Gourmand 

Food News

After months of renovation, Miss Cordelia's Grocery in Harbor Town is ready to reveal a whole new look.

Developer Henry Turley first opened the neighborhood grocery store and deli in 1998 to service the rapidly growing residential community on Mud Island. He named the store after his mother, Cordelia Jones Turley, who died March 26 at age 93.

The expansion, which began in November 2004, will nearly double the size of the store from 4,000 to 7,000 square feet.

"The neighborhood led the expansion because we wanted to offer a more full-service grocery," says Henry's wife, Lynne Turley. "In the last five years, the island has increased 10 percent a year."

The most notable use of the extra space is "Cordelia's Table," an eat-in dining area where customers can enjoy sandwiches, fresh-baked breads, or some of the new items from the deli's expanded menu. Cordelia's Table also offers selected breakfast items.

"It gives our customers a place to mix and mingle, because Cordelia's is really a meeting place for the community," says Lynne. "It also gives us a place to offer more services such as wine tastings and cooking demonstrations."

With added lighting, brighter colors, and improved displays, the store offers a more inviting décor. And thanks to the new wine and beer permit, customers can sit down and enjoy a glass of wine or a frosty cold one with friends and neighbors.

By mid-April, the store will offer a new check-out area and an on-site butcher shop with a wider selection of fresh meats and seafood and imported cheeses. Plans for May include remodeling the porch to create a farmer's market with an expanded selection of locally grown produce.

Miss Cordelia's also offers products grown or produced in the Mid-South, such as Delta Grind grits and cornmeal, Dinstuhl's candies, Café Francisco coffee, and Robert Hodum Honey.

Miss Cordelia's, 737 Harbor Bend Rd., 526-4772

The goal of the staff at Geeker's Gourmet Coffee Bar isn't just to provide a good cup of joe but also to support the artistic community. From those just getting started to established local performers, everyone is welcome on stage at this coffeehouse that opened February 28th in High Point Terrace.

Tuesday nights are open-mic, and Wednesdays are set aside for poetry. Just call 323-3339 to schedule a performance. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are for live music.

On April 2nd, Rick Murphy of the local band B Generation will do a solo acoustic performance. Also in the lineup for upcoming weeks are Michael Kerr, Paige Thorton, Joe Sanders, and Kim Richardson.

A musician himself, Geeker's owner Ben Wolfe wanted to create an environment where college kids can use their laptops for a study session or kick back and enjoy a little artistic expression.

"I want to help support local artists, not only musicians," Wolfe says.

The painted pottery of Mark Ramirez, whose work is heavily influenced by trips to Mexico and Spain, is on display, and the coffeehouse's warm yellow and cherry walls are adorned with black-and-white photography by Becky House.

When it comes to food, there's the usual coffee-house fare -- coffee drinks, pastries, and smoothies -- but Geeker's also offers sandwiches and soups. As the weather warms, Wolfe plans to add outdoor seating and hopes to host a few block parties.

Though Wolfe resides near Shelby Forest, he says he chose the High Point Terrace location because "it's a cool area. It's like its own little Mayberry. Everybody's real supportive of the neighborhood business."

Geeker's Gourmet Coffee Bar, 477 High Point Terrace, Suite 1, 323-3339

Throughout the month of April, indulging ice cream cravings at any Cold Stone Creamery will help Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The proceeds from Wish Stars, which customers can purchase for $1, will be donated to the local chapter of the organization.

The celebration culminates with the "Ice Cream Cake Social" on April 25th from 5 to 8 p.m. During this fourth annual event, customers who makes a donation to Make-A-Wish will receive a free slice of ice cream cake created especially for the organization. Last year the national event raised more than $600,000. n

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