Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, Mimi’s is also “back from from the grave” and the new iteration has a few surprises in store for their customers.
Standing in the kitchen area of the newly remodeled and newly reopened Mimi’s Kitchen on Thursday afternoon, Heidy MacGrady admitted she and Billie Hillesland were not sure they would rebuild after fire, smoke and water damage destroyed their business on Oct. 29, 2020. “At first, we were all pretty shellshocked,” said Heidy.
But public support and their determination to succeed led them to push forward. “We finally sat down and said, ‘Yea, we’re going to do it. We’ve got too much invested. Why not. Let’s keep it going,’” said Billie.
The fire started in the storeroom but much of the damage came from smoke and water. Along with damage from the fire, the insurance company would not allow them to start to rebuild for 10 weeks and during that time the building and contents continued to decay. “They locked us out of here until February,” said Heidy. “Until then, they wouldn’t let us in here. We just had to sit and look at it. We couldn’t do a thing.”
The businesswomen were finally allowed to begin the process of rebuilding in February and rebuild they did.
The retail side of the store is now open and the kitchen is only a sink and a couple of other parts away. They are patiently waiting on the sink to ship and be installed. Once it arrives, the women can then resume their food service and cooking classes.”They shipped out sink and faucet on Tuesday of this week,” said Billie.
The “new and improved” Mimi’s will have some new offerings in the near future as well. “In addition to our lunches, on the kitchen side we’re going to have Grab & Go lunches in our coolers. We’re going to offer breakfast items like breakfast parfaits, croissants and caramel rolls. In the afternoon, for those who need to take a break, we’ll have fresh pies, cheesecake and other goodies in our cooler,” said Heidy. “We want to make it friendly for everybody. Come have coffee. Come have a caramel roll.”
The store is currently open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. but once they introduce their breakfast items they plan to be open at 7 a.m.
Once the cooking classes resume, the ladies plan to offer them a couple of times each week. Many of the classes will introduce attendees to something they have on their retail side, like their flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
“We may pull a recipe featuring one of our items so people become familiar with it. We will also de themed classes like Mexican Night where we make tortillas and tacos,” said Heidy.
Heidi said the classes are all about having a good time. “Everybody likes to gather around and sit around the island and they bring their own drinks. It’s fun.”