While working in the railroad industry, Tomeka Bryant and Ailsa Von Dobeneck became close friends who shared a passion for good food, fun cocktails, and spending time on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. During a conversation over cocktails, Tomeka and Ailsa had a fun idea to start their own railroad-themed business and bought a caboose online from Pattonsburg, MO. They knew they were taking a risk, but they were excited about the new business venture and started thinking of names, the menu, and where they wanted to open their new business.
Knowing they both loved the MS Gulf Coast, they scouted locations and found a home for the caboose at 407 Mason Ave. in Long Beach. “I can tell you, the people we ran into in Long Beach, the City officials, really made it feel like home. We definitely saw the potential of Long Beach and the growth and thought this would be a great place with such a community vibe, a place that already seemed like a big family. We found the perfect piece of property, and all the stars aligned,” said Bryant.
Tomeka and Ailsa had bought the caboose and found the perfect location, but they knew they needed funding to bring their dream to life. Thankfully, they heard about Renaissance through one of our resource partners and quickly filled out an application. “Working with Renaissance has been great. Our lender, Jamey Warr, has helped us along every step of the way,” said Von Dobeneck.
Tomeka, an All-American sports-loving mom, is the business expert, and Ailsa, a former MasterChef contestant and national food columnist, is the tastemaker. Together, they created a fun and unique menu and drinks for the health-conscious and the party crowd.
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