What is your favorite thing about Halloween?  Do you like the thrill of being scared?  Or do you prefer a family-friendly outing at a local pumpkin patch?  Whether you prefer tricks or treats, Mississippi is brimming with fantastic Halloween getaways!  We compiled a list of pumpkin patches and haunted houses around the state! 

Don't forget to post your photographs on Instagram and Facebook and tag Inspiration Mississippi!  We can't wait to see how you celebrate Halloween this season! 
It is Halloween season, which means it is the perfect time to indulge in some sinfully sweet treats!  Broad Street Baking Company & Cafe in Jackson is cooking up some mouthwatering goodies you will not want to miss.

Jen Lancaster, Pastry Chef , says, "Broad Street will be offering Death by Candy King Cake, Spooky Oreo Rice Krispy Treats and an assortment of Halloween and fall sugar cookies!  Our 'Death By Candy' King Cake was inspired when our Mardi Gras Almond Cream Cheese King Cake became so popular. This is when we decided we should focus on each Holiday. For each season we choose a flavor that suites the Holiday. So what is more fitting than crushing up Milky Way, Twix, Hershey's, Caramel Milky Way, Hershey's CookieNCream, M&Ms, and KitKat?  Our Death by Candy is filled with cream cheese and packed full of candy."  We cannot think of anything more delicious. 

Death by Candy will be available at Broad Street from October 20th through the 31st.  "We will have these available for walk-ins but we strongly recommend reserving one ahead of time to guarantee yours!  Most days they go fast.  They serve 15-20 people.  You can share with all of your friends and family and the shelf life is great!  Plus there is no need to go trick or treating!" Jen smiles.  

Sugar cookies will be available throughout the month of October, and you can walk-in or place an order for pickup!  Jen says, "Again, we strongly suggest you place an order in advance for certain shapes to guarantee your favorite!"  Broad Street Bakery also creates custom sugar cookies or Cinnamon King Cake year round with a 72-hour notice!  What's not to love?

Call Broad Street at 601-362-2900 to place your order or ask any questions!  You can also follow them on Facebook to keep up with our fun Holiday specials and dates available. Or check out their website -  broadstbakery.com

Don't be too bummed with the Halloween season is over.  Broad Street will be offering Caramel Apple King Cake for Thanksgiving and Apricot Ginger Wreath Cake for Christmas!  Happy eating! 

Photos courtesy of Broad Street Baking Company & Cafe 
Mistletoe Marketplace is one of Mississippi's treasured holiday events.  Every November, guests flock to downtown Jackson to shop with friends and family, enjoy special events and feast on delicious fare.  Mistletoe Marketplace is truly the kickoff to the holiday season!

Kara Davis, Promotions Chair for Mistletoe Marketplace 2016, smiles,  "It is the place to see and be seen! Mistletoe Marketplace kicks off the holiday season in the Metro area and you can always count on see the latest and greatest trends from home decor, clothing and more."

But what does it take to pull off this magical event ?  Over 800 Junior League of Jackson volunteers!  These incredible women work tirelessly to prepare every tiny detail of Mistletoe Marketplace.  Davis says, says, "Our volunteers do it all!  From flanking the special events pavilion with detailed decor to loading ice in Pepsi barrels, no job is too big or too small when we come together in support of our  beloved event."  

Junior League member Jia Scott says, “I feel like it was just yesterday when I was asked to become the Finance Co-Chair of the 2015 Mistletoe Marketplace with an eventual step-up as Finance Chair on the Mistletoe Marketplace 2016 Steering Committee. That was over a year ago, and here we are rolling into the last third of that 18-month commitment with the Junior League of Jackson’s 2016 Mistletoe Marketplace. Time flies when you’re having fun and can look back at the countless hours spent that have played an integral part of my continued development as a leader. Being able to see how those countless hours turn into a measurable impact for the community is simply priceless.”

Mistletoe Marketplace raises more than a million dollars every single year.  These funds support the mission of the Junior League of Jackson and over thirty community projects.  

