Side Alley Cafe & Gifts opened their doors to an eager crowd of shoppers from across the spectrum — visitors from Germantown, Hernando and Olive Branch, among other locales.
What's bringing customers through the doors, according to owners Kim Derryberry and Vickie Spell is an electic mix of artwork, pottery, hand-crafted items, and delectable sandwiches, soups and salads.
"We carry items ranging from fine art to fun art," said Derryberry, who has a background in restaurant sales and management, along with a booming home construction business. "probably 85 percent of the products we carry are Mississippi made.
Artwork by Memphis artist Michael Maness adorns the wall the walls along with lesser known artists. In addition to a few antique furniture pieces, the store features a full line of candles, tea towels, colorfully printed T-shirts, ladies pajamas, and both children and women's jewelry.
Derryberry said made-to-order BLT sandwiches, chicken salad and fried bologna with carefully chosen names from local sites and attractions, like "The Clock Tower" grace the menu.
"Prior to construction, I was in the food business for 25 years," said Derryberry, who formerly served as a sales representative for the Campbell Soup Company.
Housed in the former Rawls Department Store building, which also previously housed the DeSoto Times-Tribune, the small shop still features the 110 year-old wood plank floors.
Dawn Edwards with Made Ya Look decorated the store in a chic down-home style.
Spell, who owned and operated a jewelry business for 11 years, also brings a sense of style to the business.
Spell is often the smiling face that a shopper sees once they step inside the century-old building, located across the street from the historic DeSoto County Courthouse.
"I have a love for people and our hometown community," said Spell, wife of Entergy's Wayne Spell. "We are able to buy unique items and sell them at affordable prices. We're excited about our cafe. It's something that's quick, delicious and affordable, Everything is homemade."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.