Liquor store Katrina destroyed back in time for New Year's Eve

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If the new year is a time for new beginnings then a Biloxi woman who lost her business to Hurricane Katrina is more than ready to pop open a bottle of champagne.

Shawn Guider reopened the liquor store that she ran in West Biloxi for more than a decade. She is happy to be back in business in the neighborhood she loves.

Guider spent Wednesday morning stocking her store shelves with wine and champagne. Each bottle took her that much closer to being ready to get her store open again.

"It was so much fun. You see everybody, get to know everybody," Guider said.

For years, Guider sold spirits on Eisenhower Drive in Biloxi. Then the business moved to nearby Rue Magnolia. Then Hurricane Katrina came through.

"Lost the roof, lost my business and closed down," said Guider. "Went to work for the IP Casino. Was there for three lovely years and I left there and have kind of been hit and miss trying to find my niche, and when this building came open, it just clicked."

Thanks to a Small Business Administration loan, Guider made her return to Eisenhower. With the increased traffic from the Walmart Supercenter set to be built around the corner, she's not worried about starting over again in a slumping economy."

"The baby boomers, my generation, do consider a cocktail an affordable luxury. And what my research shows is instead of people going out to happy hour to a bar, they'll get a bottle and invite two or three friends over and enjoy it at home."

As New Year's Eve approaches, Guider can't wait to start serving people she says are more than customers and more like family.

"I've got every bottle of champagne I can get."

Shawn Guider said she has more square footage in her new shop, so she'll be able to carry a larger selection for customers.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.