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Bark Avenue specializes in happy dogs and happy dog owners



Left to right: Terra Brown, Trey Lawrence, a furry charge and Stephanie Sellars. (photo by Garbrielle Terrett)

Bark Avenue Hotel and Spa is more than just a place to get your pet groomed. It’s a paradise for fur babies. 

As an animal lover, owner Terra Brown has worked with animals almost all of her life. Over the years, her love for animals grew and so did her grooming abilities.

Opal gets a birthday treat.

“I’ve been grooming forever,” Brown said. “I’ve been off and on grooming since I was like 15, and I’m 51 now. I’ve had other jobs but this is something I’ve always wanted to do, and it’s like I say, do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Before opening Bark Avenue, Brown went to her customers to groom, but when the opportunity to open a brick-and-mortar site presented itself, she took it.

“I was a mobile groomer, and being mobile is difficult,” she said. “So after talking to Leon Gilmer, who owns this building, I bounced around my idea of having a dog hotel. Sure, you can go to the vet but this is a completely different atmosphere. The vet is great. They’re wonderful people to have in charge of dogs being boarded, but I wanted something different. Mr. Gilmer told me that he had the perfect building for me. 

Play time!

“We moved down here, and it took us a year to build this. I was still doing my mobile grooming and coming down here to build this.”

Today she is the proud owner of an establishment that serves as a doggy daycare, hotel and spa for her furry charges in addition to offering a full suite of grooming services and even special treats.

“We have rooms, and they are not in kennels,” Brown said. “We also have daycare from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. where they have playtime indoors and outdoors, a bubble machine, TV … Nap time is between 1 and 2 p.m., and it’s almost like operating a child’s daycare. A lot of their owners even bring in lunch, which they eat right before nap time.”

Each day, Brown does her best to make sure that each pup that sets foot in Bark Avenue is happy and well taken care of. Though it is challenging, she says there hasn’t been a day yet that feels like she’s working.

Take home special treats.

“I’m offering something that I saw a need for,” she said. “There wasn’t a place where you could take your dog for daycare. These dogs come in, and they are so excited. They can run off some energy because they might’ve been staying in a yard, or the people might live in an apartment or whatever it may be. 

“I like for people to know that whenever they need us, their dogs are well taken care of, and they’re safe, and they’re very happy. If you address all of their needs, then you have got a happy pup and a happy owner.”

Bark Avenue is located at 2230 South Frontage Rd. Call 601-630-5291 for more information, and also visit the Facebook page.


Trustmark donates $50,000 to the Vicksburg YMCA



Left to Right: Christian Easterling, Mary Ellen Montgomery, Isiah Young, Victoria Young, Oliver Love (photo courtesy Phillip Doiron)

Trustmark Bank has donated $50,000 to the Vicksburg YMCA for its capital campaign which included a building expansion.

Trustmark announced the donation Wednesday on its Facebook page.

‘Tis the season for giving! It is an honor to support our local Junius Ward Johnson Memorial YMCA’s capital campaign…

Posted by Trustmark on Wednesday, December 2, 2020

“‘Tis the season for giving! It is an honor to support our local Junius Ward Johnson Memorial YMCA’s capital campaign efforts to better serve the Vicksburg community, and we are thankful to our friends at the Y for all they do!” the bank wrote.

In 2018, the YMCA launched a $4 million expansion campaign which included building a new basketball gym and adding a new fitness area. CEO Phillip Doiron said it also included a new play area for children.

Trustmark has now donated a total of $75,000 to the YMCA for the expansion. The money will go to good use in helping the Y better serve the community.

The YMCA has been in its Clay Street location since 2002 when it relocated from downtown Vicksburg. Most of the construction is complete, and an indoor playground will be added shortly thanks to community donations such as those from Trustmark Bank.

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Vicksburg entrepreneurs got the basics of business ownership at boot camp



Kendra Reed and Willie Johnson were among the dozen entrepreneurs attending the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp. (photos submitted)

Last week participants graduated from the first Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp where 12 individuals received information to start or expand their own businesses.

Myra Harris, who recently started a company making masks, joined the boot camp shortly after her grandchildren informed her of the opportunity.

“They provided all the resources you would need to start your business, and they also made themselves available after class just in case you had any questions,” Harris said.

Vicksburg Entrepreneur Boot Camp participants. Top L to R: Marcus Dufour (Vicksburg Warren Partnership), Tim Sanford, Cathy Sanford, Olivia Foshee, Amy Warren, Patricia Anderson, Willie Johnson, Myra Harris, Ginger Donahue (Regions Bank) and Pablo Diaz (Vicksburg Warren Partnership). Bottom L to R: Gwen Green, Kendra Reed, Rob Burnham (Instructor), De’Jonae Curtis and Anthony Curtis. Not pictured William Wooten. (photo courtesy Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce)

Retired businessman Rob Burnham facilitated the class and helped the participants plan out their businesses, assisting with marketing, accounting and distribution. Marcus Dufour and Pablo Diaz from the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce hosted the class, bringing in successful entrepreneurs as speakers including Kevin Roberts who owns Fit Chef Catering in Vicksburg.

“Every speaker gave us the opportunity to ask questions, and it definitely gave me the information I need to open a business, and I would recommend the class 100%,” said participant Willie Johnson.

Johnson was born and raised in Vicksburg. He’s now retired from the military and looking to launch a consulting business, which is what led him to attending the boot camp.

By having capable individuals at the boot camp such as James Harper from the Small Business Development Center at Hinds Community College, the participants were able to learn about available grants and other resources for entrepreneurs.

Starting a business can be stressful for first time entrepreneurs, but the boot camp provided planning advice to the participants, breaking down the information that participants need to launch their businesses.

“In the business process of starting and running a business, owners get very busy running the day-to-day aspects,” said boot camp participant Kendra Reed. “Entrepreneurship Bootcamp gave me the chance to step back and plan through the whole process to prepare my new company to be successful.”

Reed is the owner of Delta Dirt Shirt, and she was proud to be a graduating member of the camp.

Now that the camp has ended, the participants are in competition for a $1,000 seed grant for the best business plan presentation. A winner will be announced Dec. 8.

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Fun Lanes bowling alley has reopened



(photo by David Day)

Fun Lanes bowling alley in the Uptown Vicksburg mall has reopened.

The bowling alley closed earlier this year after former General Manager Patrick Belden unexpectedly died as a result of a car crash. While the bowling alley has the same owners, they have made some improvements. A statement on the Uptown Vicksburg Facebook page explained:

“Fun Lanes Bowling has made renovations and is now under new management. Fun Lanes wants to let everyone know that they have a renewed goal of being a family-friendly, safe location for the people of Vicksburg and the surrounding area to come out and enjoy the sport of bowling. Fun Lanes at Uptown Vicksburg, come on out and check us out. You will be glad you did.”

(photo by David Day)

The bowling alley had become a hotspot for police activity due to the large crowds that gathered there for late-night, weekend DJ parties. While the parties were a major success and there were almost no problems reported inside the bowling alley, the large crowds outside sometimes became disruptive.

Tony Lemus, Fun Lanes acting general manager (photo by David Day)

“We are committed to a family friendly atmosphere and look forward to providing Vicksburg with a great, fun and family friendly atmosphere” said acting General Manager Tony Lemus.

The hours of operation have changed. Fun Lanes is now open Mondays through Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon until 9 p.m.

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