A Taste of Philadelphia Comes To The Gulf Coast - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Black History Month: Local Business Profile

A Taste of Philadelphia Comes To The Gulf Coast

Whether you've been to Philadelphia or not, you've probably heard of the Philly Cheese Steak. And while the Gulf Coast is known for its seafood favorites, one new business is offering an alternative to just po-boys and gumbo.

No matter how you like your cheese steak, people along the Gulf Coast are having 'A Taste of Philadelphia'.

"It tastes like a Philly Steak and cheese is supposed to taste. I've had others that haven't been that good but this one is really good," says customer Jerrilyn Neumaier.

Authenticity is what sets apart this new Gulfport business from others. Another difference: It's black owned and operated.

"In our community, a lot of times, we don't grow up learning about entrepreneurship or financial awareness, so it's very important that African American business owners get out and start their business and also give back to the community," says owner Marsha Nelson.

Marsha and Tony Nelson have lived on the Coast for three years. While their business has only been around for a few months, the plan has been in the works for years.

"It's always something we talked about. With being in the military and moving around, it was just too hard to do that because we moved every three years or so," says owner Tony Nelson.

Now that the Nelsons are settled, they've opened the restaurant of their dreams. And customers say they can appreciate the authenticity of the food.

"I've had a couple, but not like the real thing. But it's good... better than I've ever had," says Cody Severson.

That's one compliment that this couple say they will write in their own chapter of black history.

"Hopefully we will document what we've done here well so that our family, my kids' kids, and their kids, will know what happened back in 2007 with us starting the business. So just on the smaller scale, it will definitely be a part of our black history," says Marsha Nelson.

'A Taste of Philadelphia' is on 15th Street in Gulfport. The owners hope to open several other franchises in South Mississippi.

by Elise Roberts

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