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Autumn 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

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Resolve to Create an Inspirational Space in 2017...


Autumn 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

“We surrounded ourselves with a great community in Jackson.” —Michael Dorado, page 41


8 JXN LEGO City Complete with Batman, of course. 10 The Balloon Dude Robert Day can twist better than you. 14 SECRET JXN Fishing for Art Once upon a time, catfish were on land. 16 EXPAT To the West Coast. Meet a Mississippian becoming a star in L.A. 17 Rays and STEAM Anik Kurkjian loves light.




18 PROGRESS Times A’ Changin’ What’s happening in Jackson’s development world. 20 HITCHED Local Wedding Bells Gift items for favors, bridal parties, holiday gifts. 21 Wedding Bells Use Best of Jackson as your guide. 22 BIZ Trinkets, Art and More Learn about the delightful Museum Store. 24 Unconventional Leadership tips that may surprise you. 29 MENU GUIDE Paid advertising.


36 BITES Pickles and Coffee Take a peek inside the state’s cottage-food industry. 38 POWER COUPLES Together Forever These eight couples are helping advance the city. 46 DO GOODER A Helping (Paper) Hand A local business is helping support women in Peru.



47 MELODIES Rhythmic Ohms What exactly is the yoga of sound? 47 Running in Rhythm The Mississippi Blues Marathon: better than ever. 48 ARTS Inviting Artists Mississippi creatives showcase their work. 50 EVENTS Sparkle and Shine What to see, what to do. 56 COOL, TOO By the Seaside Art. Food. Ocean Springs. 58 LOCAL LIST Wedding Guru LaShanda Brumfield’s favorite places.

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editor’s note

A Loving, Welcoming City Editor-in-Chief and CEO Donna Ladd Managing Editor Amber Helsel Art Director Kristin Brenemen

Editorial Writers Dustin Cardon // Richard Coupe Arielle Dreher // Katie Gill Mike McDonald // LaShanda Phillips Julie Skipper // Tim Summers Jr. Alex Theil // Abigail Walker Alexis Ware // Brinda Willis Listings Editor // Tyler Edwards Photography Imani Khayyam Ad Design Zilpha Young Business and Sales Advertising Director // Kimberly Griffin Sales and Marketing Consultant // Myron Cathey Sales Assistant // Mary Osborne Distribution Manager // Richard Laswell Assistant to the CEO // Inga-Lill Sjostrom Operations Consultant // David Joseph President and Publisher Todd Stauffer CONTACT US Story pitches // Ad Sales // BOOM Jackson 125 S. Congress St., #1324, Jackson, MS 39201 p 601.362.6121 // f 601.510.9019 Would you like copies of BOOM Jackson for recruiting, welcome packets or other corporate, institutional or educational uses? Call 601.362.6121 x16 or email BOOM Jackson is a publication of Jackson Free Press Inc. BOOM Jackson, which publishes quarterly, focuses on the urban experience in Jackson, Miss., emphasizing entrepreneurship, economic growth, culture, style and city life. © 2016-2017 Jackson Free Press Inc.

Cover photo of Elisha Roberts and Justin Turner by Imani Khayyam See more on page 39


write this three days after the presidential election as division roils our nation. It’s pretty depressing whether you’re reading Facebook posts or listening to your staff and loved ones express fears of what the future will be like for them. This week, and I suspect for the next four years, I’m trying to show love and support to as many people as possible who are scared and stressed out by the state of our nation. I catch myself staring out my windows 13 floors up in downtown Jackson, looking out on an urban environment. I can see the county courthouse, the police department, Thalia Mara Hall, the arts cenDonna Ladd ter and arts museum, the trees of Rankin County, the state fairgrounds. I look at Hal & Mal’s, long a welcoming gathering place for people from every part of our community, a place where many dollars are raised every year to help causes outsiders don’t think of as important to Mississippians, from LGBT rights to stopping domestic abuse. I also look straight down at City Hall, and can even see (with my binoculars) who comes in and out the front door. It is in that building that the city council—with five black members and two white—have helped build Jackson into a sanctuary for so many people. They’ve voted against racial profiling and immigrant witch hunts, and this last year, they stayed way into the night to come out emotionally and unanimously against the anti-gay House Bill 1523, just down the street from the Governor’s Mansion and the state capitol where it was born. When people in states far more “blue” than Mississippi ask me how I can live here, I just look at them with a bit of pity because they don’t get it. Jackson is a progressive city, one held together by love and determination and a welcoming spirit and the kinds of faith that unite rather than divide. We have challenges, no doubt, but there is nothing like thousands of people getting up every day with the fire in their bellies to make it an even better place to live. I’ve lived places where people are compla-

cent about their forward-thinking beliefs and believe nothing ugly is likely to touch them because they’re hidden from it. Here, where I am watching the new civil rights museum rise behind the Old Capitol where the state voted to secede due to slavery, we know that reality and freedom involve struggle. We’re used to it, and we’re surrounded by loving people who will get our backs even when we feel beaten down by the weight of the world. In fact, I’ve never lived anywhere where I feel more love more often. Most people here appreciate other people fighting the good fight to lift up the city, and state, and each other, and they often tell each other how much they care. Or, they just hug your neck. Don’t bother to resist; hugs cure all. Jackson has helped me stay in the moment, to feel like my work matters every day. I’ve long liked to say that you can make a difference here by showing up—whether at New Stage for an unflinching play or one of our increasingly amazing local restaurants to support the folks who work just as hard as you do for the city. One of our power couples this issue (see page 41) talked about the power of Jackson to heal divides: “[W]e have a wonderful life here, and we surrounded ourselves with a great community in Jackson,” Michael Dorado says of his life with his husband, Aaron Polk. Still, Jackson, and Mississippi, aren’t for everyone. It’s an intense life here because our state was born in intensity and struggle, and some people want a more numbing life than we can allow here. That is also why Jacksonians seldom give up; we pick each other up when we fall, and we laugh despite the challenges, and we love like a bat that just escaped hell. This city gives back in the most powerful way if you allow it to, and it’s a haven for being as loving as you want to be. The people here will love you back; if one doesn’t, the next two will. It’s hard for a city to get much better than that. Imani Khayyam

Assistant Editor Micah Smith


// by Donna Ladd

CORRECTIONS: In “Perspectives of Small Communities” (Vol. 9, Issue 2, September-November 2016), Tommy Teepell’s last name was originally spelled as Temple. Chandler Griffin and Allison Fast met while running a media-based workshop in South Africa through Barefoot workshops, not while filming on location in the country. Also, Fast and Griffin have been running documentary photography and filmmaking workshops in Clarksdale and the Delta since 2005. We apologize for the errors.

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine


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Julie Skipper

Freelance writer Julie Skipper practices law by day and gets out and about around Jackson as much as possible the rest of the time. She fancies art, fashion and travel, and rarely encounters a stiletto she doesn’t like. She wrote about Music & Mysticism in this issue

LaShanda Phillips

Long-time freelance writer LaShanda Phillips is a recent graduate of Jackson State University. She is the third oldest of seven children. She wrote about The Museum Store.

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Imani Khayyam

Staff Photographer Imani Khayyam is an art lover and a native of Jackson. He loves to be behind the camera and capture the true essence of his subjects. He took the cover photo and many others for the issue.


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Alex Thiel

Alex Thiel, a Jackson native, is a writer, filmmaker and musician who is active in both Jackson and Oxford. A graduate student of the University of Mississippi, Alex asserts that his Ole Miss football fandom was biologically determined, and is, in fact, not a choice. He wrote about Mississippi’s cottage-food industry.

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Magic and Balloons p 10 Finding Catfish p 14 A Mississippian in L.A. p 16 Going Up in Lights p 17 Progress in the City pp 18-19 A Local Wedding Guide pp 20-21


Disability-rights advocate Scott Crawford has created an elaborate world in his Keep Building Jackson LEGO display.



// by Katie Gill

or some people, it has practically become a Jackson tradition: At some point in December, they head downtown and check out Keep Building Jackson, also known as LEGO Jackson. Now in its seventh year, Keep Building Jackson fuses well-known Jackson landmarks such as Fondren Corner and the Mississippi State Fair with more fantastical aspects such as dragons and Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Keep Building Jackson is the brainchild of Scott Crawford, and it’s his hobby—for his day job, he volunteers as a disability-rights advocate, with a special focus on Americans With Disabilities Act compliance. But what started out as a simple hobby has become something larger, now spanning 20 tables. The Greater Jackson Arts Council partially funds Keep Building Jack-


son, though Crawford says, “(It) is still a lot of out-of-pocket costs.” This December, Keep Building Jackson will add Greyhound buses, rebuilt JATRAN buses and Union Station to the display. “I try to pick architecturally interesting and historical buildings, beautiful buildings all around Jackson,” Crawford says. Union Station consists of around 25,000 to 30,000 bricks and will feature a motorized Amtrak train that travels around the city. Both the newly rebuilt JATRAN buses and Union Station’s Greyhound buses feature logo decals that Crawford designed, sized, printed and cut out himself. While he tries to recreate Jackson buildings as faithfully as possible, Crawford’s Jackson represents an idealized version of the city. It

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

has rooftop gardens, a mountain-bike park and bicycle-friendly communities. Crawford takes great pains to use African American LEGOs in addition to the default yellow heads, which presents a challenge, as only the yellow heads can be ordered in bulk from the LEGO website. For Crawford, LEGO diversity is paramount. “I want kids to say, ‘That might be me.’ It’s about owning the city and saying, ‘Wow, we really do have some cool things in Jackson. It’s worth saving,’” he says. Keep Building Jackson shows at the Arts Center of Mississippi (201 E. Pascagoula St., 601.960.1500) from Dec. 3, 2016, to Jan. 13, 2017. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free admission. For more information, find Keep Building Jackson on Facebook.

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JXN // magic Imani Khayyam

Illusion and Balloons // by Mike McDonald


alloon artist and magician Robert Day stands on Congress Street making colorful balloon art, such as Wonder Woman, the “Ghostbusters” symbol, the Incredible Hulk, whimsical hats and more. Day, a Terry resident, says he first started performing magic at 10 years old. He picked up a copy of Boys Life magazine and saw a magic trick in it. It piqued his interest, so he purchased a kit, practiced those tricks and soon began a lifetime of illusionary stagecraft. “You don’t always need misdirection to complete a good magic trick,” he says. “One must simply practice the same trick over and over and over again.” Day got his first professional gig as a magician at age 11, when a woman asked him if he could perform at a birthday party. He began making balloon art after someone called and asked if he could do it. He started out making simple dogs and hats, and moved onto objects such as superheroes Superman and The Hulk. Day performs at parties, charity events, corporate gatherings and even on streets for passersby. “I like performing at parties, making

Robert Day is both a magician and balloon artist.

people happy, but nothing compares to street performances,” he says. “The camaraderie between performers is amazing. We have each other’s backs. I look for a high-traffic area and set up a table. If you’re good, you can earn a decent living, regardless of local or national economics because people will tip you for quality entertainment, and people are generous.” Day is a self-taught entertainer who never “smokes, drinks or does drugs because magic is my drug,” he says. As an entertainer, he


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Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

halia Mara Hall has been made over. In recent years, it underwent a major renovation, and it has hosted many shows, including ones from Broadway. Director Michael Raff oversaw those changes. He has also made a difference in Jackson, whether through his work with the City or as a social-justice advocate. Recently, Raff let us peek inside his satchel.

