We’d been talking about opening a “Miss Kathy’s West” since my brother started the original Miss Kathy’s back home in 2012. To clarify, “back home” is in McComb, Mississippi, a small town in southwest Mississippi, about 100 miles from New Orleans. Well, to clarify even further, Miss Kathy’s is technically in Summit, an adjoining town, just north of McComb. If you didn’t know better, you wouldn’t even realize you’d crossed the city limits.
McComb is cute, quaint, and has been declared a “retirement paradise” for as long as I can remember. This description would fit Summit, too. My then newlywed parents moved to McComb in the early ’60’s and have made it home ever since. It’s the kind of place that was good to grow up in. By the time I reached college, my new friends called me sheltered and naïve, and I was okay with that. I’m not sure how much of that was the place or the time or my God-fearing parents, but I’m thankful for my protected childhood and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
My brother has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He finished Ole Miss with a business degree, had several professions over the years, including a lengthy stint in food service as manager of Piccadilly (it’s like Luby’s for non-Texas states). So, there’s his background in food. Our sweet mama passed away in 2009, and a few years later, I remember Anthony coming to my siblings and me and telling us about his idea to open a snoball and snack stand in Summit, and he wanted to name it after our mama – if we were okay with that. “Of course!” we all happily responded, “she would LOVE THAT!” And, now that it’s a reality, I can say with confidence that she DOES love it.
The Miss Kathy’s that my brother has created is warm, lively, inviting, and always serves up goodness – whether it be in the form of snoballs, food, friendliness, or love, much like our sweet mama.
You see, the actual Miss Kathy knew how to love people, and food was often her greatest tool. She always had a cake or pie baked. She always cooked too much food at dinner or supper (aka lunch or dinner) because “you never know who may come by and be hungry” she’d say. And she was always ready to pour you a tall glass of sweet tea or lemonade. Her kitchen was where stories were told, laughter was shared, memories were made, and even some tears were shed. It all went down in Miss Kathy’s kitchen.
Even after her children were grown and gone (all 5 of us), the new kids of the neighborhood still knew where to go for an afternoon treat. Mama kept her deep freezers (both of them) amply stocked with popsicles for the kids around the block. They’d knock on her screen door and ask, “Miss Kathy, can we have a popsicle?” She’d beam with pride and reply, “Of course, sugar! Help yourself to whatever you want there in the deep freezer!”. And, with stained lips, sticky fingers, and the most delicious treat they’ve ever had, the kids would skip away happy, and this made Miss Kathy happy too.
So, yeah, back to snoballs…
I’m Amanda, a 12-year Houstonian, marketing professional, and avid sports fan – some may say I’m “fanatic” when it comes to the Astros. I go home to McComb for visits about once a month, and I love – seriously LOVE – helping out at Miss Kathy’s. I adore interacting with the customers, whipping up some delicious flavors, and I’ve learned to make a pretty amazing snoball, if I do say so myself. And, maybe most importantly, I’m fortunate to be married to Billy – the guy who, among his many lovable traits, supports my endeavors and knows how to make things happen.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been talking about opening up my own Miss Kathy’s since Anthony opened the original. But, sigh…life. It always seems to get in the way, or it’s what happens while you’re busy making other plans (take your pick). Well, while I’m the dreamer of our duo, Billy is the guy who says “Why wait? Let’s do this!” and then sends me a text message one day telling me that he bought me a microbus. I would’ve thought he was kidding, because who impulse purchases a microbus? But this was no impulse purchase for Billy. He has listened to me dream, borderline whine, for nearly 4 years now, about how this is what I really wanted to do, and if only I could give this a go. Well, Billy saw an opportunity and he carpe diem’d it. My goodness, I love that man.
So, here we are, converting a microbus into Miss Kathy’s HTX – a mobile food truck serving New Orleans style snoballs right here in Houston. We’re aiming for a soft opening this fall – Octoberish – working weekends, doing some catering and special events, and then opening with a more full-time presence next spring. (If the good Lord’s willing!)
Right now, we’re busy building out our brand, assembling the tools of our new trade, crafting a delicious menu, and turning a former Alief ISD school bus into a mobile snoball stand! We’re optimistic about the future and are excited to bring a new level of hospitality and deliciousness to the HTX – just like my sweet mama taught me.
Stay tuned, my friends! It’s going to be a sweet, sweet ride!