has showcased his work from New York to Los Angeles and even Ireland. Locally, his art has been seen at the LSU Museum of Art, as well as Masur Museum of Art in Monroe and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Alleyne is an assistant professor of art at Southern University. In 2020, he became an artist member of the Baton Rouge Gallery. johnalleyne.com

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COLLIN RICHIE

About the artist

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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weddings 2021

special day

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CALENDAR //

february

The Arts Council Of Greater Baton Rouge & The River City Jazz Coalition Present

RIVER CITY

MASTERS Concert Series

Where play aro to Baton R und o this monuge th C ompiled b Brittney Fo y rbes

all month

SHOOT FOR THE STARS Every Friday and Saturday, embark on a journey through space with the Highland Road Park Observatory. During its Evening Sky Viewings, you can look at the moon, constellations, different planets and more through a professional telescope. Find the event on Facebook

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PHOTOS BY KRISTIN SELLE AND COLLIN RICHIE

DON’T RAIN ON MY AT-HOME PARADE Mid City Gras isn’t marching down North Boulevard this year because of the coronavirus, but krewes will be decorating their homes to the nines to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive. Laissez les bons temps rouler, and bring your family to drive by the krewes’ decorated homes throughout Mid City. midcitygras.org

ON THE ROAD arts council

GREATER BATON ROUGE

NEW ORLEANS

FEB. 2: Walking with Whiskey at The Sazerac House, sazerachouse.com

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FEB. 14: Krewe of Bacchus virtual parade, Find the Throw Me Something Bacchus! app on the app store

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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CALENDAR //

ALSO THIS MONTH ALL MONTH Take a city tour with Red Stick Adventures and visit the historic neighborhoods and spots that make Baton Rouge “the Red Stick.” redstickadventures.com EVERY TUESDAY Join the Station Sports Bar and Grill for its weekly karaoke parties, where you can perform and eat discounted wings and drinks with your friends. Find the event on Facebook

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OFF TO THE RACES Go out for a virtual race with Komen Baton Rouge’s Race for the Cure event supporting breast cancer survivors and Komen’s cancer research. Participants can download the Race for the Cure app for the full event-day experience, where they can earn badges and medals for watching videos, taking quizzes and logging steps. batonrouge.info-komen.org

all month

MORE EVENTS Subscribe to our new newsletter 225 Daily for event roundups throughout the week. 225batonrouge.com/225Daily

EVERY WEDNESDAY Get moving and find your inner zen with your crew—while social distancing, of course—with Tin Roof Brewing Co.’s Yoga on Tap event, complete with your favorite local craft brews. tinroofbeer.com FEB. 4 Join the Louisiana Culinary Institute for a Mardi Gras cookie decorating class with chef Jeanne Mancuso. lci.edu FEB. 5 Help bring awareness to cardiovascular disease with the Go Red for Women “Lunch-In,” supporting the American Heart Association through a digital event. ahabatonrouge.ejoinme.org FEB. 13 Join the Saturday Morning Studio at BREC’s Milton J. Womack Park, where you and your kids can learn how to create sustainable sculptures while using recycled materials. brec.org FEB. 20 BREC’s Perkins Road Community Park has all the amenities needed to practice your BMX skills. Bring your kids to the 30,000-squarefoot concrete skatepark for a BMX clinic, where you’ll learn from an instructor how to do different tricks and flips. brec.org FEB. 27 Head to LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens for the Herb Day Plant Sale. To keep everyone safe, The Herb Society of America-Baton Rouge Unit has modified this year’s event to be a plant sale only, and masks will be required. hsabr.org

LAFAYETTE

FEB. 1: Billy Childs Quartet at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, acadianacenterforthearts.org

337 FEB. 25-26: Honoring the Life of Jillian Johnson at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, acadianacenterforthearts.org

225batonrouge.com  |  [225] February 2021 

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Issue Date: February Ad proof #3

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2021. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

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[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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Issue Date: Nov 2020 Ad proof #3 WRITE ON //

