Spotlight on Water Valley Hangout
Spotlight on Water Valley Hangout
By RH Brown
WATER VALLEY, Miss. (WCBI) — When it comes to America’s best little food towns and eateries, you will be amazed to know, we have one of the top ten spots in the nation.
In the tiny sleepy town of Water Valley, just 20 minutes away from Oxford, is a grocery store/restaurant… well its an everything place. And B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery is in the national spotlight. Having gained positive reviews from Food & Wine and The Oprah Magazine, people frequenting the establishment are not surprised.
“It makes me very proud and it makes me very proud not only of Mississippi and to be a Mississippian, but of Water Valley, Mississippi,” said Dixie Grimes, Chef.
An establishment that has diversified using new approaches is now getting raved reviews from both far and near.
“We buy Delta Grind Grits which are locally produced here in Water valley. We always try to use anything local is possible whether it be grass-fed beef, the grits, or produce certainly and produce season which will be in the summer. Anything local that we can get, that’s what we strive for,” said Grimes.
And just like days of old, whats called an old man’s table is reserved for a regular group hanging out weekly just to chat over a meal.
“Well, just don’t pan the table because I’d hate for somebody to see me with this group. Ha, ha, ha,” said Lee McMinn, Water Valley.
“I’ve been eating here since they started serving. Food is great, great food. Good fellowship. Just a fun place to be and a good place to eat,” said Snookie Williams, Water Valley.
People stopping by the eatery certainly didn’t need anyone telling them of the unique hang out, but its nice to know, whats in their back yard is shinning so bright… the whole country can see it.
“I hope people will come see us in Water Valley and give Water Valley a chance and give Mississippi a chance. it’s a great state and we are very proud of it,” said Grimes.
B.T.C is partnering with the newly opened Yalobousha Brewery in the town of Water Valley.
B.T.C. Grocery is releasing a cookbook that should be out sometime in March. Another eatery getting raved reviews is a seafood shack called The Crawdad Hole Jr.
Click here for Video Spotlight: http://www.wcbi.com/wordpress/video-spotlight-on-water-valley-hangout
Ocean Springs honors Miss. Main Street with Community Partner Award
Ocean Springs honors Miss. Main Street with Community Partner Award
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- The Mississippi Main Street Association was recently honored at the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau's Annual Banquet in Ocean Springs.
The Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce-Main Street-Tourism Bureau held its Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at Gulf Hills Hotel & Conference Center Banquet Hall.
The annual awards presentation recognized outstanding Chamber members within the community for their accomplishments and support of its mission and a celebration of the creative economy.
The Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) was recognized as "Community Partner of the Year."
Paige Riley, Ocean Springs Chamber past president, presented the award and read a quote from Governor Phil Bryant.
“Ocean Springs has become a tourist destination and arts mecca statewide, as well as an regional and national levels...The events in the downtown district, led by the nationally acclaimed Peter Anderson Festival, generate more than $30 million in revenue for the City of Ocean Springs annually," said Gov. Bryant.
"And the public/private investment of $523,490,471, over the past 22 years speaks to the dedication of the people of Ocean Springs and the importance they have placed on preservation,” said Gov. Bryant.
Stacy Pair, MMSA Southern District Director, accepted the award on behalf of the staff.
"Ocean Springs is one of those special places that has evolved in a perfect combination of the arts, preservation, the creative economy, Main Street and tourism," said Bob Wilson, MMSA Executive Director. "Not separately but as one single experience that equals pure economic development."
Photos: Community Partner Award
From left: Paige Riley, Stacy Pair and Margaret Miller
It’s my Job: Meet Tara Lytal, Main Street Clinton manager
It's my Job: Meet Tara Lytal, Main Street Clinton manager
Special to the Clarion-Ledger
I grew up in Clinton and graduated from Clinton High School. I attended Mississippi College, where my parents were on faculty. I received an undergraduate degree in interior design and later returned and received a master’s degree in communications — public relations.
After working at an interior design firm in Jackson for several years, I had the opportunity to return to Clinton and work with dear friends at the Cupboard. Jacque Tharp and Cindi Brown were co-owners at the time, and they taught me so much about the retail business, and they also were supportive of my numerous civic activities.
