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  • Writer's pictureCharlsie Pecoraro

#Great tips along the Gulf Coast

Tulips in Fairhope
Curb Appeal in Fairhope, Alabama

This week I spent time in Fairhope and along the coast, including some time in Baton Rouge! Exploring provincial shops and meeting entrepreneurs is what fuels my passion for supporting local. Spending time in Fairhope is a "mini-vacation" for those of us who reside across the bay. In addition to friendly store owners, the visual treat of the downtown floral lined streets sets a tone for time spent there. This is a "don't miss" when you are visiting Baldwin County.

If you are considering relocating to Fairhope, Orange Beach or anywhere in the county, Heather Loper is your real estate connection. Click here to visit her website and see her current listings!

Insider tip: Additionally, Fairhope is very pet friendly! As I passed a local store, a fur baby was curled up next to his owner at one of their outside tables. You'll find plenty of shops catering to pets and watering bowls outside of numerous places.


Meet the "Boss Babes"!

Jennifer Anderson has joined me as Chief of Staff for Baldwin County & Mobile! Jen is focused on new business development. Her enthusiasm for helping local business owners with marketing is contagious! She was born and raised in Mobile County and loves the coast!

She shares my passion for coffee, fashion, doggies and helping others succeed! Recently we stopped at Soul Caffeine to have a delicious "Keto" friendly cup of amazing java!

If you haven't met her yet, odds are she knows people that you are acquainted with! I am delighted to welcome her to our team!

Reach out and say hello at

Insider tip: Check out some fashion tips from Jen & M & F Casuals by clicking here to watch the video. We were introduced to the Modzori shoe brand at this local Fairhope boutique and now we're obsessed! You definitely want to put this store on your list of places to visit when you are in town.


"Boss of the Week"

Brandon Van Hook

The Hickory Pit

This week we chatted with Brandon Van Hook, owner of The Hickory Pit in Semmes Alabama. He loves the community and his restaurant is a centerpiece for things happening in the area. We asked him to share some insight on his experience.

#1 What "insider tip" would you give someone visiting or moving to the Mobile area?

Explore the food culture for sure! There is such a variety of amazing restaurants from old to new. Southern food is food that was passed down from generation to generation. It's amazing how far it has come.

#2 What is your favorite thing about living in the Mobile/Semmes area?

We love summertime, whether spending time by the pool, fishing, or by the beach, etc. There are so many opportunities and places to go for our family to enjoy!

#3 What is one thing you would like people to know about your business?

Our building has been serving the Semmes Community since 1973. Our business models the pre existing Hickory Pit. The restaurant serves as a Semmes Tradition. You can come in any day and hear stories about seniors working here when they were younger; stories about how their parents met here, etc.

#4 What do you do for fun?

Family time is the most important time in our household. Anytime we have an opportunity to get out and do something together, we jump on it.

Thank you Brandon, for sharing with The Local Vibe. Please read more about this restauranteur at

Insider tip: Keep an eye on this guy! He has thrown his hat into the mayoral race for Semmes!


Baton Rouge Highlights

Last week I spent a few days in Baton Rouge meeting with clients and friends. Lunch on Thursday did not disappoint! My girlfriend suggested one of my favorites, Mestizo's on Acadian. Owner, Jim Urdiales, was on the grill and created this divine stir fry for us! I love to frequent businesses whose owners are passionate about their offerings!

Jim made his way over to our table and was inspired to hear that it was my girlfriend's third visit to his place in less than a week. Why, you may wonder? It is the healthy options that are on the menu! This stir fry with shrimp satisfies the lean & green needs for someone watching their sugar intake.

Check out their website here.

Insider tip: If you are looking for a healthy eating plan that works, contact Marcile Sims, licensed health coach. Visit for contact info. (My girlfriend & I are following this plan and seeing amazing results in weight loss and overall health).

Baton Rouge movies
Celtic Media Centre

Celtic Studios in Baton Rouge has upped the movie making game in Louisiana. Some of their credits include several of the popular Twilight series, The Fantastic Four and soon to be released, Greyhound starring Tom Hanks.

I met with a client on the premises and was able to peek into Stage 8. It was wild to see a home surrounded by greenery inside of the studio!

Hats off to my friends in this industry! I am excited to see what else hits the cinemas in the future. Click here for a FB live video.

Who else is ready for spring like I am? After a long Friday of working, I stopped into Louisiana Nursery to get my "fix". These blooming orchids were gorgeous. Despite the near freezing temperatures, the greenhouses are beginning to fill up with plantings for spring. You can't beat the Boston fern selection priced under $10.

I was amazed at the rows of succulents and happy to find the sought after Dolphin, String of Pearls and others.

Insider tip: Great place to buy pottery

What's Hot for Kids in Baton Rouge?

Giggles, located in Willow Grove has some of the biggest toy trends for kids in Baton Rouge! Check out these precious bath bombs for Easter! Owner, Whitney shared that she is stocking the latest in goggle fashion including pink ones with eyelashes! Hmm, I know a little swimmer in my life that may need a pair!

Just around the corner is Avant Tous Beauty Bar & Spa where my friend, Ellen Pino, offers manicures & pedicures for little ones! Check out her Facebook page here and her website here for more details. Petite Spa Day Birthday parties are popular for little girls!

Insider tip: Perhaps you can fill this year's Easter basket with fun things like bath bombs, goggles, a colorful beach towel & swimsuit, & a gift card for a mani/pedi!


More in Mobile!

I've got a very busy week planned in Mobile including a photo session with business owner, Sydney Loper of Play Cafe Mobile. I am looking forward to sharing her story with you on soon! Providing a fun and safe environment for the "littles" to play was the driving force behind the creation and opening of this business. I wish something like this would have been around when I had a house filled with little people!

Later in the week I am lunching with Diane Cashen who is an extraordinary interior designer. She has been helping people focus on their own personal style of decor for years. I can't wait to hear the latest trends in home and office decorating! I'll be sharing some of her tips in a future blog. Read about this remarkable lady at


We are constantly adding new Meet da' Boss partners to the website, so be sure to check it out often!

We'll be launching the Baldwin County version in March followed by Baton Rouge in April!

Connecting local business owners with local customers is what we do at !

Have a great week! ~ Charlsie


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