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MBJ Business Marketplace — Business meets pleasure at After Hours

While Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers provides music on stage, several Jackson-area restaurant will offer samples of their food at this Business After Hours. Those participating this year include Mangia Bene Catering, Logan Farms, Uniquely Kovered cupcake shop and bakery and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

While Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers provides music on stage, several Jackson-area restaurant will offer samples of their food at this Business After Hours. Those participating this year include Mangia Bene Catering, Logan Farms, Uniquely Kovered cupcake shop and bakery and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Participants at the popular Marketplace Business After Hours will be talking business, networking and getting a taste of some of what Jackson’s best restaurants and caterers offer.

Mangia Bene Catering, the catering arm of  BRAVO! Italian Restaurant, Broad Street Baking Company and Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza, is a longtime participant in the Marketplace. Aven Whittington, the group’s catering manager, said, “We have been involved with the event for as long as I can remember and we are excited about the new format this year. It’s always a treat when you have the opportunity to show your wares in front of so many influential business leaders in our state and  it’s an honor to get to participate in such a prestigious event. It’s just a great time and we look forward to being there.”

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Whittington said to look for Mangia Bene’s Asian grilled beef sliders and that pastry chef Jennifer Adelsheimer is working on “a huge selection of little treats from Broad Street Baking Company.”

Logan Farms owner Ryan Gnemi is returning to the Business After Hours after a successful showing at 2013’s event. “We had a lot of positive feedback last year,” he said.

This year Logan Farms will be serving pimento cheese sliders, homemade chess squares and their homemade chips with black bean salsa. The chess squares were a hit last year, he said.

Gnemi said the After Hours exposure strengthened Logan Farms’ presence in the Jackson area and helped get the word out that they served more than just their signature honey glazed ham. “A lot of people didn’t know we do catering,” he said. “Our slogan now is, ‘You thought we were just a ham store.’ We’re trying to let everybody know we do hot lunches and pulled pork bbq and cater throughout the year,” Gnemi said.

Whitnie Sheriff, owner of Uniquely Kovered cupcake shop and bakery, is a first-time participant and she believes the Marketplace can help her growing sweet-treat catering business get more exposure. “I think it’s going to be a great way to get my name out to the public,” she said.

Sheriff creates cupcakes and other treats for kid’s birthday parties, holidays and all special events.

She’ll give the Business After Hours a taste of her chocolate covered strawberries, pretzel rods and Rice Krispies, plus cupcakes and her specialty brownies with caramel and white chocolate. “You really have to have a sweet tooth,” she said.

Another newcomer to the Marketplace Business After Hours is Nothing Bundt Cakes in Flowood. The new bakery creates their cakes with premium ingredients, including fresh eggs, real butter and cream cheese.

The new franchise, owned by Amy Ritter and Anne Rhodus, is the first in Mississippi. They will be serving samples of their top flavors and also displaying options for decorating and customizing the cakes. Ritter said the moist cakes are “reminiscent of how your grandma used to make them.”

About Lisa Monti

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