Since my parents were both college professors, our family was fortunate to have lots of free time to travel. They made travel a priority, and we would spend entire summers crossing the country and experiencing different cultures. Experiencing the diversity across this country and abroad contributed to my love for our downtown and my desire to improve and promote what Clinton has to offer.
Today, I’m director of Main Street Clinton. Main Street Clinton’s role is to revitalize the two very different Main Street districts, Olde Towne and the Clinton Boulevard Business District, through ongoing events, beautification efforts and economic development.
We are a designated Mississippi Main Street Community, one of 50 in the state. Our main goal is to revitalize and preserve our downtown through business recruitment, beautification and community events.
We accomplish this through the leadership of a volunteer board of directors and volunteer committee members. Nationally we belong to the National Main Street Center, a division of the National Trust of Historic Preservation.
My involvement with the Clinton Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Clinton program was what started me on the path toward this job. The project that my team selected was the Olde Towne Courtyard. We took an alley littered with trash cans and turned it into a small courtyard green space right across the street from City Hall.
There were only four of us involved in that project. We worked on the design, with assistance from landscape architect Chris Hoffman of Clinton, and we sought funds and in-kind donations and had the project implemented.
I have always loved Olde Towne and recognized its unique assets, which are unlike anything else in the Jackson area. Involvement in the courtyard project motivated me to look for other ways to assist with the development of Olde Towne.
In 2006, when I learned that the city would be starting a Main Street program, I knew that I wanted to be involved in some way. At that point, I did not dream that I would be the first director.
I am so fortunate to enjoy going to work each day! I love 99.9 percent of what I do, and I love that each day brings something new. It has not been easy, and it has definitely stretched me, but seeing the changes that have taken place in our Main Street districts over the past seven years has been amazing.
I have loved working with and getting to know our wonderful volunteers. They joke and say that once you volunteer at a Main Street event or serve on a committee, that I have my hooks in you and you can’t get away. The truth is, they love what Main Street accomplishes and believe in the program.
I can honestly say that Main Street Clinton has attracted the best group of people who care about their community and want to be involved in improving it.
There are so many things about my job that make me smile. I smile when we open a new business, I smile after another Caterpillar Parade or successful event or when an out-of-town visitor tells me how lovely our downtown is.
I truly think that this is one of the best jobs in the world. It’s certainly the best job for me.
— As told to The Clarion-Ledger
Photo: Main Street Clinton manager Tara Lytal regularly meets with community volunteers to discuss retail development, often examining artist's renderings, photos or proposed building materials. / Ruth Ingram/The Clarion-Ledger
Small Town, Miss. joins Main Street
'SMALL TOWN' JOINS MISSISSIPPI MAIN STREET
JACKSON, Miss. -- On Thursday, Feb.13, the Mississippi Main Street Association (MMSA) will designate the City of Small Town, Miss., an official Mississippi Main Street Community.
The designation ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Dr.).
"Small Town, Mississippi, is a unique treasure that we are fortunate to have at the Ag Museum," said Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. "It depicts a 1920’s town complete with a blacksmith shop, church, two-room school and operating general store."
"Receiving the Mississippi Main Street designation is valuable as we move toward making Small Town a ‘living’ exhibit on a regular basis, breathing life into the buildings so visitors can experience the history of Mississippi agricultural towns," Hyde-Smith said.
Speakers at the designation will include: Cindy Hyde-Smith, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, State of Mississippi; Joy Foy, Director of Asset Development Division, Mississippi Development Authority; Lise Foy, Director, Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum; Bob Wilson, Executive Director, MMSA; and Joey Hudnall, Board President, MMSA.
"Small Town, Miss. at the Ag Museum is facing some of the same challenges as many of our small communities across the state," Wilson said. "Small Town is home to many businesses and attractions that are not well-known to most Mississippians and many tourists."
"We will be focusing on marketing opportunities, placemaking, wayfinding and recruiting creative economy businesses to join those that already exist in Small Town," he said.
"We are excited to be working with a true visionary in state government, Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, and one of our more successful Main Street Managers, Lise Foy, who is now the Executive Director of the Ag Museum," Wilson added.