JLJ Member Kara Davis says, "“Serving as part of the Mistletoe Marketplace Steering Committee has been a most humbling experience. Not only do we each play an instrumental role in shaping the landscape of the Junior League of Jackson’s community impact, we but we are able to play a part in developing the potential of women on our individual committees.”

Buy your tickets TODAY for Mistletoe Marketplace!  Visit the website here.  We hope to see all of you at Mistletoe! 
Seth Conerly’s great love of horses inspired an intimate rehearsal dinner at Providence Hill Farm.  On the evening before marrying his bride, Taylor Townsend, Seth treated his close friends and family to an unforgettable night on the Farm.

Seth’s mother, Beverly Conerly, says, “During my first visit to the stable, I envisioned an elegant dinner by candlelight, with a table setting designed to complement the architectural design of the building.”  Seth and Taylor toured Providence Hill Farm, and fell in love with the gorgeous venue.  Beverly says, “When I asked Seth whether he pictured one long table or individual round tables, he immediately decided one long table would feel like ‘family’ gathered together.”

Beverly and her husband, Dr. Don Conerly, hosted the romantic evening for Seth and Taylor, and Beverly planned every exquisite detail.  Seth’s personality shone perfectly throughout the evening.  While appetizers were passed, a handlebar mustache motif adorned Seth’s favorite food and drink:  hot boiled crawfish and vanilla coke.

Friends and family were seated at an eighty-foot banquet table, where they were treated to an incredible dinner.  The table was flooded with white hydrangeas and roses, and candles created a beautiful, warm glow.  Beverly smiles, “I could see the table and décor in my mind after my first visit to Providence Hill Farm.  It came together exactly as I had envisioned.  I will always cherish that night in my heart and mind.”

After a delicious meal, Don and Beverly shared a sweet blessing over Seth and Taylor, and presented the couple with thoughtful gifts.  Beverly gave Taylor a delicate diamond necklace, designed especially for the bride.  The diamonds were sweetly taken from a pair of earrings that Don had given Beverly when Seth was born.  Seth received a devotional book on marriage that his parents began on their first day as husband and wife over thirty years ago. 

Beverly says sweetly, “As an additional surprise to both Seth and Taylor, my husband and I had someone sing a song called “Tailor Made” by Colbie Caillat.  We rewrote the song especially for Seth, because we knew in our hearts that God had tailor-made ‘Taylor’ especially for Seth.  She is everything and more than we have always prayed for him.”

Event Venue:  Providence Hill Farm
Florals:  David Webb & Danita Summers
Catering:  Kathryn Davis
Photographer: Followell Fotography 
Event Planner: Beverly Conerly
Rentals:  Pretty Presentations Rentals and Mississippi Tent & Party Rental
Transportation:  Phoenix Limo

Blog by Mitchell Walters 
Inspired by his experience as a watchmaker, John Leslie Albriton, Sr., opened a watch and clock repair shop on Capital Street in downtown Jackson.  The year was 1920.  Albriton's was primarily a watch repair shop and carried only a handful of jewelry. 

Albriton’s great-grandson, Cameron Albriton, says, “Albriton’s has been handed down from father to son for four generations (myself being the 4th generation).  My Grandfather John Leslie Albriton, Jr. capitalized on the early success of his father by expanding Albriton’s jewelry collection, while still maintaining our stance as a watch repair destination store (John Jr. was a trained watchmaker like his father).  My father, John Leslie Albriton III, has contributed to the growth of Albriton’s during his career by adding many different designer lines to Albriton’s jewelry selection, and I joined the business in 2008 after finishing my graduate gemological degree at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).  We look forward to continuing Albriton’s great tradition of providing excellent customer service and top quality jewelry to the people Mississippi, as we are VERY close to breaking ground on our own freestanding building, that the store will be moving into in Summer of 2017."

Albriton's Jewelry has been in business for 96 years, and remains one of the most renowned jewelry stores in the south.  We had the great pleasure of speaking with Cameron about Albriton’s, and we are thrilled to share more with you today!