Imani Khayyam


knows how to work the crowd and must adjust his act depending on a crowd’s composition. “If I perform on the street in Boston, I might say a joke that goes over well compared to the same joke told in New Orleans,” Day says. “I create the illusion that the show is designed for them. I produce the same effects for different people, and different effects for the same people.” For more information, visit robertday

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JXN // secret jackson

About Those Catfish Imani Khayyam

// by Abigail Walker

Jack Kyle, the chairman of the Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange, organized the public-art exhibit, “Mississippi Catfish on Parade.” 14


hose who have been here for a while may recall seeing catfish climbing a pole while sporting a hard hat, or even impersonating Elvis a few years back. These colorful fish decorated the streets of downtown for a short time, but they remain a treasured part of Jackson’s artistic past. The statues were part of a public art exhibit called “Mississippi Catfish on Parade,” which the Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange put on in 2003. Inspired by an art movement where cities around the world were doing public-sculpture projects, commission chairman Jack Kyle commissioned Jackson’s own version. “It was an effort to show that Jackson was on top of current publicart trends,” he says. New York had a parade of cows; San Francisco displayed hearts, and Arkansas chose hogs. Kyle said the initial idea for Jackson was to do bulls to

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

tie in with the 2001 “Majesty of Spain” exhibition. But eventually, the commission decided to use catfish because of Mississippi’s role in that industry. “We wanted to select an image that would resonate for the whole state,” Kyle says. Kyle says the catfish were mass-produced fiberglass sculptures imported from Spain. Local businesses and nonprofits were asked to sponsor a fish and decorate it with their own flare. A total of 68 statues went on display, primarily throughout the downtown area. They had clever names such as “Catfish on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Atticus Fish.” Artist Wyatt Waters painted one called “Fish out of Waters.” The catfish spent about five months on display, and afterward, sponsors were encouraged to take them. Some of the more elaborate fish were auctioned off for certain causes. However, a few of these statues are still floating around Jackson today. One catfish decorated with kites and butterflies is on display outside Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital. Though “Mississippi Catfish on Parade” was a temporary exhibit, Kyle says people still have fond

memories of them. “You really saw people coming to the downtown to look at them and enjoy a little bit of beauty,” he says. His organization also commissioned a “Mississippi Catfish on Parade” book. Created by Liquid Creative and photographed by Gil Ford, the book contains pictures of the various catfish sculptures, along with the name, sponsor and artist of each. Meridian, which displayed carousel horses, was the first city in Mississippi to do a pop-art project of this kind. Hattiesburg also held a “Festival of Swans,” which Kyle helped organize. Some of the swans are still at the Hattiesburg Zoo or around town. The commission is a 501c3 nonprofit created in 1994 to organize, develop and promote major international exhibitions. Exhibits such as “Palaces of St. Petersburg” in 1996, “Majesty of Spain” in 2001, and “Glory of Baroque Dresden” in 2004, have drawn more than 1 million visitors, including international royalty. Kyle is also the senior director of arts development and the chair of arts administration at Belhaven University.

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JXN // expat Imani Khayyam


ackson native Maurice Smith says developing a love of music was unavoidable after growing up in a big family with musicians on both sides. With drummers and pianists on his mother’s side and singers on his father’s side, Smith and his siblings had a After Maurice none-too-subtle push toward music from a young age. Smith lost “My parents put us on stage for churches and talent his job in shows when we were really young,” he says. “Just com2008, he ing up through school, singing in the school choir, and decided with people hitting you up to sing for their weddings and to pursue music fullthings like that, it just naturally evolved.” time. While Smith continued performing and recording as a hobby, turning his voice into a career didn’t seem like a possibility, he says. Stylistically, he was drawn to R&B at a time when Jackson only seemed interested in blues and gospel. Instead, he decided to attend Jackson State University to study marketing and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2004. In January 2005, Smith moved to Los Angeles to work as a marketing manager for Nokia. Trevor Jennings, a fellow Jackson musician had moved to Los Angeles, too, and they began playing music together around town at showcases and jam sessions. In 2008, they released the single “Midnight Dreams,” which drew praise in the L.A. music scene. That year, Smith lost his job, but rather than jumping back into the job market, he decided to pursue music fulltime. Luckily, the choice turned out to be a good one. In the past few years, he has performed alongside artists such as Grammy Award winners Seal, LeAnn Rimes and Franco de Vita, to name a few, while also releasing several collections of original music. “It’s been a total growth,” Smith says. “I’ve become one of the more sought-after singers out here, doing shows and traveling, and recently, I played with Beyoncé at the Grammys, just doing some background singing for her, so it’s been a total change. If you would’ve told me I’d be at this point while I was in Mississippi, I wouldn’t have believed it.” Smith is now writing songs for a full-length album, which he plans to record in 2017, but he still managed to release two new recording projects in July of this year— the classic-soul-inspired “Delta Soul” EP, an homage to his home state and his grandfather, Herman Johnson, and a single, “Let Freedom Ring,” which he wrote following the police shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. In the midst of recording and performing as a solo Micah Smith artist and sideman, Smith is also devoted to spending time at home to raise his son, Hendrix Smith, with girlfriend Marisa Devonish. Even spread thin between his personal and professional lives, Smith says he is glad for every opportunity to develop as an artist. “Fifty percent of the time, I’m in the air or on the road, and the other 50 percent of the time, I’m in L.A., so it’s a well-balanced time,” Smith says. “But you fall in love with (making music) every time you’re about to leave. When you’re doing it for yourself, it’s your baby. You just want to cultivate it and help it grow, and you want to do as much as you can with it.” For more information, visit

Los Angeles Dreamin’ // by


Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Let There Be Light // by Dustin Cardon


tion mapping, which involves putting a large-scale projection around an entire building to make it appear to change form. Kurkjian says those planning to attend the festival can create their own light designs and art pieces centered on the concept of light, which will be displayed in a community do-it-yourself exhibition. “Mississippians are an innovative people, and we want to showcase all the fabulous, creative people in this state and what they’re doing,” she says. Beyond showcasing the arts, the Mississippi Light Festival also aims to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and industries in the state. One prominent feature will be what Kurkjian calls a “STEAM” lab, which is “STEM with art,” she says. In the lab, local scientists, technologists and programmers will host workshops and help visitors create art with light through chemistry, electricity and programming. While the area will be geared toward educating children, Kurkjian says it will also work to raise awareness in the constantly growing STEM industries for adults. The festival will take place in the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art, as well as in and around the surrounding buildings such as the Jackson Convention Complex, the Arts Center of Mississippi, Thalia Mara Hall and the Students from the Mississippi State University Architecture School on Capitol Street, where Anik Kurkjian’s (center back) business, Mississippi Light Collaborations, is headquarted, are Russell C. Davis Planetarium. They will helping bring the Mississippi Light Festival to life. From left to right: Lucas Posey, Rachel all host workshops, tech talks and interPatronas, Garett Yelverton, Kapish Cheema and Zac White active art exhibits. The festival will also feature loprojects at the Mississippi Museum of Art, where she designed and cal food trucks and an on-site bar that will serve light-themed food and drinks. produced its “Mapping a Modern Mississippi” initiative. While Kurkjian says she expects a bit of a learning curve for In November 2015, she decided to devote herself full-time to a new endeavor—the Mississippi Light Festival. The event will use the everyone, given the size of the event, she plans to organize another installment of the Mississippi Light Festival each year. European-style light festival platform to highlight the creativity in the She will also be launching a year-long program called Mississippi state in the areas of art, technology and other innovations. Light Education, which will organize talks throughout Jackson and “I launched this project initially because I was looking for a workshops at places such as The Hatch in midtown, discussing variplace to showcase my own design work, even though, as it stands, I ous aspects of light, from its aesthetics to its history. won’t actually have any of my art on display at the festival this time,” The Mississippi Light Festival, which Kurkjian’s business, Mississhe says. sippi Light Collaborations, is hosting, will take place Feb. 24, 2017, As of press time, more than 100 local artists have already signed up to take part in the festival, collaborating on projects such as light- starting at 6 p.m. The event is free to attend. To participate, volunteer or offer financial support, email For more inbased sculptures, wall projections, costumes, furniture, deejay performances with light shows set to music, and three-dimensional projec- formation, find the festival on Facebook.

Ria Bennett

hen Anik Kurkjian moved to the South from England two years ago, she says the light and colors here were an immediate inspiration for her work as a designer and producer of experiential events, such as theater, dance, film and marketing. When she first got here, Kurkjian says, she went crazy with her camera. Last year, Kurkjian moved to Jackson from Hattiesburg with her husband, Drew Young, to work as the director of outreach and special

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


JXN // progress

Jackson: A Renewal Hub // Tim Summers Jr.


ackson is growing up and promises to become thicker with businesses and residential opportunities in the next year, as the capital city becomes more and more of a hub for urban renewal and redevelopment, despite occasional setbacks and delays.

Innovating Downtown

The Meridian in Fondren has opened its doors to residents.

Capitol Art Lofts Underway New Orleans-based developer HRI Properties Inc. has started construction on the long-awaited Capitol Art Lofts in downtown Jackson near the King Edward Hotel. Joshua Collen, senior vice president for development services for the New Orleans-based company, said in a September release that the project should be completed by late 2017. Of the 31 planned apartments, 26 will be for people who earn less than 60 percent of the median area income, the Mississippi Business Journal reported. That is a result of the tax credits the developers used to build the $10-million project. The other five apartments will be for those whose incomes do not exceed 30 percent of the median area income. The project could revitalize the historic west Capitol area, once known for its iconic art-deco architecture. HRI also renovated the King Edward Hotel, across the street from Capitol Art Lofts. 18

Fondren continues to expand with the addition of The Meridian, directly across from the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus on Lakeland Drive. The apartments offer medical students, who had an advance opportunity to reserve their spots, and Jacksonians the ability to live in the Foncourtesy The Meridian

A significant addition to the downtown Jackson renaissance is the relocation of Innovation Mississippi, a technology and startupcentered nonprofit, to the historic strip known as Spengler’s Corner on State Street across the street from the Old Capitol Museum. The strip is also called the Mississippi Innovation Hub and includes businesses such as Thimblepress and Seabold Architecture Studio. “We are looking forward to this next step for Innovate Mississippi,” Tony Jeff, the president and chief executive officer of Innovate Mississippi, said in a statement to the media. “We believe that being part of downtown and readily accessible to the startup community is vital to the technological growth for the innovators of our state. Innovate Mississippi works with technology-based companies on growth and stability while helping them to maintain Mississippi as their home base. We feel that a central accessible location is vital to maintain this growth and collaboration.” Innovate Mississippi moved into the business strip with Coalesce, which will continue to host local networking events such as the 1 Million Cups weekly meetings, which meet at 9 a.m. most Wednesdays.

