New Development Opens Doors To Homeless Businesses

The plates are ready for heaping servings of Miss Annie's specialities.

"That's what we became famous for, fried chicken and spaghetti," said Annie Lutz.

Annie Lutz, who owned Annie's at Henderson Point, is about to open a cafe version of her 78-year-old restaurant.

"I can't wait either," said Lutz with a smile. "Because I haven't had a decent meal since we've been closed."

Like so many business owners, Miss Annie struggled with rebuilding dilemmas, like how high to go up. That's why she moved Cafe Annie to the Delisle Corner on Kiln-Delisle Road.

"I think it's wonderful," Lutz said. "I think it's needed."

Delisle Corner is a private business incubator. It was borne out of necessity, after Katrina wiped out so many businesses in Harrison County.

"Its purpose is to get people started with a low rent," said Property Manager Jim Heinzel. "It gets their business going so they can eventually move out, move back to the Pass, and somebody else can come in and start their business and do the same thing."

Lynn Lott is another tenant who now has a temporary home for her Classy Kompliments gift shop, after her antique business flooded.

"I think it's wonderful," said Lott. "First of all, there's no place for people to go to actually start their business back up. A lot of the rent is outrageous, and this has worked out really well for us."

"We salvaged that pot and we salvaged the copper," said Annie Lutz as she pointed to the wall decor.

Lutz plans to open her cafe next week, and hopes her dishes will tempt her customers to come back too.

"I hope that everybody would come out and see us and keep us going," said Lutz. "If we do well here, we'll stay. It's all about the money."

An art gallery, book store, and laundromat will soon open at the Delisle Corner. The building also houses the 39571 Project, a hub for non-profit groups and a community resource center.