Laurel closed out 2021 with a series of new beginnings for local businesses

January 24, 2022

A trio of local business owners celebrated the end of 2021 with a new beginning by hosting the Jones County Chamber of Commerce and members of the community to the ribbon cuttings for their businesses.

On Wednesday, November 10th, 2021, the old Laurel-Leader Call building was revived as new owner Vonette Stone and her staff celebrated the opening of Stone Park Plaza which contains Stone Tax Consulting and Trey’s Playhouse, a sprawling arcade and entertainment venue featuring classic arcade games, pool tables, and party rooms for rent. The arcade and its party rooms are decorated with a variety of murals, sports memorabilia, and inspirational quotes.  Stone explained that she wanted to find a way to provide an entertainment option for area children. In addition to the arcade and tax preparation businesses that Stone and her family now operate, they hope to rent space to other local business owners to help them build their dreams as well.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, which was attended by Stone’s family and friends, including former Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree, as well as members of the Jones County Chamber of Commerce and the community at-large, Stone’s pastor Bishop J. E. Daniel led the group in prayer and dedication by providing remarks and referring to inspirational scriptures.

On Thursday, December 9th 2021, Patrick and Cellie Scoggin cut the ribbon at Betsy’s on Magnolia. The new business features a walk-up ice cream shop that specializes in old-fashioned hard-shell dipped cones and hosts two one-bedroom Air B&B units decorated in mid-century style. The entire business exudes mid-century style, from the décor of the rental units, which are already fully booked, to the old-fashioned treats they serve and even the company name and mascot! Betsy is the name of the bright blue 1964 Volkswagen Beetle that serves as the company’s mascot and namesake. The car was handed down to the family who restored it by watching how-to videos online.  Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee stated his optimism for the future of the venture by saying, “Nobody doesn’t like ice cream!”

While they are excited to serve ice cream, the Scoggin family is more excited to be serving the community. “Community service is the number one thing,” Cellie Scoggin said. “We wanted to be involved in the community. We wanted to come back to the city and make a positive contribution.”

Additionally, Sullivan and Sons Co. also celebrated their ribbon cutting in December. Their ribbon cutting was to celebrate the one-year anniversary of their Laurel location at 410 Oak Street.  During the event they hosted a giveaway for one lucky winner to receive free ice cream for a year. With all these games and ice cream treats on hand, 2022 may shape up to be a pretty sweet year!

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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