City Beautiful celebrates more ribbon cuttings

October 26, 2023

The days may be getting shorter but the list of retail and service options for Laurel and Jones County residents keeps getting longer!

On Friday, September 29 at 1:30 p.m. Alise and Dr. Amanda Matthews joined their parents, Dr. Harlon and Laura Matthews, the Jones County Chamber of Commerce, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee, and members of the community to celebrate the opening of the Matthews’ family’s latest venture- Shug’s Boutique.

During the ceremony, Mayor Magee thanked the family for their many contributions to the city. “They definitely contribute to the success of what’s happening in Laurel. Thank you for being with us,” he said.

Dr. Harlon Matthews and his wife, Laura, are both entrepreneurs and have passed that passion and work ethic down to their children. Dr. Matthews is a veterinarian who owns Briarwood Animal Clinic while Laura, who has been a caterer for over 20 years, owns Laura’s Linens and Catering.

Several years ago, when their daughter Alise was in college, she worked part-time at Elegant Evenings in downtown Laurel. She enjoyed the experience so much that she changed her major from orthodontics to marketing. A few years ago, she opened Shug’s Cookie Dough downtown and has expanded it to include the new boutique. She stated that she wanted to have a shop that embraced inclusivity and positivity where women of all sizes could happily shop. She co-owns the store with her sister, Dr. Allison Matthews, of Insight Therapy Center.

“This is a proud mama moment,” Laura said. “They work hard!”

The shop is located at 439 North Magnolia Street Suite A and is open Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A video of the event can be found at:

On Wednesday, October 4th, 1st Stop Storage celebrated the opening of its second Laurel facility with a ribbon cutting. Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee and the Jones County Chamber of Commerce joined the staff and members of the community in marking the occasion.

“We’re glad that you’re here in Laurel,” Mayor Magee said. Owner Drew Pearson, a Louisiana native, has been establishing high-tech climate control storage facilities throughout Louisiana and Mississippi with the mission to bring “big city technology with small town customer service” to communities across the southeast.

The storage facility, located at 308 North 12th Avenue in the former Hudson’s building, features 300 units ranging in size from a 5x5 locker to a 10x30 room. All of the units are climate controlled and available to customers from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. They maintain office hours Monday- Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

A video of the event can be found at:

Samuel’s Smoke Shop and Gifts celebrated their one-year anniversary on Friday, October 13th.

The Jones County Chamber of Commerce joined owner Sam Swadi, his staff, and members of the community in celebrating the business’s first anniversary with a birthday-party themed ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m.

Swadi and his team sell vaping supplies, pipes, apparel, incense, ash trays, and a variety of other smoking and vaping accessories and provide education on their products, especially those containing CBD oil.

The store is located at 923 Sawmill Road Suite 2 across from the Sawmill Square Mall in the former Gibson’s building. The store opens every day at 10 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and at 8 p.m. on Thursday, 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Customers must be 21 years or older to enter the shop.

A video of the event can be found at:

Southern Bone and Joint opened a temporary physical therapy clinic in Laurel and celebrated with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, October 24th at 11:30 a.m. Members of the community joined the Jones County Chamber of Commerce in welcoming the new physical therapy clinic operated by Drs. Ward and Sherman and physical therapist assistant Kristin Rouse.

Southern Bone and Joint clinic began in 1985 in Hattiesburg and has continued to expand. They now have physical therapy clinics in Hattiesburg, Picayune, and Laurel and will be building a new clinic on Hwy 84 West that will house both their physical therapists and their surgeons, who now work out of the MEA Clinic.

Patients can be referred to Southern Bone and Joint specialists through their primary care physicians to receive treatment for a variety of issues dealing with orthopedics including joint replacement, chronic pain, and arthritis.

“There has been a lot of demand,” Dr. Blake Sheldon, who has been providing physical therapy services in Laurel for over 10 years, stated. “We want everyone know we’re here.”

Chamber of Commerce Director Chris Tullos congratulated the team on their temporary clinic and expressed his support for their new building. “It will be a beautiful location and an asset to the community,” he said.

The clinic is located at 528 North 15th Avenue behind CVS and is open Monday- Thursday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

A video of the event can be found at:

For more photos check our Facebook page at:


The City of Laurel, established as a lumber town in 1882, is conveniently situated approximately two hours from larger destination cities such as Jackson, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Mobile. In recent years, the city has become a destination all its own thanks, in part, to its starring role in HGTV’s popular “Hometown” series. As Laurel, and interest in it, continues to grow, we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help all of our residents and businesses reach their full potential.
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