Entrepreneur Aletha Bass conceived the idea for a daiquiri bar years ago but had no interest in being a business owner.
Over the years, the idea kept coming up, and now she's invested her life savings into her business, which is called Meaux's Daiquiri Shop and will open soon near the Rave movie theater in East Ridge.
Hurricane Katrina forced Bass and her family out of New Orleans, Bass' hometown.
"When I came here the first thing I looked for was a daiquiri shop," she said. "In New Orleans there are daiquiri shops everywhere. That's where people go to hang out, whether they drink daiquiris or not."
Although the idea had come to mind, she didn't start pursuing it until God helped lead her to the new venture, she said. She had gone to the movie theater to get some popcorn, and she looked across the parking lot and felt drawn there.
"He revealed this spot to me," she said. "He told me that's where the daiquiri shop is going to be."
So, she started writing down ideas in January and by about March she had secured a lease and started renovations on the 3,000-square-foot space.
Crews added a handicap accessible restroom and she divided the space to include a small kitchen.
Now, she's submitted the paperwork to the state for her liquor license. She's waiting for approval on that and hopes to be open sometime in November.
She and her mother will be staffing the store seven days a week, offering five different kinds of daiquiris, including a non-alcoholic option.
"I have a teenager and want [teens] to have a place where they can go and sit down after or before a movie," she said.
Bass will offer ham or turkey po boys, as well as soda, beer and water. The atmosophere of the restaurant will be New Orleans themed.
There will be a pool table and televisions. Bass and her family are New Orleans Saints football fans, so they can't miss the games, she said.
She calls herself a Chatta-New Orleanian and hopes that other people from that area who are in the Scenic City will come visit her store.
"I want them to come out so they can get a taste of home," she said.
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