Friday, October 24, 2014

Ruston has the charm!

Local revitalization and numerous outdoor activities led USA Today Travel to crown Ruston one of the most charming small towns in the South. Author Carri Wilbanks uses the beautiful photography of Tim Mueller as a showcase to share some of the highlights of Ruston's charm.

Best known as the home of Louisiana Tech University ... 

Ruston, La., is an eclectic mix of hip, artsy 
districts as well as a large historic downtown.

Nestled in the north-central region of Louisiana, 
this college town of approximately 20,000 has also been 
featured in "Where to Retire" magazine for its outdoor 
offerings, quality of life and reasonable cost of living.

Some of the features, which draw both 
students and families alike, include bass fishing, 
camping and biking in Lincoln Parish Park.

The Dixie Center for the Arts – a 600 seat 
vintage movie theater with a legacy as 
big as its large marquee - is also a big draw.

 As is the Squire Creek
 Louisiana Peach Festival each June.

Here is what's being said locally!

“Ruston and Lincoln Parish have so much to offer visitors in the way of outdoor parks and recreation, live sports and entertainment, and arts and theatre. Most importantly, as our community continues to grow, we have preserved a warm and friendly culture that makes these visitors feel welcome and want to come back, year after year. The recognition by USA Today is significant and I hope it will draw more visitors to Ruston and Lincoln Parish to experience the people and places that make our community special.” 
      -Dave Guerin, Louisiana Tech University

"Since moving to Ruston a little over a year ago, I have been impressed with the way the community comes together to make things happen, and how they really love and respect each other. My husband has always talked about moving back to Ruston since receiving his two degrees from Louisiana Tech University, and now being here I can speak from experience that it is the people that make this place so charming!"
      -Ivana Flowers, Chamber of Commerce

"Ruston is a charming city, because it offers a small town atmosphere with access to metropolitan opportunities through education, cultural and sporting events at Louisiana Tech. Ruston is a charming city rooted in tradition, but focused on progress."
      -Robyn Brown, Heritage Reality 

 Tell us about your adventures in #RustonLA!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rosemary's Kitchen - Simply Unique

Written by Erica Clark, CVB Interim Administrative Assistant

Rosemary’s Kitchen, along with the mother-daughter duo Rosemary Thomas and Sara Corley, are celebrating their second year of business at the end of September. Rosemary’s Kitchen is a restaurant unlike any other. Using old family recipes and new world flavors combined with the freshest ingredients, they serve some of the best homemade food around.  I was asked to write a little something and was overwhelmed with excitement because Rosemary’s is one of my favorite places to have lunch

Rosemary Thomas and Sara Corley
To help me learn more about what goes on at Rosemary’s Kitchen, I met with long-time employee and Wait-Staff Manager, Ansley Judd. Ansley has been with owner, Sara Corley since just after the grand opening in September of 2012. When asked what she thought has made Rosemary’s so successful, Ansley responded, 

"When you eat at Rosemary’s, it feels like you are coming home for Sunday dinner."

"That is what people expect and that is what we give them. We really get to know the people we serve and it creates an overall ‘homey’ and safe atmosphere. People really like that.” She followed up with this statement: “But I can honestly say that the community and the customers make the business for us. Without you guys, we wouldn’t have the extreme success we have had.” I would like to elaborate a bit of here. I agree with Ansley “Sunday Dinner” comment. I am a college student at Louisiana Tech and for many of us, it is nice to have a place where we can feel at home – especially when we cannot be at home for extended periods of time. Personally, I love seeing familiar faces and being treated with a bit of southern charm and warming hospitality.

Homemade bread is available for purchase.
Moving forward on the topic of success, I asked Ansley since Rosemary’s has grown a great deal over the years since their opening whether she foresees them needing to relocate to accommodate more people. 

Ansley said, “We actually just added seating, we can now serve a little over seventy people. But to address your question more directly, would we like to expand? Eventually yes, who wouldn’t want to expand…? I don’t think any of us (the staff or even Sara) expected Rosemary’s to grow so popular so quickly. Right now, we are taking things as they come. We are all very excited, I am happy for Sara and Mrs. Rosemary.” 

"So you enjoy working at Rosemary's?"Judd surprised me again with her response. She said, “I love working there, I love the people I work for and the people I work with. Sara is not just our boss. If we are short-handed, she will be out there waiting tables with us.” 

Only the freshest ingredient are used daily!

I then asked her to walk me through the daily routine at Rosemary’s. She told me the day can start as early as 5am. All of the food is fresh daily, so there is a lot of prep that goes into lunch. Everything served to customers is locally grown; they use local vendors - when we don’t get things from Rosemary’s own garden, of course. Even their beef is local. “We strive the have the most natural products for our customers, ones without additives. Some of our goods come from the Ruston Farmer’s Market too.”
"Would you believe that the Farmers Market is actually where Rosemary's originated? Most people don't know that Sara and Rosemary sold goods there."  
As if any of that wasn’t surprising enough, Ansley told me that Rosemary’s Kitchen is actually the first restaurant that the two have owned. When asked about the recipes, Ansley said, “Their recipes are original and their own, if they share them with you it’s a big deal… Most of our staff doesn’t know anything about the recipes. Sara has given me one of my favorite recipes - the Carmel Latte Cake, but even when I try to make it on my own it just doesn’t turn out like hers.” I couldn’t get her to spill anymore about their recipes; however, she did tell me some interesting facts about the most popular dishes. One of which, is a personal favorite of mine - the Chicken Salad. I was shocked to learn that Rosemary’s goes through 70-90lbs of chicken a week! Can you imagine? She also mentioned that they have various knickknacks to purchase around the restaurant including dish clothes, aprons, and bags. Much emphasis is placed on everything being made by hand and by locals.

Goodies on the go!
After interviewing with Ansley, my heart for Rosemary’s grew (like it needed help). I am sure after reading this blog, others of you will feel that way too. In closing, I would like to thank Ansley Judd for being so open with me. 

On behalf of Rosemary’s Kitchen, she would like to invite you to attend their upcoming event – Utterly Sweet Tasting. This unique taste testing will be held on site Friday, October 3rd beginning at 5:30pm. There will be a live music, along with a chance to tasting some of the local products they sell and use in the store. If you are not able to attend this event, do not fret. They host events every few months and they are always serving lunch from 11am - 1:30pm (and open until 5:30pm) Monday through Friday.  

Beef and Bean Chili
Rosemary’s Kitchen is located at 400 South Bonner Street, Ruston, LA 71270. The menu items change weekly and can be found at For more information, check out their website or call 318-202-5951.

 Tell us about your adventures in #RustonLA
and remember to #EatLocal!