Albriton's has been in business almost a century. What has changed for the company and what has remained the same?  
“We’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to operate a successful business for quite a long time, although many things have changed over the years.  Fashion styles come and go, so that is a constant change in our industry, and the challenges of the business have changed a lot over the years.  There is a lot more competition out there these days, whether from online competitors, or other industries taking a piece of the pie, such as electronics (ipads, iphones, tablets, etc.).  As technology advances, stone cutting techniques have become more precise, as well as jewelry designs have become much more complex.  This gives the consumer many more options to select from than in years past. 

I would say that the main thing that Albriton’s has been able to keep going for all of these years is our focus on customer service, and making sure our customers are getting the very best value for their dollar.  We strive to keep a customer-first focus, as we feel it really adds something to our customer’s overall experience when shopping with us.” 

What sets Albriton's apart from other jewelry stores in Mississippi?
“We are the only jewelry store in Mississippi that has been passed down from father to son for four generations since 1920.  We offer several exclusive designers that are not available from other jewelers in the area. More importantly, we feel that our customer service is what really separates us from other stores in Mississippi.   We go above and beyond to make sure our customers are pleased with their experience at Albriton’s.”

Do you have generations of families who continue shopping with you?  Why do you think these families are so devoted to working with Albriton's? 
“Albriton’s has many multi-generational customers who have shopped with us for many years.  I feel the reason we are able to keep our customer’s coming back from generation to generation is the service they receive while shopping with us.  Also, being a large engagement ring dealer, we have been able to be a part of so many special moments in people’s lives, and we have nurtured those relationships over the years.  We feel this leaves the customer with a great experience, and we hope that that draws them back to us for all of their future jewelry needs.”

 What are your top-selling items? Are there any pieces or brands you would like to focus on or mention to our readers? 
“The most consistent selling items for Albriton’s would be diamond engagement rings and watches.  Fashion jewelry tends to be more seasonal, but is a lot of fun to sell.  Some of our top designer lines are Tacori, Simon G., Roberto Coin, Mikimoto, Breitling, Baume & Mercier, and Michele.  Of course, we have multiple other designers that offer beautiful selections as well.”

Tell me about Albriton's new location!  Where will it be and when will it open?  Why did you decide to open a new store?
“We are super excited to be building our very own freestanding building in northeast Jackson!  In the past, we leased our different locations, and recently we had the opportunity to purchase some land and build our own store from the ground up.  This is something we had considered for several years, and the location and timing worked out perfectly for us.   We have been located in Jackson since our founding, and really wanted to stay within the city limits.  We found a spot that we love, and were able to acquire the property.  The building will be located just north of the buildings that are part of Highland Bluff North complex, as we purchased the northern section of their parking lot from them.  The building will essentially be across the street from Bravo Restaurant, which is located on the southern end of Highland Village.  We will be opening in the summer of 2017.  We decided to move to our own freestanding store, because we always have wanted to own our own building, and the right opportunity presented itself.  We also feel that we are a destination store, and having our own freestanding building will give us even more presence and visibility in our area.”

Will the store in Highland Village remain open?
“Unfortunately, we will be closing our doors in the Highland Village location just prior to moving into our new building.  The owners/magagement of Highland Village have been great to us with this transition, and we wish them great success in continuing the tradition of upscale shopping/dining that Highland Village has maintained in Jackson since 1972.”

Thank you so much, Cameron, and congratulations on Albriton’s wonderful success!  For more information on Albriton’s, please visit www.albritons.com

Jeff Good had never stepped foot in Mississippi.  It was his senior year of high school, and the handsome and gregarious teen left Salt Lake City, Utah, and moved to Jackson.   His father had accepted a position as Dean of Students at Millsaps College. 

Jeff enrolled at Murrah High School, and a boy named Dan Blumenthal befriended the new student.  “We became fast friends and good friends.  Best friends,” says Jeff.  Dan remembers their first meeting.  “He was chewing on his pen one day in class and all of the ink leaked into his mouth and he started gagging in the middle of class.  The teacher asked him to show her what was in his mouth, and he stuck out his tongue.  It was blue.  We all started cracking up and at that point I knew that Jeff was special!” laughs Dan.

