WIGGINS, Miss. (WLOX) - Judy Cottrell is at home in the kitchen. For her, this new restaurant venture isn’t that far of a stretch from her Seashore Mission days as former pastoral director.
“We’re still doing the same things we were doing at Seashore,” she said. “We’re still giving back to the community, which is a huge part of Miss Julie’s Market, and I’m still cooking a lot of meals.”
She and her husband, Tim, started Miss Julie’s Market in May, and it took a while for her to make the move.
“God came to me about a year and a half ago and said, ‘Judy, there’s a new season.’ And, of course, I stomped my feet and said ‘I’m not doing that.’ But, then again, He started opening up doors," she said.
That led the couple to Wiggins.
“We love it here because it’s laid back,” she said. “We can sit down with people. They want to tell their stories. We want to tell our stories.”
The name has an interesting history dating back to her days at Seashore Mission.
“Some of the people at Seashore couldn’t say, ‘Hey, Miss Judy.’ And so, they would say, ‘Hey, Miss Julie. Hi, Miss Julie.’ So, Tim started calling me ‘Miss Julie.’ So, when we decided to do this, he said it’s a no-brainer," she said.
Tim was known in the restaurant business on the Coast while working for Quality Poultry and Seafood in Biloxi. His newly-added smoker outside produced one of the restaurant’s big hits: smoked salmon.
“The community just loves it,” he said. “So, it just shows if you put your heart into something, if you put the product first and put the dollar last, you can make it happen.”
Judy said her diner serves everything fresh, including her homemade jalapeño cornbread.
“Nothing comes out of a can,” she said. “We make all of our own sides - our mac and cheese, our potato salad, our coleslaw.”
This change for both has been smooth so far, but it was not without a little anxiety.
“Anytime you do something new and you make a change in your life, it’s a leap,” he said. “But it’s a leap of faith. We just go to the point that we enjoyed what we were doing but we wanted to do something for ourselves and also continue to help people," Tim said.
The restaurant, at 930 Hall Street, is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.