The name wouldn’t let go of me

February 1, 2020
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The name wouldn’t let go of me

The name wouldn’t let go of me

“I am a photographer but had the name Mo’Bay Beignet Company in my head for almost five years. It wouldn’t let go of me. I made beignets for my kids with a butter cream syrup and cinnamon syrup that my kids loved. It was fun playing with recipes and many times I thought other people would eat them up. Selling Mo’Bay Beignet mix sets began as a fundraiser in May 2019, to send my daughter to college in California. I have a degree in marketing and created the logo and website and used my photographs on the labels. Stores immediately started picking it up. Two months later I was in Priester’s Pecans and that was a big account to get. I started it out of my kitchen and it blew up faster than I could get the business side in place. So much went into making the mix sets and creating the syrups.

Every step of this has been led by God. When we went to California in April to look at the college, none of this was in my head. While we were there, a man prayed for me and said, ‘I see a new season in your life, there is a celebration and a jazzy feeling. I see you and a lot of math. I hear you saying it doesn’t add up. I feel like I am supposed to tell you to move forward.’ I thought he was he was talking about the cost of college. Four months later I was in my kitchen breaking down how much it cost to make one beignet to understand my costs and the labor that goes into them to see if this was worth it. I thought, ‘this doesn’t add up.’ Instantly, I thought of the man’s prayer and knew at that moment I can’t quit. What was the next step? A store. My husband and I couldn’t see this anywhere else but downtown Mobile with a little cafe and my photographs of the city on the wall. We found 451 Dauphin with a ‘for rent’ sign. The owner of the building was excited and felt it was right for the Mobile. He did all he could and invested in upgrades in the building to make this happen. I went to the planning department and they said because we were a change of occupancy, everything had to be brought up to code. I was discouraged by the money and work that would take. I sat in my car parked at the Mardi Gras park and prayed ‘Are you sure this is the space you want us to be in.’ I pulled around the corner and the car in front of me had a single sticker on the back window with the numbers 451. The address on Dauphin. One more sign from God. One more step forward.

This is store is possible because of my beloved grandfather who died in 2018. He was a generous man who worked construction his whole life. He was the fulfillment of Proverbs 13:22 about a good man leaving an inheritance for his children’s children. I called him Pap. He loved dominoes and I always played him at his house. We had a big bowl of dominoes at his funeral and everyone took one to remember him. The Lord gave me the idea to put dominoes at the tables in honor of him. I hope that people can put their phones down and enjoy beignets, coffee, dominoes, and time together. Maybe they will think of Pap.

We open on Thursday night, February 6th and are getting through hell week with all of the inspections, fire, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, zoning, and health inspections. The closer we get to opening, the more surreal it feels that this is happening. I can see this being the flagship of five stores in Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Birmingham, Huntsville. Five is for each of my kids. The contractors have been heroes and I t has been incredible to feel people’s excitement for the store. People knock on the door to see inside and say they can’t wait. The beauty is in the simplicity of beignets made with love. I can’t wait for this store to be filled with people and give them a little place to be happy in Mobile. Pap would be proud.”

 

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