Dan attended college in California, and Jeff earned a degree in Business Administration from Millsaps College. “Moving to Jackson was hard, and I continued acting out my freshman year of college.  So, I ended up taking five years to get through school,” admits Jeff.   His college sweetheart, Debbie McGregor, had already graduated from Millsaps and was working as a high school Latin teacher.  He laughs, “She was just waiting for her husband-to-be to please graduate!”

Jeff finally donned his cap and gown, began working as a computer salesman for the NCR Corporation, and married his love.  He reflects, “We set roots in Jackson at that point and created our lives here.  This became our home and we built a nice group of friends.” 

Jeff and Debbie became very involved with Ballet Mississippi, volunteering and hosting magnificent parties following performances.  Jeff smiles, “We did professional level catering out of my house.  We prepared a lot of food and had gorgeous table decorations.  We raised a lot of money and support for the ballet.  I made some amazing Jackson connections.”  

Meanwhile, Jeff unexpectedly lost his job when his division closed nation-wide.  “I looked for sales positions, but was unable to find anything.  I was frustrated for months,” he says.  A call to San Francisco changed everything. 

Dan answered his phone and Jeff said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I can’t do my own thing here.  It’s too expensive and I don’t have the connections.  We should go into business together.”  Dan was in culinary school and the two began talking about opening a restaurant.  Dan reflects, “I was sad to be leaving California, but I knew it was time to turn over a new leaf in my life.  To have my own restaurant was a blessing that was only going to happen in Mississippi.” 

They developed the idea of an innovative restaurant with dishes inspired by traditional Italian food.  With a business plan written for BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar, Jeff got to work.  “I took a commercial loan officer to lunch on the top of The University Club.  As we gazed out over the city of Jackson, I told him our idea for Bravo! and asked for half a million dollars.  He looked at me and said, ‘That’s not going to happen.  You have no money, so you cannot borrow money.’”

“I knew I had to make this work,” says Jeff.  He approached the board members at Ballet Mississippi and they served as valuable resources.  Jeff formed a partnership and decided to sell shares of stock.  “That’s where my skills as a sales person came in.  I prospected 750 people face-to-face.”

Jeff and Debbie opened their tiny, two-bedroom bungalow for extravagant dinner parties every Tuesday and Thursday night.  Guests were fed delectable choices from the Bravo! menu, and people were shocked and delighted to taste delicacies they had never seen in an Italian restaurant.  Over time, Jeff fed 250 people.  Forty-four of these dinner guests invested $10,000 each.  Bravo! was born.

“We opened Bravo! on April 7, 1994 and we have not looked back since,” smiles Jeff.  “Six years later, we opened Broad Street Baking Company, and an additional nine years later, Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint.”  Dan and Jeff opened all three businesses together.  Jeff laughs, “We are like an old married couple.  We are way too familiar with each other now.”

Jeff serves as President of Mangia Bene Restaurant Management Group, the owner and operator of BRAVO!, Broad Street and Sal & Mookie’s.  The restaurants operate a full-service catering business, Mangia Bene Catering, with partnerships in fabulous venues throughout the Jackson area.

BRAVO!, Broad Street and Sal & Mookie’s are located in the city of Jackson.  “We are Jackson boys.  There was never a discussion of building our restaurants outside of the city,” says Jeff.  “Banner Hall was an extraordinary opportunity for Broad Street Baking Company.  It was half-empty and we had the chance to work with Johnny Evans at Lemuria and envision a revitalized Banner Hall that was owned by tenants.  Sal & Mookie’s was opened in 2006.  It was a tough time, post Hurricane Katrina, and Jackson was struggling for an identity.  So we decided to place a family concept on a deserted street in a burned-out restaurant and see what happened.  Through Sal & Mookie’s, we have introduced the city to Fondren.”

Jackson’s future is looking even brighter.  Jeff is engaged in creating the first-ever Food Hub for central Mississippi, to be located at the Old Farmer’s Market in Jackson.  Set to launch this spring, this support organization for local farmers will be a wholesale distribution center.  “A food hub is an effective way to build an economy,” says Jeff.  “We want to act as a catalyst for positive change by creating a vibrant local food system.  I have been in the restaurant business for twenty-three years, and I will continue that, but I also want to focus on creating a better Mississippi.”