The Meridian Opens

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

dren area in a more urban-type residential setting. The floor plans range from one- to three-bedroom options, some with balconies overlooking the pool space in the center of the complex. The apartments also have studio apartments available. The Meridian is currently accepting applications.

Whitney Place, Remade The City of Jackson recently authorized more tax credits for The Whitney, a hotel project in the Fondren district that would open onto North State Street, but a scaled-down version of an earlier plan. Mike Davis of the City’s economic-development department explained that the 111-room hotel had a quick timeline, and he expects the developers to be through with their permitting process in the next few months. He said they were expected to “go vertical” with the project, and that it would be completed within 14 to 18 months. The City is reimbursing the Whitney Place project through tax credits in the amount of $2.1 million, which the city council approved unanimously.

Continental’s First Contracts

‘One Lake’ Report Soon

water that can also hold flood waters. If the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that governs all waterway construction and maintenance, approves the foundation’s study, it still needs public input. The foundation plans to present it at several town-hall meetings, some in Jackson and some downstream. The foundation must overcome concerns downstream that reduction of water flow could harm fragile Delta ecosystems, including the oyster industry in Louisiana’s St. Tammany Parish. Pearl River Vision Foundation representatives say they expect the report to be completed in the next several months, but even if they get approval for the federal funds, it will only reach about half of the necessary $300 million. Imani Khayyam

The Continental Tire Plant in Hinds County outside Clinton has hired its first contractors in the beginning steps of a project that is set to take until 2018 to complete and has a total investment of $236 million in bonds to assist the construction process. Recently, the Germany-based company started the process of selecting companies to handle the grubbing and clearing of the almost1,000-acre lot. Continental has promised that the $1.45-billion plant will bring more than 2,500 jobs to the area over the next decade. So far, Continental has hired a Mississippi accountant and an on-site construction manager. The Hinds County Board of Supervisors recently authorized the design and implementation of a consortium of county businesses to help promote native companies in the competition for the Continental contracts.

Airport Renovating Runway The Jackson Medgar-Evers Wiley International Airport received more than $17 million in federal infrastructure grants to address runway conditions in both the main airport east of Jackson and the inner-city Hawkins Field Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration awarded the grants as a part of the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems initiative, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation contributed the matching 10-percent funds necessary for the airport

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Combining development with an effort to curb the looming danger of flooding in the Pearl River basin continues as supporters of the “One Lake” project along the Pearl River research the pros and cons of each of several Technology and startup-centered nonprofit plans put forth. Innovation Mississippi recently moved into Spengler’s Corner in downtown Jackson. One Lake is the brain-child of a nonprofit organization called the Pearl River Vision Foundation, which local oil magnate John McGowan cre- to receive the grants. A release from the airport administration explains that the majority, ated and invested in after shelving his controversial vision for a larger “Two Lakes” development that ran into environmental, eminent-domain $17,216,361, will pay to resurface the west runway at the main airport, along with portions of parallel taxiway. Around $350,000 will go to Hawkand cost hurdles. The foundation now works hand-in-hand with its partner, the ins Field, specifically for resurfacing the airport parking apron (the area of an airport where aircraft are parked, loaded and unloaded, refueled or Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District. The Levee Board, as it is called, is a public entity made up of metro-area area boarded) adjacent to the aging historic terminal building at the smaller airport. mayors, including Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber, and county and state The work at Hawkins is expected to begin as early as November representatives. 2016, while the larger and more extensive work at the international air In order to qualify for federal-assistance dollars to fund the project, set to cost around $300 million, the foundation has studied the potential port is set to begin in early 2017. Email city reporter Tim Summers Jr. at effects of allowing the river to widen out and create a large “lake” downstream from the Ross Barnett Reservoir to use as a recreational body of See more local news at

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


HITCHED // trinkets

Something New // by Amber Helsel


edding planning is a tough time for many people, but one part of it shouldn’t be—gifts. Whether it be for the registry, bridesmaid or groomsmen, and everyone in between—or for the holidays—you can find lots of gifts locally. Here are some ideas to help you out.

Where 2 Shop 1. “The Storied South” book Mississippi Museum of Art, $35

6. Cufflinks, LilMcKH Jewelry Mississippi Museum of Art, $300

11. Shirt Swell-o-Phonic, $20

2. Bridesmaid card Thimblepress, $5-$24

7. Tea towel Mississippi Museum of Art, $18

12. Necklace Swell-o-Phonic, $36

3. Wand, Sam Clark Mississippi Crafts Center, $50

8. Crab bowl, Blanca Love Mississippi Crafts Center, $120

13. Banner kit Thimblepress, $30

4. Wand, Sam Clark Mississippi Crafts Center, $50

9. Wine rack Repurposed Projects, $40

14. Plate by Pearl River Glass Studio Mississippi Museum of Art, $30

5. Necklace, LilMcKH Jewelry Mississippi Museum of Art, $120

10. Letterpress coasters Thimblepress, $15


Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601.960.1515, Thimblepress (113 N. State St., 601.351.9492, Mississippi Crafts Center (950 Rice Road, 601.856.7546, Swell-o-Phonic (2906 N. State St., Suite 103, 601.366.9955) Repurposed Projects (601.988.4297)

Your Best of Jackson

Guide to Weddings // by Amber Helsel


est of Jackson is good for a lot of things: It can give you ideas on where to shop, where to eat, who’s who in the Jackson area and more. And it can do one more thing: Help you plan your wedding. Let’s take a look at last year’s results. See this year’s winners in the Jackson Free Press on Jan. 25 and at

Best Florist

Greenbrook Flowers Inc. (705 N. State St., 601-957-1951, Greenbrook Flowers has received the title of Best Florist for 10 years straight. It has staff on hand who can help you design your flowers, and you can order them online, or call or fax an order. The shop is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Duling Hall

Finalists: A Daisy a Day (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 194, 601-9824438, / Drake’s Designs Florists & Gifts Inc. (1491 Canton Mart Road, Suite 8, 601-957-6983) / Green Oak Florist (5009 Old Canton Road, 601-956-5017; 1067 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite E, Ridgeland, 601-707-9440; greenoakflorist. com) / Whitley’s Flowers (740 Lakeland Drive, 601-362-8844,

Place to Book a Party or Shower

Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave., 601-292-7121, You can see some great shows at Duling Hall, but it also makes a great place for parties and showers—and weddings and receptions.

Fresh Cut Catering & Floral

Finalists: Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn. com) / The South Warehouse (627 E. Silas Brown St., 601939-4518) / The Bulldog (6111 Ridgewood Road, 601-978-3502, / The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road, 601-981-9606) / Pump It Up (1576 Old Fannin Road, Suite P, Brandon, 601-992-5866,

Other Categories that Might Come in Handy Best Brunch

Greenbrook Flowers

The South

Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601420-4202, tableonehundred. com) Finalists: BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 244, 601-982-8111, / Char Restaurant (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 142, 601-956-9562, charrestaurant. com) / Fairview Inn/1908 Provisions (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn. com) / Saltine Oyster Bar (622 Duling Ave., Suite 201, 601-982-2899 / Seafood R’evolution (1000 Highland Colony Pkwy., Suite 9015, 601853-3474, seafoodrevolution. com)

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

Hangover food

Keifer’s (120 N. Congress St., 601-353-49756; 710 Poplar Blvd., 601-355-6825, Finalists: Brent’s Drugs (655 Duling Ave., 601-366-3427) / The Pizza Shack (925 E. Fortification St., 601-352-2001; 114 Byram Business Center Drive, 769-233-8875; 219 Garden Park Drive, 601-8568600; thepizzashackjackson. com) / Rooster’s (2906 N. State St., 601-982-2001, / Soulshine Pizza Factory (1111 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 1, Ridgeland, 601-8568646, 5352 Highway 25, Suite 1100, Flowood, 601-919-2000)

Place for unique gifts

Apple Annie’s Gift Shop (1896 Main Street, Suite D, Madison, 601-853-8911; 152 Grants Ferry Road,

Place to get married

The South Warehouse (627 E. Silas Brown St., 601-939-4518) The South Warehouse has about 19,000 square feet of space, so you have a lot of room to roam with your plans. (And it was where we held the Best of Jackson a few years back.) Finalists: The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road, 601-366-5552) The IVY (1170 Luckney Road, Flowood, 601-906-5499, / The Cotton Market (2644 S. Pearson Road, Richland, 601-906-5499) / Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, / Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601-960-1515,

Best Caterer

Fresh Cut Catering & Floral/Wendy Putt (108 Cypress Cove, Flowood, 601-939-4518, If you ask someone to recommend a good caterer in Jackson, Wendy Putt’s name will probably come up in the list. And if you choose to have your wedding at The South, Putt owns that building and The Railroad District, so you can kill two birds with one stone. Finalists: Babalu Tacos & Tapas (622 Duling Ave., Suite 106, 601-366-5757, / Cosmopolitan Catering by Macy (601.983.4450) / Mangia Bene Catering/Aven Whittington (Broad Street Baking Company, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 769-230-8219,

Brandon, 601-992-9925; Finalists: Bliss Gift & Home (4465 Interstate 55 N., 601326-3337, blissgiftandhome. com) / The Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601960-1515, msmuseumart. org) / O! How Cute Gift Market (304 E. Government St., Brandon, 601-825-5080; 200 Riverwind Drive, Suite, 106, Pearl, 601-939-5082) / The Pine Cone (5056 Interstate 55 N., 601-713-1421,

Place to buy antiques

The Flea Market, Mississippi’s Trade Place (1325 Flowood Drive, Flowood, 601-953-5914) Finalists: Antique Mall of the South (367 Highway 51, Ridgeland,

601-853-4000) / Interior Spaces (1995 Lakeland Drive, interiorspacesms. com) / Old House Depot (639 Monroe St., 601-5926200, / Repeat Street (242 Highway 51 N., Ridgeland, 601-6059123,

Place to buy books

Lemuria Books (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202, 601-366-7619, Finalists: The Book Rack (1491 Canton Mart Square, Suite 6, 601-956-5086; 584 Springridge Road, Suite C, Clinton, 601-924-9020; / The Book Shelf (637 Highway 51, Suite AA, Ridgeland, 601853-9225) / N.U.T.S. (114 Millsaps Ave., 601-355-7458,


BIZ // craft

Curated Gifts // by LaShanda Phillips

Imani KHayyam

The Museum Store at the Mississippi Museum of Art carries everything from local artisans’ work to quirky toys, cards and notebooks.


