Martha Warren says she has found her passion to provide a special elegance in planning a banquet, wedding reception, reunion, corporate meeting or any type of gathering.
Warren has now set in motion her plans to turn her passion into a event center business, appropriately called Southern Elegance.
Groundbreaking for the 10,000-square foot facility at 654 Church Road East in Southaven was recently held and brought business, church and government leaders, friends and family together on a hot DeSoto County day.
Among those who spoke at the ceremony were state Sen. David Parker, state Rep. Jeff Hale, DeSoto County Tourism/CVB official Kim Terrell and Southaven Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carmen Kyle.
“Hearing her dream this, what she wanted to do in our community and the amount of time, the years that she has dreamed about this is just amazing,” said Kyle. “The construction of this new event center in the heart of Southaven demonstrates Miss Martha Warren’s commitment to her dream.” Terrell added, “I cannot wait to showcase Southern Elegance with the opportunity we have here.”
Southern Elegance makes reality of a dream Warren said she has had for a decade.
“I have been looking forward to this groundbreaking for over 10 years,” Warren said. “It all started at New Hope Baptist Church when Pastor Dr. Sherman Helton asked me and my husband to host the second annual Valentine’s Day Gala. Coordinating the gala, I realized that was my passion for hosting extravagant events and providing the best food and decor and working miracles with clients with budget constraints.”
There will be two main banquet halls in the facility, expected to be ready for use in March 2019. Plans are also to have an outdoor patio and garden area as part of the property. “This will be a venue specializing in fun events and specialized menus for weddings, fundraisers, corporate meetings, reunions and that type of thing,” said Kristy Moore, who will serve as Operations Manager. “We’re going to have a 10,000-square foot building and it’s going to be just amazing, wonderful and beautiful.”
After her introduction to event planning with the church activity, Warren has been continuing to host events, even taking on a family reunion in New Orleans.
“I’ve had families, weddings, and family reunions,” Warren said. “I’ve had my family reunion that wasn’t even here in the city. I took a family reunion of 211 people to New Orleans where I didn’t know anybody. I just prepared most of the foods from home, rented a hotel room with a kitchen in it and I just did it all for the family.”
Warren expects her business will grow and the opportunities to grow staff and provide more options will grow with it.
“Right now we’re just bones so it depends on the growth and the rate of growth but I do plan on hiring both part time as well as full time employees,” Warren pointed out. “I am now taking bookings from March and on.”
Jimmie Tucker is the architect for the building and TDL Contractors is handling the construction as the general contractors.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.