It is extraordinary what a boy from Utah has accomplished in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a devoted husband and father, and recently sent his twin daughters, Alex and Carly, off to college.  Jeff has won countless awards, served on numerous boards and is Chair of Vision 2022, a bold 10-year strategic plan for Jackson.  Refreshingly, Jeff remains genuine, humble, and kind.  Dan says, “Jeff is honest and hardworking as the day is long.  What you see is really what you get with Jeff.”

“Jackson has been so good to us and we are here to serve the community.  We are serving hospitality to our guests and teaching hospitality and grace to our employees,” smiles Jeff.  “I absolutely love this community.”

For more information on Mangia Bene Catering, please click here!  A special thank you to Adam + Alli Photography for taking these wonderful photographs! 

{Blog by Mitchell Walters} 

Flavors of Fall


Aren't the flavors of fall just glorious?  October is the perfect time to embrace the season with all of your senses.  For a tasty dish, we recommend visiting County Seat, nestled in the quaint Town of Livingston.  Their fall menu is delectable and we adore Chef Jeremy Enfinger's Pumpkin Soup! 

We also encourage you to visit Mississippi's pick-your-own farms!  From corn to pumpkins, you and your family will enjoy being outdoors in this beautiful fall weather!

A special thank you to Mary Moment Photography for capturing County Seat's soup so beautifully!  Click here to see more of her gorgeous photographs! 
Treat your girlfriends to an unforgettable camping experience.  Park your airstream and set up a magical retreat in the wild.  We envision bohemian details, pretty florals and delicious treats in a naturally beautiful setting.  What a perfect way to relax and celebrate great friendships.
You can see more of this gorgeous shoot in the 2016 issue of Inspiration Mississippi Magazine!

Thank you to the wonderful vendors involved with this photoshoot:

Location:  Casa de Campo; Tupelo, Mississippi
Photography:  Stephanie Rhea Photography
Florals:  Oxford Floral
Models' Tops:  Hobie's Outdoor Sports
Rentals:  Modern Revival Rentals
Hair & Make-up:  Amber Higgins of Intricid Salon 
Did you know that three simple steps can lead to a healthier, happier you?!  Suzie Foote, RN, says, “We are very excited about empowering Mississippians to take personal authority of their health and wellness by three very easy things:  What you eat, how you move your body and how you manage stress.”

On Tuesday, October 4th, LocalWellnessList.org will be hosting #EatMoveRelax, a Wellness Conference on the beautiful campus of Bellwether Church in Jackson.  Doors open at noon with yoga on the lawn, riveting presentations, panel discussions and live demonstrations.  Foote says, “We are introducing about 6-8 lifestyle practitioners in the Jackson area, how they practice and how they can help you.  Speakers will include renowned doctors, nurses, anxiety specialists and yoga therapists.”  As guests enjoy fresh fruits and water, they can enter to win fabulous prizes, including over a thousand dollars in spa treatments, a Whole Foods gift card, spa products and much more! 

Last year, Foote started LocalWellnessList.org, a directory of health and wellness practitioners of Mississippi.  She says, “These people take care of you on a holistic basis.  They are interested in you as a whole person – mind, body and soul. If you have a pain somewhere and can’t find the origin, you might have had a traumatic episode at some point and this is how your body is expressing it.  When you address the whole person, that’s the mind/body connection.”   

Foote adds, “People don’t know how to take care of themselves.  Mississippi is the sickest state in the nation.  We have numerous tools to take care of ourselves, but we don’t understand how to use them!  Yoga, for example, is a wonderful tool. It helps with arthritis, pain, flexibility, body movement and balance.  Many people are afraid it is a religion; but actually, it is am important part of the mind and body connection.”

All of the things offered at #EatMoveRelax work safely in conjunction with traditional medicine.  This event is open to the general public at the cost of $15 per person. For more information about the conference agenda, tickets, or to learn more about the speakers, visit www.EatMoveRelax.com

For more information about out the online wellness community, visit www.LocalWellnessList.org