The aroma of hot, oven-fresh bread is once again floating through East Biloxi. "Le Bakery and Cafe" on Oak Street is back. It's one of only a few, small businesses that have reopened on Point Cadet since the storm.
"I'm ready to put some weight back on people around here," joked Sue Nguyen-Brown.
Brown and her husband Christopher are still waiting for their insurance to be settled. So they had to use money out of their own pockets to rebuild their bakery.
"With the devastation in the area, you kind of have that choice whether or not to pick up the business, and move elsewhere. We felt it was our duty to stay in East Biloxi. It's kind of the community that built us in the first place," said Brown.
Their decision to stay is a big relief for loyal customers, like David Slay.
"Thank God! I've been craving my iced coffees that I get here, and the French bread and it's just super," Slay said.
Melinda Brady travels all the way from Gulfport to buy bread and other goodies.
"They're fantastic. More people should do exactly what they're doing. Start their business all over," Brady said.
Since the day after Katrina hit, Brown vowed to reopen. And for months, people who passed by the business easily saw that spirit and determination. All they had to do was look up, and see a very catchy sign that read, "The bread will rise again. It just kneads time."
Brown said, "Ultimately, that was pretty much our motto throughout the whole thing. It just took a little time. And I think in a sense Biloxi is also the same. I know we're going to come back, bigger and better."
And if business continues to rise, don't be surprised if the bakery ends up rolling in dough.
"Le Bakery and Cafe" specializes in French and Vietnamese cuisine. Another Asian store on the Point, "Hong Kong Market," is currently undergoing repairs.