ust inside the Mississippi Museum of Art is a treasure trove. At the Museum Store, books about art, both in Mississippi and around the world, line bookshelves. Interesting and quirky desk and household items, notebooks, notecards, toys and more line other shelves. Colorful jewelry sits in and on top of a glass counter by the cashier station. Art, T-shirts, mugs, and more from local and Mississippi creatives also inhabit the space. The Mississippi Museum of Art opened in the current Arts Center of Mississippi space in 1978. The store opened later as a complement to the museum. In 2007, the museum and the shop moved to its current location (380 S. Lamar St.), and the shop has grown since then. “Back then, we were happy to get 20 people a day,” Assistant Store Manager Stacey Langford says. “Now, we get so many more people. (They) are beginning to discover us and realize how unique and special the store is.” Langford says that shop staff like to


curate what they sell, just like museum staff curates exhibitions. “We refine it down to things that are really special, memorable and different,” Langford explains. The store also aligns with the museum’s aim to engage Mississippi in visual arts. MMA is the largest fine-arts museum in the state. Since its start as a communitysupported institution more than 100 years ago, the museum has offered many exhibitions, events and programs to the public. “We are very proud to be one of the number-one destinations and highlights of Jackson,” she says. The store sells anything from $2 trinkets to higher-priced items such as ones that are made from materials like leather and silk. It also sells items made in Mississippi. Shoppers can find unique products such as Yazoo Toffee, Pearl River glass, Heart of Eden soap, jewelry from the state’s craftspeople and more. It also has items that can be used for party favors or gifts for bridal, corporate or birthday parties. Customers

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

can also purchase art activity kits and items such as stationary and pencils. “We don’t want anybody to come in here, no matter age, or background or economic status, and feel they can’t find something that would make them happy,” Langford says. Shoppers can find local Mississippi artists’ works there, too. Watercolor painters Wyatt Waters and the late William Hollingsworth’s artwork appear on various items such as notepads, notecards and coffee cups. The museum also features items from local business artists such as T-shirts and mugs from Studio Chane. In the early spring, the museum will have available Indian handmade pillow covers and felt wool scarves. For the duration of the 2016 Mississippi Invitational (see page 48), the shop will carry a catalogue of the art in the exhibit. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call the Museum Store at 601-965-9939 or visit


Let the little children come to me. Fondren Presbyterian Church USA the church with open doors 3220 old canton road â&#x20AC;¢ jackson 39216 601.982.3232 â&#x20AC;¢ Work. Live. Play. Prosper.


BIZ // management

Never Too Late to Learn to Lead // by Donna Ladd


Jackson—is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. But she leaned across the little table in my office many times saying, “You can’t retain toxic employees.” My friend and former operations manager, the restaurateur David Joseph, told me very directly that a manager must demand two things daily: high performance and a great attitude. Not one or the other. Both. Daily.

Take care of yourself first.

Guard a positive team spirit like a hawk. Nothing else matters if you don’t.

Driven people tend to ignore self-care because we think we have to do everything for others before taking care of ourselves. Think of the flight attendant saying to put your mask on before your child’s, and you get the point. We can’t help others if we’re in danger ourselves. For me, this meant more exercise (including a trainer), eating better and the usual healthy practices, which resulted in weight loss and better blood pressure, which is hereditary for me. It also meant learning to set better boundaries.

Hire slow, fire fast. One of my coaches in the last three years— Deirdre Danahar of InMotion Consulting in



s my three-year W.K. Kellogg community leadership fellowship draws to a close, I’ve spent some time thinking about what I have learned about myself as a person and a leader. During the generous fellowship, which resulted in the amped-up Mississippi Youth Media Project (youthmedia, I traveled to many “convenings,” as Kellogg calls them, around the nation and used development funds to find and address many of my own weaknesses. I’m a work-in-progress. It was exhilarating in my 50s to take classes and have smart people coach me. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned along the way that are helping me in how I run my life and business. Some may surprise you as much as they did me.

The cost to a great team is enormous when you allow negative people to poison it. That doesn’t mean you don’t give staff members a chance; of course, you do. You help, you listen, you offer help—for a reasonable time. If they don’t want to improve, you must fire and hire a better fit. Try not to hire too quickly to ensure you find people who want to be in an environment with great attitudes and high performance. Will they be willing to support the team instead of just trying to stand out themselves? Think of the advantage of team-promoting Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott over showboating star athletes.

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Hire well, then trust. One you get the hiring and retention part right, meaning you have people you can trust even when you’re busy with other things, then turn them loose to do a great job. You don’t need to “micro-manage” positive, reliable people. If they’re allergic to accountability, it’s a bad sign.

Only hire and retain lifetime learners. It sounds arrogant to say to only hire people who really want to learn what you have to teach—but it’s not. And great team members also must be hungry to learn from each other. People with lifetime learning attitudes are more mindful, attentive, and eager to both teach and learn, and every team member must be that way. That’s where excellence is born and thrives. But be sure you, too, have a learning attitude. Knowit-alls are thoroughly ineffective and boring.

Each one teach one. You must provide a learning environment. My company has long embraced this, at least in theory. We turned staff meetings into workshops in which we teach and learn from each other. It’s a good way to see who is, and isn’t, a lifetime learner (eye-rollers aren’t). My team is now amazing in workshops, fully engaged and giving each other permission to care deeply.

Forgive yourself when you screw up. And you will. Leading is hard. Be willing to apologize, and learn from your own mistakes.

Get Cozy this Holiday Season

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Work. Live. Play. Prosper.



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Menu Guide (pages 29-34) is a paid advertising section. For these and more visit

Jackson Menu Guide Winter 2016

Aladdin Mediterranean Grill p 32 Burgers & Blues p 33 Chimneyville p 34 Eslava’s Grille p 33 Fenian’s Pub p 31

Fusion Thai & Japanese p 33 Green Room p 34 Hal & Mal’s p 31 Pig & Pint p 30 Surin of Thailand p 32

V O T E D IB E S T IB IB Q SMALL PLATES Fried Boudin Balls … 6.99 Pork Belly Corn Dogs … 7.99 Pimento Cheese … 6.99 Chips & Queso ... 6.99 Sausage & Cheese Plate … 8.99

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Pecan Wood Smoked Wings / House-Made Pickles / Smoked Garlic Ranch Dressing

‘QUE PLATES Choice of 2 sides: Collard Greens / Fries / Smoked Tomato Cole Slaw / Potato Salad / Pasta Salad Baked Beans / Pork Rinds / Side Salad / Fried Green Tomatoes



Award Winning Pepsi-Cola Glazed Baby Back Ribs Half-Slab … 14.99 Full Slab … 25.99 Pulled Pork Plate … 11.99 Brisket Plate … 14.99 1/2 Smoked Chicken Plate … 13.99 ‘Que Sampler Platter … 22.99

Cheddar Cheese / Smokehouse Beans / Pickled Onions / Pico de Gallo Mississippi “Sweet” BBQ Sauce / Sour Cream

Pitmaster Sampler ... 29.99

French Fries / Queso / Smokehouse Beans / Pickled Onions / Pico de Gallo Jalapenos / Mississippi “Sweet” BBQ Sauce / Sour Cream

Pulled Pork Nachos … 10.49 Smoked Chicken Nachos … 10.49 Brisket Nachos … 11.49

Pulled Pork Nachos … 9.49 Smoked Chicken Nachos … 9.49 Brisket Nachos … 10.49

Pulled Pork / Brisket / ¼ Chicken

Half Slab of Baby Back Ribs + Choice of 2: Briskit / Pulled Pork / Half Smoked Chicken / House Smoked Sausage

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BBQ Pork Sandwich … 8.99 BBQ Chicken Sandwich … 8.99 BBQ Brisket Sandwich ... 9.99 The P&P Reuben ... 9.99 Fried Bologna Sandwich ... 8.99 Fried Green Tomato BLT … 8.99 Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich … 8.99 The Bacon Melt …10.99 Boudin Burger …10.99

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Winter 2016 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Fenian s Pub STARTERS











An eight-ounce burger grilled to your order and served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion

Better Burger $8 Cheese Burger a Pair o' Dice $8.50 Border Burger $9 Bacon-Cheese Burger $9 Diddy Wah Diddy $20 Free Press Veggie Burger $8 $2 Extras: Potato salad, French fries, Baked potato

Decatur Street Muffeletta Size: Quarter $7.75 Half $11.50 Whole $20 Michael Rubenstein Sandwich $9.25 Glennie’s Hot Roast Beef $9.25 Vashti’s Hot Turkey $9.25 Chicken Mozzarella $9.25 Chicken-Fried Steak Sandwich $9.25 Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich $9 Grilled Portabella Mushroom $8.75 Downtown Club $10 Aunt Voncil's Spicy Pimento Cheese & Bacon $5 Grilled Cheese & Soup of the Day $8.50 Served with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and pickle on authentic New Orleans French bread.

Shrimp $11 Mississippi Catfish $11 Oyster $12 Hot Roast Beef 10 Half n’ Half Shrimp/Oyster $10 Andouille Sausage $9.25

The following entrees are served with soup or salad and your choice of: baked potato, french fries, potato salad or rice. Gumbo add $1

Hamburger Steak $15 Chicken Zita $15 Shrimp Platter $22 Oyster Platter $20 Catfish $20 Seafood Platter $23

For all side items (jalapeños, cheese, green onion, onions, guacamole, etc) add 50¢ each. For andouille sausage, add $2

M-Fr 11am - 2am, Sat 4pm-2am Closed on Sundays 901 East Fortification Street Jackson, Mississippi 601.948.0055 WWW.FENIANSPUB.COM

Jackson Menu Guide.





