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The Smiling Phoenix

Holly Springs, MS


144 South Memphis Street, Holly Springs, MS, US
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Bio: The Smiling Phoenix is a labor of love by non-locals, Chelius Carter and Jenifer Eggleston-Carter, who fell in love with Holly Springs just as generations before did. "There have always been great local hangouts, great music venues and not too shabby coffee in Holly Springs but we wanted to offer something a little different to our fair city," said Chelius Carter who purchased the Old Miller Building years ago. "Initially, I wasn't sure what to do with the building but it was an important part of the history of the town. I wanted to make sure it rose again." The Old Miller Building was constructed in 1848 as the second permanent home to the First Presbyterian Church (the first permanent home is just a few foot steps away at what is now known as the Sabbath School and its third and final home is also in the same block). After it ceased being a church in 1860 this property was converted into a commercial operation. In 1865 a clerk at the store, James Henry Nelson, in an attempt to stave off robbers was mortally wounded at what is now the corner of Van Dorn and Memphis Streets. This building was purchased in 1921 becoming the J.A. Miller Store, later Graham Miller carried on the family tradition operating a department store until 2006. When it closed it had been Holly Springs’ oldest operating retail establishment. Founded in 2013, The Smiling Phoenix Coffee Café begins the next rising of this building.



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