Challenges bring growth: Several new businesses open shop in Moss Bluff

Published 10:07 am Saturday, July 2, 2022

Despite the challenges of workforce issues, supply chain problems and a struggling economy, small business is booming in Moss Bluff.

Michelle McInnis is Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance Senior Vice President and Ward One (Moss Bluff) Economic Development Board President. She shared the names of new businesses that have recently opened or are set to open soon.

On Tuesday, June 28, the line for Jo’s Cupcakes snaked down the counter and out the door. The line wasn’t as long as it was on the first day at least. Traffic wasn’t impeded. But the new Moss Bluff bakery did sell out again, and not for the first time since opening at 909 Sam Houston Jones Pkwy.

Jeremy VanWinkle opened Titan Tires at 250 US Hwy. 171.

“With only two tire shops in Moss Bluff, I felt like our community needed another option,” VanWinkle said.

In addition to selling and installing tires, Titan does auto repairs, oil changes and caters to off-road enthusiasts with lift wheel kits.

Niche Creative Studio opened its second location in Moss Bluff at 271 US Hwy. 171.

“We chose Moss Bluff because it’s a fast-growing community,” Melissa Hill said.

Now creative types don’t have to drive so far for their craft supplies, good news particularly now when gas prices are high, according to Hill.

Tiffany Daley and Alison Degeyter know the Moss Bluff culture and market well. The sisters grew up there. They’ve developed their own “niche.”

“We bring children’s play areas to events and homes that are specifically designed for small children,” Daley said.

She said at many events, small children end up in strollers or being held as their older siblings find suitable play.

The Soft Play Sisters offer a safe and fun environment for children as young as a year old to interact with and develop social and gross motor skills.

Sway Boutique and Gifts “hopped across the parking lot” to expand its space at 277 Hwy. 171, going from 900 square feet to 2400 square feet, according to owner Brittany Derouen.

Gracie Barra, a jiu jitsu school for students four years and up, will open its new Moss Bluff location soon, according to Genna Davis, program director.

Other new businesses set to open soon are Fast Pace Physical Therapy, Crust Pizza, Taco Mel and The Dollar Tree.

Market Basket Foods is set to complete repairs from the hurricanes and open this summer.

“Moss Bluff is growing because there’s available land to develop commercially and residentially,” said Mike Smith, Police Juror. “The school system is good and these are factors that are attractive to home buyers.”

Police Juror Mike Smith and Marjorie Harrison, Director of Calcasieu Parish Public Libraries, reported on the status of library repairs and other hurricane cleanup.

“Repairs are underway on the Moss Bluff branch library,” Smith said. The police jury has been cleaning up laterals. Like other areas, having clear drainage is key. We’re also looking to expand River Bluff Park. That work has been held up because of the hurricane. We hope to add a multi-purpose type building to use as an event center.”

Harrison said the library will be back in October, with improvements.

“We had a lot of repairs and took the opportunity to make some changes,” Harrison said. “Not only are we building back a more functional resilient facility, we’ve planned some changes sure to appeal to children and teens.”

Harrison said the layout will change. Paint is all new. Lighting is all new. Meeting room flow and egress has been improved. An outside area has been fenced in. Though it might not be in place as soon as October, furnishings will be updated.