2.95 5.49 3.75 4.49 4.49 4.49 4.49 7.59 7.99 7.59 8.59

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Winter 2016 // The Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

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All Lunches Include Beverages Lunch Special - $9.95 Combo Plate - $12.95 Sampler Plate - $14.95 Regular Pork Sandwich Plate Reg $9.95 Lg. - $10.95 Regular Beef Sandwich Plate Reg. $10.95 Lg. - $11.95 St. Louis Style Rib Plate - $12.95 St. Louis Style Ribs for Two - $26.00 Daily Special Vegetable Plates THREE $7.00 FOUR $8.00

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Imani Khayyam

Cottage Food

Begins // by Alex Thiel


t’s a mild fall Saturday on High Street in Jackson, and energy is in the air. Vendors from all over the state congregate at the Mississippi Farmers Market as customers flock in, either to revisit their old favorite vendors or to see what’s new. Live music blankets the entire scene. While the farmers market offers produce such as bushels of corn and crates of homegrown tomatoes, Mississippi’s cottage-food vendors have also carved out a foothold at the market. Cottage foods are products made in private, non-commercial kitchens that do not require controls on time and temperature for safety and that adhere to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s retail food codes. Denver, Colo., native Lauren Rhoades’ products once fell into the category. She sells fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kombucha under the name Sweet & Sauer. “I always have loved buying sauerkraut and local kombucha at farmers markets,” Rhoades says. “I just thought it was a good opportunity because I love making it at home, and (I can) make a little extra money.” Under Mississippi cottage-food law, vendors may produce foods that the Mississippi State Department of Health deems “low risk from a food safety standpoint” (cereals, mixes, preserves and other items). In addition,

Imani Khayyam

Lauren Rhoades owns local business Sweet & Sauer, which sells fermented products such as kimchi. the industry has regulations regarding labeling and distribution, including weight, volume and allergen warnings. But generally, the vendors can sell food that they make at home to the public. Sweet & Sauer has graduated from cottage-food status to a commer36

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Trailand (left) and Doug Eltzroth (right) roast beans for Northshore Specialty Coffee. cial kitchen. Rhoades says that both an increase in demand and regulations prohibiting refrigerated goods such as kombucha, a drink made from fermented tea, made the change necessary. For Doug Eltzroth of Northshore Specialty Coffees, the farmers market is just one venue for bringing together a community around his product. The coffee has engrained itself in many Jackson establishments since he started roasting beans out of The Church at Northshore in Brandon, of which he is the pastor. Businesses such as La Brioche Patisserie and Mantle Co.working in Fondren and The Farmer’s Table at the Mississippi Farmers Market carry his products. Eltzroth also roasts the beans for Mississippi Cold Drip Coffee, a former cottage-food product that can now be found in several retail sites throughout the area. The proceeds from the coffee go toward funding an after-school project at the church and will also go toward rebuilding a fishing village in Haiti. Northshore Coffee is even sold at intermission at New Stage Theatre, and people can try a new blend for each show in the theater’s season. “We come up with a clever name for each show,” Eltzroth says. For example, he did a blend called Saints and Poets for New Stage’s fall production of “Our Town.” The title refers to a line in the play. The decaf blend for the play was called Grover’s Corner. Business licenses, kitchen inspections and other such costly barriers to entry are, in many cases, not necessary for cottage-food producers. The trade-off, however, is that vendors are restricted in where they can sell their product; they cannot sell online or outside Mississippi. Additionally, cottage-food vendors cannot earn more than $20,000 in gross annual sales without a commercial license. Eltzroth says that Northshore is considering going commercial. Regardless of how these vendors found their way to the farmers market, each is thankful for the community cultivated here. The market is a venue for upstart, first-time vendors to find an audience and test their products with customers face-to-face. In a state like Mississippi, where there is simply less capital to go around, the simplicity and honesty of selling cottage-food products from home can help to jumpstart small businesses such as Sweet & Sauer and Northshore in a crowded and competitive market. “I’m so happy that we have cottage food,” Rhoades says. “It’s a more democratic way of getting local food and keeping food cultures alive.” For more information, visit and north

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Power Couple:


e have a lot of power couples in Jackson— significant others who help their partners and the community. They are singers and church pastors and educators and entrepeneurs, and everything in between. This issue, we pay tribute to couples who are paving the way for a better Jackson, a better Mississippi and a better nation.


Clint and Paulina Sistrunk


lint and Paulina Sistrunk are the founders and owners of JXN Escape Room, which has been open at 916 Foley St. since February 2016. Clint is a native of Jackson, while Paulina is from Szczecin, Poland. They met in New York City, where Clint was attending school at New York University and Paulina was traveling. It was when Clint visited Paulina in Poland that the two first encountered escape rooms, which are games where people are locked in a room and have to use clues in their surroundings to escape.

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Paulina brought up the subject of making their own. “That sounded crazy at the time, but we just kind of went with it,” Paulina says. Clint moved back to Jackson in 2014 to attend dental school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In 2015, the two married. “I started researching things to do like (the escape room) when we came back here and found there was nothing like that in a three-hour driving distance,” Clint says. Jackson’s location, the lack of group adult entertainment offered at the time, and Paulina’s

desire to “do something fun here for a living” all contributed to why the started JXN Escape Room. The two are constantly planning for the future. “There’s always a project coming up and always something to do around here,” Paulina says. JXN Escape Room currently has three rooms available for booking: The Investigation is a murder-mystery-themed room; The Spaceship has an outer-space theme; and The Historian, follows a college professor theme. —Katie Gill For more information, visit



Power Couple:

Justin Turner and Elisha Roberts

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

ustin Turner and Elisha Roberts say they met each other at the right time. “She was on stage singing ‘Who Can I Run To’ at The Penguin … but I only saw her thinking to myself, ‘Run to me,’” Turner says. He says he knew Roberts was special the first time he saw her. After two years of dating, he proposed to her live on Facebook at Johnny T’s in July 2016. Roberts said yes, so the couple will marry in March 2017. Turner, 35, is from Vicksburg, and attended MeHarry Medical College. He received his medical degree in 2008. Roberts, 29, is from Jackson and attended Hinds Community College. She is a member of local R&B group Love Notez. Turner and Roberts have a passion for doing good and paying it forward through avenues such as his practice, Turner Care, which takes a holistic approach to medicine, “treating the whole person, mind, body and spirit,” he says. They also started a nonprofit, 4-Ever Caring, to benefit socio-economically disadvantaged families. “We feel it is important to give back to Jackson because we are making Jackson our home,” Roberts says, “and we plan to raise our family here in the future.” “My organizational skills and his relentless drive to get things done is what makes us better together no matter what the task,” Roberts says about what makes them a good couple. “We consider ourselves a perfect complement to each other. “When we put our sights on a project, passion takes over, and we go full steam ahead engaging all of our energy. We know we have an obligation to give back to our community.” — Brinda Fuller Willis 39

Dynamic Duos


ndrea Reid says she never thought she would be back in Jackson. Reid, 31, was born in San Diego, Calif., and moved to Jackson when she was 9. She attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and graduated in 2003. Even then, she didn’t plan to stay. “My parents wanted me to move out of my comfort zone and experience life outside of Mississippi,” she says. She moved to Durham, N.C., to attend Duke University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2006. While living there, she met her now-husband, Kevin Reid, 36, a Boston native who attended Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2002. The couple married in 2008 and started to feel a calling for Jackson after repeated visits while studying at Rhema Bible Training College near Tulsa, Okla., from 2010 to 2012. “Jackson was the closest city with family that we could reach within a day’s drive, and that became especially handy during the holidays,” Kevin says. During these visits, they developed an appreciation for the culture and creativity here, he says, and they could see that many people here chose to build up the capital city rather than run away from it. The couple moved to Jackson with their 2-year-old daughter, Kristina, and in September 2016, they launched CityHeart Church, which meets Sunday mornings in the gym at New Summit School (1417 Lelia Drive). It is part of the Association of Related Churches, which helps to support churches planted across the U.S. “Our heart is to serve people,” Andrea says. “CityHeart is about heart,” Kevin says. “We want to see people at the heart of who they are, to see past outward appearance and anything that blinds us to who someone really is.” For more information, visit —R.H. Coupe


Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine


Power Couple:

Kevin and Andrea Reid


Power Couple:

Aaron polk and michael dorado


hen Michael Dorado and Aaron Polk got married in June 2015, they didn’t realize that they had made history as the first male same-sex couple to be married in Hinds County. “We didn’t plan on any of this,” Dorado says. “We just went to get our marriage license.” The Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized gay marriage in the nation, Dorado and Polk went to get their marriage license. He says they took 10 steps outside the office at the courthouse when one of the couples there told them that an ordained minister, Bear Atwood, was there and could perform a ceremony. She is an officiant at Witness to Love Weddings in Jackson. “I mean, it wasn’t a split-second pass, and we both said yes,” Dorado says. The couple then proceeded to the elevator to go outside. “I literally remember … (having) a feeling of disbelief, like ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’ and I looked at Bear Atwood … and I said, ‘I literally cannot wait for this elevator.

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

Can we just do it right here?’” “We were shaking because everything was happening at once,” Polk says. Dorado, who is from Visalia, Calif., met Polk in Los Angeles, who was there for a modeling contract. Three years ago, the couple moved to Florence and now live in Jackson. Dorado works in medical scheduling for a major health-care provider, and Polk, a Florence native, is a package driver for UPS. When they initially moved to Mississippi, Dorado says things weren’t easy. He points to one time when they were at a Florence grocery store shopping, and a family walked by and made a derogatory comment. “It took everything in me to not react to it,” Dorado says. He told friends about the interaction and says their reaction was, “Well, you are in Mississippi.” They then told him about some of the state’s dark history. But after meeting people in Jackson, Dorado says they began to feel more comfortable. “Aside from a few administrative issues and legislative things, we have a wonderful life here, and we surrounded ourselves with a great community in Jackson,” he says. —Amber Helsel


Dynamic Duos

A Power Couple:

Derrick and Carlyn Hicks


dose of confidence was the first step that led to Carlyn and Derrick Hicks’ marriage. Carlyn says he came up to her in the College of Business student lounge at Jackson State University and told her it was a privilege to meet her. “I thought, ‘OK this man is crazy, ‘ So I avoided him,” she says. “But one day he told me, ‘I just want to be your friend,’ and I was gullible enough to believe him.” Carlyn, 32, and Derrick Hicks, 39, skipped the “courting” step that many relationships go through and let their friendship blossom into a marriage. “We don’t have that, ‘Oh we met in a library’ kind of story,” Carlyn says. “We were just friends. We never dated.” Derrick proposed to Carlyn at a Lyfe Jennings concert in New Orleans. They will celebrate their 10th anniversary in May 2017. Both graduated from JSU in 2006, when Carlyn received her bachelor’s degree in business administration, and Derrick received his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology. Carlyn received her law degree from Mississippi College in 2010. For the past 20 years, Derrick served in the Army National Guard and is currently a sergeant. He will retire in February 2017. Carlyn is a family defense attorney who represents parents who are at risk of losing child custody due to allegations of abuse and neglect. She practices law at Mission First Legal Aid office in Jackson, which is part of MC’s School of Law, and also teaches a clinic on child welfare and family justice at Mississippi College. The couple own Carlyn Photography in Jackson, where Derrick works as a selftaught photographer. He says motivation for photography sparked after their wedding when the photographer lost their pictures. He says the mishap made him think deeper. “The only way you know someone actually lived is through a story, or something written, or a picture. We (African Americans) didn’t have those things, so I wanted (them) to be included in the narratives of our lives,” Derrick says. As such, the business tries to give quality wedding and portrait photography to those who can’t afford it. He plans to continue to capture life through photography, and Carlyn says she is determined to stay focused on placing children with their parents and mending broken homes. “Until we can work towards a statewide guarantee of representation for families who come into contact with the youth-court system, I can’t be at a point where I can say I’m satisfied,” Carlyn says. Carlyn and Derrick have a daughter, Leigh, 4. —Brittany Sanford-Dillard


Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Power Couple:

P.J. and Brandi Lee


or P.J. and Brandi Lee, managing Hal & Mal’s is a family business. After the loss of Brandi’s father, Hal White, she knew she had to continue the legacy that he and his brother Malcolm started. So she and P.J. dived headfirst into running the restaurant. Hal & Mal’s is like one big family, P.J. and Brandi say. Their 6-yearold daughter, Rivers, is growing up sitting in the booths and talking to guests, just as Brandi did when she was younger. “This place means so much to both of us,” P.J. says. Brandi, a Jackson native, and P.J., originally from Vicksburg, met through mutual friends and married in 2007. After almost 10 years of marriage and more than three years of working together, they say they have become a strong team. P.J. received a bachelor’s degree in English from Mississippi College in 1999, as well as a law degree from MC’s School of Law in 2006. He put his law career on hold to craft his fatherin-law’s signature dishes as a chef. Brandi earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Mississippi State University in 2001 and a master’s in physical therapy from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2004. When she is not working a full-time job at a physical therapy-clinic, she organizes events at Hal & Mal’s. Brandi and P.J. help each other do a little bit of everything. “In this business, it never stops,” Brandi says. They wouldn’t trade what they do for anything, though. “It isn’t work,” she says. “We have a heart for it.” “We’re slowly figuring it out,” P.J. says “Every day is a work in progress.” Though the restaurant isn’t the same without Hal, Brandi and P.J. offer the same hospitality. “Not only does P.J. keep Hal’s recipes alive; we keep the essence of family and being a place where anybody can come,” Brandi says. P.J. adds that they try to continue Hal’s “spirit of giving.” The Lees credit the strong support from their staff and the community for their success and why they love what they do. “It’s made us stronger for sure,” Brandi says. —Abigail Walker

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.







or Jessica and Kodi D. Hobbs, education is the key to open all avenues in life for young people. Both graduates of Jackson Public Schools, the couple dedicates themselves to giving back to the city’s young people. Kodi Hobbs is a board member for JPS, and Jessica Hobbs is a biology teacher at Midtown Public Charter Schools. Mayor Tony Yarber appointed Kodi


Hobbs to his board position in August 2015. Now, Kodi and the other board members govern aspects of the school system such as policy, budget and finances. “I accepted the mayor’s confirmation to the JPS board because I believe in service, and public education is an important and valuable aspect serving one’s community,” Kodi says. Jessica taught biology at Murrah High School in the 2015-2016 school year and started teaching the subject at Midtown Charter in 2016. She believes strongly in the value of exploring new ways to teach.

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

“I have an intense passion to show kids that science is relatable to them and their everyday life, and I want them to experiment and see how the world opens up to them,” she says. “I want to take new approaches to educating rather than sitting in the classroom like normal. I want to know the ‘why’ of how things happen in everyday life, and I became an educator to pass on that desire to children. I especially want to be able to instill the ideals of education into my own children through example.” Kodi graduated from Lanier High School in 1998, then attended Hinds Community College and Jackson State University, and joined the Navy in 2002, serving until 2007. He received a bachelor’s degree in business from Southern Illinois University in 2009 and started his insurance and financial services firm, Hobbs Group LLC, that same year. Jessica does the marketing and advertising for the firm. Jessica graduated from Jim Hill School and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where she received bachelor’s degree in biology in 2007. She received her master’s degree in biology from Jackson State University in 2011 and is currently a PhD candidate for a degree in environmental services Kodi and Jessica, both lifelong residents of Jackson, met at a local beauty shop called Fantasy Barber and Beauty in 2005. “We were both there getting haircuts, and I saw her and noticed her beauty and smile right away and decided to approach her,” Kodi says. As he was still in the Navy, the couple didn’t get together right away. “Sometime later, we met up again in the same shop … and things just started from there.” They dated for five years and then got married in February 2010. The couple has three children: daughter London, 14; and sons Kodi D. Hobbs II, 7, and Konnor Hobbs, 4. —Dustin Cardon


Power Couple:

Sherry and D. Royce Boyer


herry and D. Royce Boyer weren’t looking for love. Both had been married before. Royce was divorced, and Sherry became a widow when her late husband lost his battle to cancer. Music ultimately brought them together almost six years ago, when Royce met Sherry at a board meeting for the Mississippi Chorus. Sherry was working part-time as the executive director, and Royce was elected chairman of the board. The duo started off as cultural companions in a friendship that turned into marriage. “Royce and I have enjoyed a fabulous life together for five and a half years, and it’s all things music,” Sherry says. “We both have a passion for music of all genres, particularly classical music, particularly choral music, but we both feel very strongly that music changes lives.” Royce, who is originally from Indiana, was a professor of music at the University of Alabama in Huntsville for more than 30 years. He moved to Jackson after he and his then-wife divorced. Royce taught

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

part-time in Jackson and tuned pianos when they met. Sherry, originally from Michigan, and her late husband moved south to Jackson to escape the cold during her husband’s illness. Sherry has a background in science and marketing. She works as a dental hygienist and owns marketing company Castle Media. When her husband died while they were living in Mobile, Ala., Sherry moved back to Jackson, where she had found community in recent years. She joined the Mississippi Chorus, among other musical groups, and got back into marketing. The couple said it has been a joy to share things in their relationship from both of their pasts. “When people are married for a really long time, then there isn’t a story you haven’t heard, but all of our stories are new to each other,” Sherry says. “But we have new things to share all the time.” The Boyers are active in the choral music community in Jackson and live in Belhaven. —Arielle Dreher




// by Alexis Ware


group of women gather together in a home in Trujillo, recycled-paper products, such as stationery, greeting cards and wall Peru. They begin ripping old paper, which they soak in artwork. The designs come directly from the Peruvian women, whom Greene encourages to take creative liberty with water to turn into pulp. Then they add their work. She also consults with them for company the pulp to a sifting board to create decisions. handmade paper. Outside its creative merit, though, this vocation alFor the last 10 years, that process has been lows the women in Trujillo to provide for their families the heart and soul of Peru Paper Company in Jackin ways that were not possible before. “A lot of them son. The company’s owner, Grace Greene, says didn’t have stable income coming into their families, she has felt a special calling for the nation since so it filled in the gaps for things, mainly for their chilfirst visiting Peru as part of a church mission trip. dren,” Greene says. For instance, one woman was able “I love Peru as a country,” Greene, a Fondren to afford to turn her home’s dirt floor into a real one. resident, says. “It’s a beautiful place with good In addition to the company’s online store, people and fantastic food, but I also have liked the customers can purchase Peru Paper Co. products community development.” at several retail stores around Mississippi and in In 2005, Greene moved to Trujillo to teach other states, including Alabama, Pennsylvania, English and do economic-development work, and Michigan, New York, Tennessee and Texas. The while there, she found a way to give more than When Grace Greene moved to Trujillo, Peru, she found that business also has items for sale at international language lessons to the local families. She learned she could give more than just stores including Nine50 Peruvian Silver Jewelry about Peruvian paper-making through a woman English lessons to women in & Giftware in Windsor, Australia, and The Papery who had been giving lessons in the town and dethat country. in Toronto, Canada. cided it would be an interesting craft for the womPeru Paper has been an unexpected success, en she worked with, too. Greene says, but the most important factor is the success that it has What began as an extra activity soon became the foundation of brought to the women of Trujillo, Peru. Peru Paper Co., which has been based out of Greene’s home in Jackson For more information, visit since she moved back in 2010. The company sells a variety of handmade, 46

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine


Making Mindful Music // by Julie Skipper

// by Dustin Cardon


he 10th annual Mississippi Blues Marathon is coming to downtown Jackson on Jan. 7, 2017. The Blues Marathon, which is the only marathon in Mississippi with live music playing during the race, got its start in 2008 with the support of Blue Cross & Blue Shield

Igor Iwanek (center) is introducing people to the yoga of sound through his business, Music & Mysticism. Here he demonstrates his technique at Butterfly Yoga in Fondren.

A chance encounter in the MIT cafeteria with professor George Ruckert, who taught Indian classical music, led to a conversation and an offer from Ruckert to let Iwanek borrow (and eventually purchase) his harmonium. “That chance meeting seemed like a green light for me to go for it and pursue Indian classical music,” Iwanek says. When he moved to Mississippi in fall 2014, Iwanek taught a Community Enrichment Series class at Millsaps College on music and mysticism. “I finally saw how my life’s parallel tracks of study—music and comparative religions— could finally coincide,” he says. He says students enjoyed that six-week-long course and expressed an interest in continuing the study,

of Mississippi. The marathon raises money for the Blues Founding, which helps support local blues musicians. This year’s marathon kicks off at 7 a.m. at the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.), at the intersection of Lamar and Pascagoula streets. The race features a full marathon, half marathon, and quarter (called the Quarter Note) and relay events, with a seven-hour time limit for the full and half marathons. A kids race takes place at 9 a.m. On January 5 and 6, the 2017 Blues Expo will take place at the Jackson Convention Complex from

Work. Live. Play. Prosper.

so he started conducting meetings in his living room in Madison. That interest continues to build as Iwanek engages the community. Recently, he, organized a Mindfulness Day at the Municipal Art Gallery. His business raises funds for an orphanage in Nepal, and he seeks opportunities to collaborate with other mindfulness practitioners. He still does the class twice a month in Madison and also leads a yoga class at Butterfly Yoga, which is separate from Music & Mysticism. “The yoga of sound is something the students really enjoy after a more active physical practice,” he says. For more information on Music & Mysticism and to see a full calendar of events, visit think

file photo

Running With the Blues

Imani Khayyam


gor Iwanek’s Polish accent and training in traditional Western music aren’t what one might expect for a teacher leading a workshop on Eastern practices of mindfulness. Yet, as he sits on the ground in an Indian tunic, playing his harmonium (an Indian portable organ) and leading students through exercises in chakra tuning and mantras, he is nothing if not at ease. Iwanek always enjoyed classical Indian music. As a teenager in Lodz, Poland, where he grew up, he bought bootleg cassette tapes from the genre. As he studied music and composition in the Western tradition, in his spare time, he transcribed those recordings and began teaching himself Indian songs and theory by listening and reading. “The first book I bought in the United States (in 1996) was on the yoga of sound,” he says. He moved to the U.S. in 2001. The “yoga of sound” is a practice in which students learn techniques to quiet the mind, incorporating sound in some way, be it the use of vibrations, clapping, musical instruments, chanting, sung tones and especially, breathing. The practice can include use of sound to reinvigorate chakras (energy centers) in the body, using chants to boost confidence, Indian music and instruments in meditation, and singing mantras. After receiving his bachelor of music in composition at Boston Conservatory in 2008, Iwanek pursued a doctorate in musical arts from Boston University. During his studies, he began teaching a class at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012.

