Downtown Gulfport businesses enjoying buzz surrounding national exposure

Downtown Gulfport businesses enjoying buzz surrounding national exposure
Vignes says the city's tourism industry will benefit from recent national exposure. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - With Pop Brothers making national headlines, other businesses in downtown Gulfport are also enjoying the buzz.

Businesswoman Lori Matherne says when she and her colleague heard about a new cafe' in downtown, Coast Roast, they decided to give it a try.

"We were looking for a place just to bring our computers and work before meeting," said Matherne.

Professionals and locals hearing the buzz about businesses in the downtown area are playing a part in businesses there taking off.

Nearby, Tony Swigris of Tony's Brick Oven Pizzeria says his gumbo pizza has been featured in Food Network Magazine and other National Networks.

Owner of Coast Roast, Shawn Montella, says they're enjoying the location right across from Pop Brothers and Tony's.

Montella added, "The city was gracious enough to put all new sidewalks in front of our new building. It makes a difference, we're seeing a lot of foot traffic."

Montella's daughter Brennan says she pushed for the downtown location for their business near the hustle and bustle.

"Chris Vignes reached out to me about two years ago. He said, 'Things are happening in downtown Gulfport, get over here, tell your Dad.' After that, we looked at real estate and made it happen," Brennan noted.

Vignes, the city's spokesperson, says each time a business in downtown Gulfport gets national acclaim, it makes the job of recruiting new investors to the area easier.

"We're getting a fun buzz, between New Orleans, Mobile. The Mississippi Gulf Coast is kind of an untapped resource of art, entertainment, and music.  New people have come here, new businesses have come here and set up shop, and with that it's kind of a domino effect," Vignes noted.

Vignes says the city's tourism industry, along with their "One Coast" campaign, will benefit from the recent national exposure from businesses and events.

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