Summer ends on high note for Laurel entrepreneurs

October 11, 2023

As another hot Mississippi summer draws to a close, residents of the City Beautiful have even more to celebrate than cooler temps!

Over the last few months, the city has seen several new businesses open their doors to serve Laurel and Jones County residents and guests.

On August 1st, Laurel native and entrepreneur Keri Lott celebrated the opening of The Buzzard’s Roost with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Jones County Chamber of Commerce. The event took place at 3 p.m. at the bar and inn combo located next to Lott Furniture Company at 318 Front Street in downtown Laurel. It is open seven days a week. On Mondays through Thursdays they open at 4 p.m. On Saturday and Sundays they open at 11 a.m.

On August 4th, Babb’s One Stop celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. The corner store is located at 3222 N. 5th Avenue. It was a corner store in the community for many years and was a daily stop for the family who now owns it to pick up snacks. It was closed and has sat vacant for several years. Now that it has reopened, the owners expect that it will become a staple in the community again.

On August 11th, The Laurel Plant Parlor celebrated moving to its new location on Short 7th Avenue. “We want to congratulate The Plant Parlor on their move from Front Street over to Short 7th,” Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee said. Owners Luke Hanna and his niece, Allie Pipkins, started the business in December 2022 by opening a spot at Front Street Market. Hanna said he has had a “green thumb” since childhood and inherited his love of plants from his grandmother. A few years ago, he was working as a nurse when the Covid-19 pandemic began. He and Pipkins started taking care of houseplants as a way to relax during that time and the hobby grew into their business. Today, The Laurel Plant Parlor sells plants, pots, moss poles, plant hangers, and grow lights. They also mix and sell their own soil. The Laurel Plant Parlor is located at 405 Short 7th Avenue and is open Tuesdays through Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On August 18th, at 10:30 a.m. Eboni Bella Marshall celebrated the opening of her Bella Locs Studio at 530 Central Avenue, Suite A. Bella Locs began in 2022 with Marshall working out of her home. With the encouragement of friends and family, she decided to expand her business and open a studio downtown. During the ribbon cutting hosted by the Jones County Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Magee welcomed Marshall to the area. “Welcome to downtown! Thank you for investing in downtown, Laurel. We’re glad that you’re here.” Marshall stated that her studio is open Tuesday- Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On August 25th, at 5:00 p.m., Hotel Pinehurst celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting sponsored by the Jones County Chamber of Commerce. The new hotel, named after the historic Pinehurst Hotel, is located at 410 Central Avenue.

In the county, Glow by Nurse Julie celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting on July 11th at 11 a.m. Glow by Nurse Julie is located at 5243 Hwy 84 West Suite 3 and provides makeup and skin care services to residents throughout Jones County.

Live streams from the ribbon cuttings can be found on the Jones County Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.


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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