Runners participate in the 2014 Mississippi Blues Marathon. 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. The expo features area vendors, food and a chance to meet with other race

participants. The Blues Crawl takes place on Saturday night after the race at 7 p.m. A shuttle will run from different downtown locations every 10 minutes until midnight. Non-race participants can purchase wristbands for $10, and race participants can do the crawl for free. This year’s Blues Crawl includes locations such as Hal & Mal’s, The Iron Horse Grill, One Block East, Fenian’s Pub and more. For more information, course maps, to register as a participant and to see the list of businesses partcipating in the Blues Crawl, visit 47

ARTS // invite


n Gerard Howard’s photograph, “A Walk Under the Bridge,” the lines of two steel bridges stretch out into the distance, seemingly never-ending, as a woman pushes a stroller on a grassy hill against a backdrop of clear sky. The crisscrossing lines of the bridges’ framework contrast with the stretching lines and curves. This photograph is part of the Mississippi

marketing and communications, says the goal for the invitational upon its founding in 1997 was to do a survey of contemporary art around the state. “The whole point was to give every Mississippi artist a platform to be showcased and then to do it in a way that included everybody and also had someone come from outside the

courtesy Gerard Howard


Perspectives // by Amber Helsel

Gerard Howard’s 2015 photograph, “A Walk Under the Bridge,” is part of the 2016 Mississippi Invitational at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Museum of Art’s 2016 Mississippi Invitational. It is featured alongside work from other Mississippi artists, including Gregory Martin’s “Long Term Parking,” an oil painting on linen of a rusted-out car with pieces of it lying on dusty ground, and Obie Clark’s “Untitled #2,” raku-fired clay with weathered wooden legs and a handle, are This year marks the 10th event of the biennial exhibit. Julian Rankin, the museum’s director of 48

state to discover what we have here,” he says. After artists submit pieces to the invitational, a guest curator from outside Mississippi looks at the work and then does studio visits all over the state to examine the artwork up close. This year’s curator is Marisa Pascucci, the curator of collections at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida. Pascucci has been at that museum for a

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

little more than four years. She first started her career in museum education but then realized that she wanted to work more intimately with artists and their art work, so she went into curation. She used to work for current MMA Deputy Director and Chief Curator Roger Ward at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla., and she says they stayed in contact over the years, so this year he invited her to be the guest curator. After curating this exhibition and ones for the All Florida statewide art survey at the Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida, Pascucci says she has noticed how different the art is from 15 or 20 years ago. “In the last five, 10, years, these regional statewide exhibitions are really no longer type-cast by a certain type of art or a certain image … or composition or subject matter that comes to the art,” Pascucci says. “If you were to look at a Florida show 10, 15, 20, 30 years ago, it definitely would have been filled with, like, pink flamingos and beach scenes. “That’s just not the case anymore. It seems that artists are definitely moving more, just as the world is moving, more connected globally, and so is the artwork. Now there (are) definitely images in the exhibition that were selected that are landscapes of Mississippi, but it’s just still all very global, and it’s not something that’s just pigeonholed to somebody from being from Mississippi, or you have to be from Mississippi to appreciate it.” From the more than 100 pieces submitted to the invitational, 18 artists are in the exhibition. They are eligible to apply for The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship, which is a grant of up to $15,000 awarded to an artist who can use it to study with a specific artist or in a studio, workshop or residency setting, or to pursue projects, conduct research or travel. The museum will announce the recipient Jan. 13, 2017. The 2016 Mississippi Invitational will be at the Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St., 601.960.1515) from Dec. 17, 2016, to March 11, 2017. On Saturday, Jan. 14, Pascucci, Jane Crater Hiatt and the 2016 Hiatt fellowship recipient will participate in a free panel discussion, which Ward will moderate. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets to the exhibition are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for students. Children under 5 and museum members get in free. For more information, visit

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Events // cheer


A Christmas Story: The Musical Dec. 2-3, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4, 2 p.m., Dec. 7-10, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 11, 2 p.m., Dec. 13, Dec. 15-17, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 18, 2 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play is based on the 1983 Christmas movie about 9-year-old Ralphie Parker’s quest for an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Sunday matinees at 10 a.m. $28, $22 seniors and students; call 601.948.3533; newstage

Central Mississippi Record Convention #2 Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Customers can purchase a variety of vinyl records, CDs and cassettes from more than 20 vendors. $3, $5 early-bird admission; find the event on Facebook.


“Life Is Gift: Remembrances of John Rowan Claypool IV” Dec. 3, 1 p.m., at Lemuria Books (Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 202). Carolyn Ratliff signs copies. $35 book; call 366.7619;


Jingle Bell Market Dec. 6, 9 a.m., at Trustmark Park (1 Braves Way, Pearl). Features live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and the Batson Children’s Cancer Center’s Jingle Bell Jog 5K Run/Walk. Free entry; call 601.939.3338; find the event on Facebook. Women for Progress of Mississippi Lunch & Learn Dec. 6, noon-1 p.m., at 6The guest speaker is Nsombi Lambright, the director of resource development and communications for One Voice. Space is limited. Free; call 601.259.6770;


MAQHA Holiday Classic Dec. 9-11, at Kirk Fordice Equine Center (1198 Mississippi St.). The Mississippi Amateur Quarter Horse Association hosts its annual horse show, which includes a ranch horse challenge, speed events and more. $295 competitors (six judges), free for spectators; email; call 865.384.5055;


“A Ruby Christmas” Dec. 16, 6 p.m., at Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St.). Actress Amia Edwards portrays several different characters tackling loneliness and depression in the onewoman show. $10 in advance, $15 at the door; call 601.675.2642;

20 Broadway Christmas Wonderland Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The family-friendly Christmas special features performances of favorite holiday songs, such as “White Christmas,” “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells” and more. The event is part of the Broadway in Jackson series. $32-$75; call 888.407.2929;

10 31 Big Sleepy’s Fundraising Festival Dec. 10, 4-11:30 p.m., at Big Sleepy’s (208 W. Capitol St.). The music festival is a fundraiser for renovations needed to keep the venue in operation. Performers include Cody Cox, Jason Daniels, And the Echo, Surfwax, The Renders, Him Horrison, harbor and more. Donation-based cover; call 601.863.9516;

2016 NYE Soulabration Dec. 31, 8 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The New Year’s Eve concert features performances from musicians such as Calvin Richardson, Ms. Jody, Tucka, J. Wonn, Adrian Bagher, Pokey and Yayo. Doors open at 7 p.m. $32-$52; call 800.735.8000;

Jackson area events updated daily at

Post your own events or send info to


Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

file photo; file photo; file photo; courtesy Big Sleepy’s, file photo; file photo; courtesy Calvin Richardson


13th Annual Night of Musical Artistry Dec. 2, 7 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). Palmer Williams of Tyler Perry’s “Love Thy Neighbor” hosts the Mississippi Jazz Foundation concert. Includes performances from Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles and Mike Burton and the Good Times Brass Band. $40; call 877.987.6487;

Paint Your Pet! Dec. 13, 7 p.m., at Deep South Pops (1800 N. State St.). Paint Nite Jackson is the host. Participants can enjoy beverages and popsicles, socialize, and paint pictures of their pets. Wine and treats included. For ages 21 and up. $45; call 703.727.0929; email;

Messiah George Frideric Handel

Mark Nabholz, ArƟsƟc Director

Saturday December 17, 2016 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral 305 E. Capitol, Jackson


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Events // active



Art & Coffee Jan. 7, 10-11:30 a.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). Art enthusiasts and museum staff discuss current and upcoming exhibitions. Includes coffee and pastries. Free; call 601.960.1515;

The Harlem Globetrotters Jan. 13, 7 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). The famed exhibition basketball team originated in the 1920s and is known for its theatrical playing style, trick moves and comedic elements. $40-$264; call 601.353.0603;



Chamber II: Mozart by Candlelight Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m., at Belhaven University Center for the Arts (835 Riverside Drive). The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra presents a candlelit performance of popular pieces from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, such as “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik” and “Symphony in G minor.” $17, $5 students; call 601.960.1565;


Cabaret at Duling Hall: Bulldogs on Broadway Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The Mississippi Opera and Mississippi State University present an evening of performances from MSU faculty and students with hit songs and scenes from popular musical theater shows. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $20 admission; call 601.960.2300; email;


The State of Our State: Mississippi at 200 Years Jan. 17, 7 p.m., at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St. ). Former Gov. William F. Winter, Frank X. Walker and Mississippi historian Stephanie Rolph reflect on 200 years of politics, education, culture and history in Mississippi. $10, $5 students; call 601.974.1130; email conted@;

20 14

“Dick Gregory Live! Class Is Now in Session” Jan. 14, 7:30-10 p.m., at The Alamo Theatre (333 N. Farish St.). The famed political comedian, civil-rights activist and humanitarian has been performing since 1961. Doors open at 7 p.m. $30 in advance, $40 at the door; call 601.709.7894;

A Live One: Exploring the Music of Phish Jan. 20, 10 p.m., at Martin’s Restaurant & Bar (214 S. State St.). The tribute act hails from Austin, Texas, and has been performing music from the famed Vermont jam band since 2011. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission TBA; call 601.354.9712; email ryboltproductions@;


MUW Jackson Metro Winter Brunch Jan. 21, 10:30 a.m., at Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood). The Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association Jackson Metro Chapter is the host. The guest speaker is Bridget Smith Pieschel. RSVP. $25 per person; call 662.329.7295; email; find the event on Facebook.


