Christmas shopping extravaganza comes to Belle Terre Country Club

Published 4:52 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

LAPLACE — Small business owners recovering from Hurricane Ida are coming together for a Christmas Extravaganza Holiday Shopping event from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, December 19 at Belle Terre Country Club, located at 111 Fairway Drive in LaPlace.

From June 2020 to August 2021, River Parishes vendors were offering weekly shopping events at the Choice International Multipurpose Building on Cambridge Drive in LaPlace. That changed once Hurricane Ida devastated the region, putting a pause on opportunities to spotlight local businesses.

Belle Terre Country Club is collaborating with local business owner Dayna James to offer a space where businesses can gather once again for a Christmas shopping event. James called Sunday’s Christmas Extravaganza a win-win for the business vendors and for the community, while also generating exposure for Belle Terre Country Club.

“This gives our community an opportunity to shop for Christmas without having to leave the parish. This will help the business owners who have been affected by Ida and need funds for their business. I thought this was a great opportunity for Belle Terre and the vendors to be able to come out and shop for the Christmas holidays,” James said.

Semi Wadhwa, events and weddings coordinator for Belle Terre Country Club, said the event is important to St. John Parish’s recovery.

“Having the pop-up shop at this time is huge for our community. In the aftermath of Ida when so many lives and businesses have been affected, this is a little beacon of hope to help establish some sort of normalcy,” Wadhwa said.

She added, “This partnership is extremely important not only for our vendors but also for our shoppers. The purpose is to provide an outlet to help renew faith and hope as we rebuild our community. This also offers local businesses an opportunity to showcase their talents. Belle Terre is beyond humbled to be part of this endeavor.”

Monique McGee-Duronslet, owner of Zora Christina Catering, has seen businesses come together in support of one another since the hurricane. In the restaurant realm, this has involved helping one another with obtaining supplies and offering space to prep food.

Four months after Hurricane Ida, Zora Christina’s brick and mortar building is still in need of repairs. McGee-Duronslet said the restaurant has done pop-ups and has continued catering jobs in the meantime, and the owners are in the process of having a food trailer built to expand mobile operations.

Zora Christina Catering will be among the vendors present at Sunday’s Christmas Extravaganza, serving 16-ounce containers of gumbo and a 8-ounce side of potato salad to warm spirits on a cold day.

“We’ve had to become very creative on how to stay in business without the brick and mortar that we are used to. This event on Sunday gives us an opportunity to be exposed more and to give an update to people who don’t know what’s going on with ZoraChristina Catering,” McGee-Duronslet said. “A lot of people telling us that they missed us makes us feel better because we want to continue serving the community and keep our customers happy, even given the situation. We don’t plan on going anywhere, and we want people to know we’re here.”

In addition to delicious Cajun food from local vendors, Sunday’s Christmas Extravaganza Holiday Shopping event will also include a wide selection of clothing, cosmetics and unique accessories that are perfect for last-minute Christmas gifts.

The list of vendors appearing at Sunday’s extravaganza include: JF Designs T-shirts & Accessories, ZoraChristina Catering, 3T & Company, Dottie’s Creations, Lynda Lou Boutique: Women’s clothing and Accessories, Nana’s Closet: Fine children’s clothing, Sabrina McLaughlin – Mary Kay, Flossed by Suga, Malou’s Southern Eatery, Ruby Ribbon Independent Stylist, Not So Naked Lingerie Boutique, Eugene’s Dream, MAH Melanin, Tony’s Fashion & Accessories, Alexis Jambalaya, Breia’s Bakery Bites, Supa Creations, Red Hairstylist Salon, Baby Bougie New Orleans, Paparazzi Chelle’s Glam Spot, Fashion Lady Creations and KoKo Lux.