Keep going over the months, I decided something. I REDISCOVERED BATON Rouge Baton Rouge’s natural beauty is underlast year from my bike. And during a rated. We might not have mountains pandemic, it was the best thing I could or oceans, but golden hour along our have done for my mental health. stretch of river is just as stunning. From spring through fall, I When I spoke with Bike Baton embarked on rides several times a Rouge’s Mark Martin for our cover week. Some days, I’d meet up with story, he put it better than I could. a friend at LSU to explore a campus “When you’re riding, you realize quieted by the pandemic. Other days, how beautiful it can be here in town. I’d hit the Mississippi River levee bike I don’t think I’ve ever path for a sunset ride. seen anybody who I’ll admit I wasn’t much commuted into work of a bicyclist before the talk about what a great pandemic. So the first commute they had in time I clumsily climbed a car,” he said. “When back on a bike, it felt like people bike in, they talk doing something fresh about what a beautiful and new. A makeshift day it is, or something adventure, or at least a interesting they saw.” way to fill the time and Living through make up for all the coneverything that has hapcerts, events and nights pened to all of us since at a bar with friends that By Jennifer Tormo last March has been couldn’t happen anymore. traumatic. Lately, when But it became much I ask my friends how they’re doing, more than that. As the world shook the answer is usually an honest “I’m throughout 2020, it felt restorative. holding up OK.” I have a friend who’s I felt like I could, for once, safely been scared to leave her young son at breathe in the air around me. Biking daycare because she’s worried about felt like saving my sanity. more unrest following the insurrection I tried to change up my routes at the U.S. Capitol, and another friend around downtown. Sometimes I rode who’s barely been sleeping because in circles through Capitol Gardens and she’s so troubled by reading the news. traversed Veteran’s Memorial Park. Meanwhile, there were nearly 4,000 I pedaled through North Boulevard U.S. deaths on Jan. 6 due to COVID-19, Town Square and over backroads a staggering single-day death toll— behind The 13th Gate toward the higher than Sept. 11, 2001—that was Mississippi River levee bike path. repeated daily for weeks in January. Some days, I’d stop at Torchy’s Tacos It’s OK to admit we are not OK. But across from Tiger Stadium for chips it’s also OK to find ways to turn off our and queso and a margarita. Others, minds and search for little moments of I’d keep going along the levee until happiness wherever we can find them. the sun slid below the clouds and the With the promise of warmer spring evening’s bugs started pelting my face. weather ahead, I’ll keep finding solace Along the way, I noticed things. in biking. Before I hung up the phone I heard music playing from open with Mark Martin during our interwindows in Spanish Town, drifting out view, I asked if there was anything else toward Mardi Gras bead-lined fences. people should know about riding. His I stopped to take a picture of pink answer will stick with me: flowers budding in bushes next to the “Concentrate on the pleasure, the Louisiana Department of Revenue joy that bike riding will bring you. building. I spotted a swirly, blue and Everything else is going to come green mural along South Boulevard I’d along with that—you’re going to have never known was there. I realized how increased health, you’re going to feel charming Beauregard Town is. better mentally, you’ll have better Without fail, the sun rose and cardiovascular health, you’re going to set resiliently each day. Over and save money,” he said. “Most of those over, it painted the clouds purple, things, though, are not enough to pink and orange. Those sunsets felt make people want to ride a bike. But if simultaneously oblivious to and you pay attention to how good it feels, triumphant over everything else. how much fun it is—you’ll want to As I watched the powerful keep going.” Mississippi River swell and recede

• Please respond by e-mail or fax with your approval or minor revisions. • AD WILL RUN AS IS unless revision requests are received within 24 hours. • Additional revisions must be requested and may be subject to production fees. Carefully check this ad for: CORRECT ADDRESS • CORRECT PHONE NUMBER • ANY TYPOS This ad design © Louisiana Business, Inc. 2020. All rights reserved. Phone 225-928-1700 • Fax 225-926-1329

WHICH AIR FILTER SHOULD I USE? The more restrictive an air filter is, the more particulates it will catch. A particulate is a particle of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air. The more particulates in the air filter, the more difficult it is for air to pass through to the HVAC system. In turn the system performs less efficiently and works harder. By maintaining a clean system, you ensure a longer life for your equipment. We recommend investing in a high performance and less restrictive air filtration system.

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FRAMED //

In every issue of 225, you’ll find a free print on this page. FRAMED celebrates life and art in Baton Rouge, each one featuring a local photographer, place or graphic designer. Cut it out to hang in your cubicle, or frame it for your home gallery wall. Show us where you hang them by tagging them on social media with #225prints.

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PHOTO BY COLLIN RICHIE / collinrichiephoto.com GET FEATURED We love spotlighting local photographers, artists and designers for this page! Shoot us an email at editor@225batonrouge.com to chat about being featured.

[225] February 2021  |  225batonrouge.com

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Your Adventure

This Month [ F E B R U A R Y ]

@ BREC SWAMP FLASHLIGHT NIGHT

Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center Feb. 12 | 5-9 p.m.

TEEN POP UP AND UNPLUG

MARDI GRAS HOLIDAY CAMPS

Various Locations

Feb. 15-17 brec.org/holidaycamp

Anna T. Jordan Community Park

ADAPTIVE SUNSHINE SOCIAL Virtual

SATURDAY MORNING STUDIO: SUSTAINABLE SCULPTURES

E-SPORTS TOURNAMENT Virtual

Feb. 13 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Milton J. Womack Park Feb. 13 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

CAMP-IN

Lovett Road Park

Feb. 13 | 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

MARDI GRAS MISCHIEF

Cadillac Street Park + Hamilton Ave. Park Feb. 15 | 12:30-5:30 p.m.

Feb. 19 | 6-8 p.m. Feb. 20 | noon

GEAUX FISH CATFISH RODEO

Howell Community Park Feb. 20 | 7:30-11:30 a.m.

ART UNWINED: BEATNIK ART Virtual Feb. 26 | 6:30 - 8 p.m.

HOMAGE TO A HERO - HARRIET TUBMAN Milton J. Womack Park Feb. 27 | 10:30 a.m.-noon

BREC.ORg/thismonth BREC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, veteran status or sexual orientation in its programs and activities.

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GET UP & GO. This year, take back your life.

The Spine Center of Baton Rouge is here to help. From minimally invasive spine surgery to proven pain management therapies, our experts offer the latest advances in spinal health, so you can get back to pain-free living. BATON ROUGE • PRAIRIEVILLE • WALKER spinecenterbr.com | ph. 833-SPINEBR

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WITH

PROUDLY PHYSICIAN-OWNED

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Profile for Baton Rouge Business Report

[225] Magazine - February 2021  

[225] Magazine - February 2021