Final Friday Jan. 27, 5-9 p.m., at Midtown Arts District. The mostly monthly event series features live entertainment, art exhibitions, vendors, extended store hours, studio tours and more. Free admission, prices vary; Madagascar— A Musical Adventure Jan. 27, 7 p.m., Jan. 28-29, 2 p.m., Feb. 3-5, 2 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The play follows Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, Gloria the hippo and the penguins as they journey from New York City to Madagascar. Admission TBA; call 601.948.3533;



Bravo Series—Bravo! Mendelssohn! Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra performs the works of German Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn, including the “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage” overture and his violin concerto. Includes a free pre-concert lecture from Timothy Coker. $20-$62; call 601.960.1565;

Jackson area events updated daily at

Post your own events or send info to


Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

file photo; flickr/Elvert Barnes; file photo; courtesy A Live One; courtesy Final Friday; file photo; file photo


42nd Street Jan. 5, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The Tony Award-winning musical comedy tells the story of a young dancer who comes to New York to become a Broadway star. This event is part of the Broadway in Jackson series. Admission TBA;

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Events // culture



Lucero Feb. 9, 10 p.m., at Martin’s Restaurant & Bar (214 S. State St.). The Memphis-based country-punk rock band’s latest album is called “All a Man Should Do.” Esme Patterson also performs. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission TBA; call 601.354.9712; email;


Bacchus Ball Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m., at Country Club of Jackson (345 St. Andrews Drive). The annual Mardi Gras celebration includes live entertainment, food, art and more. Proceeds benefit the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. Admission TBA; call 601.957.7878;


Crossing Over with John Edward Live Feb. 5, 1-3 p.m., at Jackson Marriott (200 E. Amite St.). The medium, author and talk show host leads a live group audience in connecting with the other side. Doors open at noon. $150 admission, $225 VIP admission;



Cabaret at Duling Hall: The British Invasion of Jackson Feb. 17, 7:30 p.m., at Duling Hall (622 Duling Ave.). The Mississippi Opera presents a tribute to the 1960s’ “British Invasion” artists, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and more. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $25 admission; call 601.960.2300; email;

Rockin’ in Red Feb. 23, 6-9 p.m., at Hal & Mal’s (200 Commerce St.). Includes musical performances from J-Wonn, Mr. Sipp and more. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Aunt Joyce’s Kids. $15 in advance, $20 at the door; call 601.214.0156;


Filmmakers’ Black Tie, Blues Jeans & BBQ Bash Feb. 25, 7-9 p.m., at Mississippi Museum of Art (380 S. Lamar St.). NMHS Unlimited Film Productions is the host. Mississippi chefs compete with barbecue-inspired dishes. Attire is black tie and blue jeans. Participants include Nick Wallace, Rashanna Newsome, Kendrick Gordon, Jesse Houston, Grant Nooe, Mike Roemhild, Damian Shelby and Jeremy Enfinger. VIP reception is from 6 to 7 p.m. $50 per person, $100 VIP; call 601.594.4429; email info4nmhs@gmail. com; black


tobyMac Hits Deep Tour Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m., at Mississippi Coliseum (1207 Mississippi St.). Includes musical performances from popular contemporary Christian artists tobyMac, Matt Maher, Mandisa, Mac Powell, Capital Kings, Hollyn and Ryan Stevenson. $15-$70; call 601.353.0603;


Spaytactular in Love Feb. 18, 6-10 p.m., at Table 100 (100 Ridge Way, Flowood). The fourth annual fundraiser benefits The Big Fix Animal Clinic. Includes food, drinks, a silent auction, a photo booth and a “famous couples” costume contest. $50 before Feb. 1, $500 VIP table for eight;



The Illusionists—Live from Broadway Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m., at Thalia Mara Hall (255 E. Pascagoula St.). The best-selling magic show includes multiple illusionists performing signature acts such as levitation, mind reading, disappearance and escape. Admission TBA; call 601.960.1537;


An Evening of Latin Guitar Music Feb. 21, 7 p.m., at Millsaps College (1701 N. State St.). In Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex. Internationally renowned guitar soloist David Burgess is the guest speaker and will present selections of music from Spain and Latin America. The event is part of Millsaps’ Arts and Lecture Series. $10; call 601.974.1130; email;

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine


“Best of Enemies” Feb. 28-March 4, 7:30 p.m., March 5, 2 p.m., March 7-11, 7:30 p.m., March 12, 2 p.m., at New Stage Theatre (1100 Carlisle St.). The civil-rights drama is based on Osha Gray Davidson’s best-selling book about a KKK member and an African American activist during the desegregation of Durham, N.C., schools in 1971. $28 admission, $22 for seniors, students and active military; call 601.948.3533;

Jackson area events updated daily at

Post your own events or send info to

file photo; file photo; courtesy Lucero; file phtoo; file photo; coutesy True Artist Management


Black Business Awards Banquet Feb. 2, 6 p.m., at 1835 W. Northside Drive). Respect Our Black Dollars is the host. In conjunction with Black History Month, the banquet celebrates the success of locally owned black businesses. $25 per person; email;

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COOL TOO // breezes

By the Seashore // Story and Photos by Amber Helsel The TatoNut Donut Shop (1114 Government St., 228.872.2076): For a good breakfastinOceanSprings, head to TatoNut. It’s open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through The TatoNut Donut Shop Saturday. On most mornings, it’s bustling with people ordering coffee and donuts. In remembrance of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the coast in 2005, try the Katrina pieces. Owners David and Theresa Mohler began making those after the hurricane, when they realized that they weren’t going to be able to get supplies from New Orleans for a while. They began getting flour from Birmingham, Ala., and they knew they couldn’t waste anything. After cutting out the donut shape and separating the donut holes, they use the leftover dough scraps for Katrina pieces. Leo’s Wood Fire Pizza (1107 Government St., 228.872.1297): For lunch, head here. The menu has appetizers such as bruschetta, cheese sticks and fried pickThe John Wayne at les, and sandwiches Leo’s Wood such as the Gulf Fire Pizza Island shrimp panini, which has Gulf shrimp, red onions, greens, Roma tomatoes and white remoulade, but the pizza is the restaurant’s claim to fame. It has traditional pies such as a margherita (Leo’s traditional) and a build-your-own pizza, but the best part is the specialty pizza. Each is named after someone famous such as the B.B. King, which has cream cheese, crawfish, Cajun spices, mozzarella and red peppers; and the Elvis Presley, which has beef, bacon, onions, tomatoes, and mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. The restaurant captures the soul of Ocean Springs. A flowing pastel guitar painting is on the front of the menu, and beneath the patio is a stage.



cean Springs has become an art mecca on the Mississippi coast. Even some of the Jackson artists have moved to the area, adding to the colorful community. Recently, BOOM Jackson visited the arty town and did some exploring.

Pop Brothers: The business, which is headquartered in Gulfport, has a small storefront next to Twisted Anchor Tattoo (1101 Government Street). The business has Pop Brothers sweet-tea pop many different flavors of popsicles, including a sweet-tea one (it tastes like summer) and Vietnamese coffee. Front Beach (Front Beach Drive): The public beach is located off Porter Avenue, which is just a few blocks from downtown. The beach itself is a good Front Beach place to sit, reflect— and people-watch. Walter Anderson Museum of Art (510 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs, 228.872.3164): Walter Anderson was an unusual artist who spent much of his life in Ocean Springs and on Horn Island, and it is thanks to him and his brothers, Peter and James “Mac” Anderson, that the town’s art community is what it is today. In fact, as you walk down city streets, Mural at the Walter you can see Walter’s Anderson Museum block prints hangof Art ing from light poles, so a trip to WAMA makes sense. The museum showcases Walter’s art and life and how the famed Mississippi artist worked. While Walter is most famous for his watercolor paintings of scenes from the Gulf Coast, the museum also showcases his versatility, from block prints of animals to portraits of people to sculptures. One of the highlights is the Little Room—his sanctuary on the main land—with its fantastical paintings on the wall.

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

Shearwater Pottery (102 Shearwater 228.875.7320): This studio is part of the Anderson brothers’ legacy to Ocean Springs. Peter Anderson estabA figurine at lished the workshop Shearwater Pottery and showroom in 1928 on the family’s 24 acres of land (then called Fairhaven, but now known as Shearwater), and in 1930, James and Walter joined him in the venture and built an annex to create molds to produce castware for hand-painting. After Hurricane Katrina damaged 17 out of the 19 properties at Shearwater, the Anderson family moved the business to downtown Ocean Springs. The showroom reopened at Shearwater in 2007, the final piece to the studio’s rebuilding.

The Greenhouse on Porter (404 Porter Ave., Ocean Springs, 228.238.5680): Keep an eye out for the business’ sign because if you blink, you miss it. The shop, which is in a tiny house with a connected greenThe Greenhouse on Porter house space, has coffee, biscuit, beer and art, and unlike most coffee houses, it has a small greenhouse and greenspace out back. After you get your coffee and a snack, you can step out back into the greenhouse or go outside and lay in the hammock. Take in your nature-filled surroundings while you sip coffee. Also, keep an eye out for two cats. One, Marigold, has five peets (the pads on cats’ feet).

Other places to visit: The Government Street Grocery (1210 Government St., 228.818.9410); Ocean Springs Museum of History (16000 Government St., 228.215.0710); The Candy Cottage (702 Washington Ave., 228.875.8268)

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Bringing The Community Together:

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Join us to â&#x20AC;&#x153;lunch and learnâ&#x20AC;? with provocative speakers and discussions held at the Mississippi Arts Center in partnership with the City of Jackson.

Impacting the WHOLE Family

A service provided by Mississippi Community Education Center and Family Resource Center


2017 Dialogue Circles

Ongoing for adults and youth, see website

Jackson 2000 presents dialogue circles, a series of facilitated, curriculum-based discussion sessions that can open minds, change hearts and build lasting friendships. Thanks to The Nissan Foundation for their generous support.

2016 Holiday Social

December; check

Join the Jackson 2000 board of directors and membership for a holiday social, celebrating the season and learning more about the programs and plans for Jackson 2000 in the new year. Plus, meet new board members and help celebrate our 2016 victories!

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Subscribe to BOOM Jackson and receive $15 in local gift cards from restaurants like:

More information: Thanks to our dialogue programs sponsor

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6 5 7


s t o p S ve to Lo






aShanda Brumfield, who owns Sassy Classy Curvy Bridal Outlet, has the information you need for wedding-dress shopping, but she also knows a thing or two about the Jackson metropolitan area. Here’s a list of her 10 favorite things in Jackson.

1 Mama Hamil’s Southern Cookin’ & BBQ (751 Highway 51, Madison, 601.856.4407, It has great food with good variety and decent prices. 2 Taste of the Island Caribbean (436 E. Capitol St., 601.360.5900) When I eat the food there, my taste buds want to take a tropical escape just to experience more of the island flavor. And the owners are great to talk to. 3 AQUA The Day Spa (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 8001, Ridgeland, 601-898-9123, The environment alone creates an oasis for relaxation. 4 Rooster’s Restaurant (2906 N. State St., 601-982-2001, Not many people can top their homemade chicken tenders. 58


11 12

5 Wither’s Greenhouse & Florist (7122 S. Siwell Road, Byram, 601.373.5000, The shop has friendly service. 6 Winner’s Circle Park (100 Winner’s Circle Drive, Flowood) It’s such a safe, family-friendly location.

9 Stamps Super Burgers (1801 Dalton St., 601.352.4555) It has one of the best burgers in town, and they can definitely feed more than one person. 10 Fondren Fashion House (601.487.8278) It has a nice environment with nice clothing for classy ladies.

7 Mississippi Farmers Market (929 High St., 601.354.6573) The selections from a variety of local farmers are endless!

11 Southern Komfort Brass Band Listening to their sounds is like taking a trip to New Orleans without leaving Mississippi, and they know how to get their crowds moving.

8 Rainbow Co-Op (2807 Old Canton Road, 601.366.1602, I love knowing that I am supporting local farmers and that I have a location to purchase organic food.

12 McClain’s Lodge (314 Clark Creek Road, Brandon, 601.829.1101) The location speaks for itself. It is beautiful, and you get a lot to work with for weddings and events.

Winter 2016 - 2017 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine




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