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Meat and greet: BB’s opens seafood and specialty meats market

Sam gause | The Natchez Democrat Brenda, left, and Leslie Floyd — owners of BB’s Kitchen in the Go-Mart on U.S. 61 South — opened BB’s Specialty Meats and Seafood next door to the restaraunt two weeks ago.

Brenda, left, and Leslie Floyd — owners of BB’s Kitchen in the Go-Mart on U.S. 61 South — opened BB’s Specialty Meats and Seafood next door to the restaraunt two weeks ago. (Sam Gause/The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — If you’ve got a hankering for a steak but don’t have what you need to prepare it, BB’s Specialty Meats and Seafood has got you covered.

“We can sell you the meat, the seasoning, onions and potatoes, a cast-iron skillet, charcoal — even a hibachi grill,” owner Leslie Floyd said.

“We have everything you need right here without having to go into the big store.”

But for those who don’t need everything but do want a good piece of American-raised, choice or prime certified Hereford beef or some fresh-boiled crawfish, BB’s can help them, too.

The market opened two weeks ago and sells — among other things — pre-marinated meats, stuffed chicken, alligator and fresh seafood.

But if you want a quick meal to pop in the oven that doesn’t involve grilling, you can grab a specialty pizza — crawfish and mozzarella, for example — from the cooler in front.

How the market got its start doesn’t have anything to do with meat, though. It has to do with small pieces of real estate — parking spaces.

Since 2012, Leslie and Brenda Floyd have operated BB’s kitchen in the Go-Mart on U.S. 61 South. The parking around the restaurant was always tight, so the Floyds decided to rent an adjacent building to store equipment and allow for additional parking.

After a while, they decided to make the rental arrangement a matter of permanent holding, and they struck a deal with the property owner to buy the land.

“Once we had it, I thought we needed to figure out something to do with the property,” Leslie said.

“We were already having to drive across the river into Louisiana to get our meat, and since there is nothing on this side of town to make specialty meats, we decided to open it.”

A scarcity of seafood shops in the area prompted the addition of the second half of their surf and turf equation, Brenda said.

The couple toured southern Louisiana, visiting similar businesses to see what best practices looked like. When in Natchez, they renovated the building, adding meat counters, an all cypress front porch and a cement-floored crawfish boiling area around back.

“I went to all these different places in Louisiana, and everywhere I went they were up to their knees in mud cleaning crawfish,” Leslie said. “I wasn’t going to do that.”

The name came, Brenda said, from what their grandchildren call her.

“I’d rather be ‘BB’ than grandma,” she said.

As long-time members of the food industry — BB’s Kitchen is Leslie’s second restaurant, and Brenda was a representative for a food service — Leslie said he has a firm philosophy about ground meats — no frankenpatties.

“You can go in some stores and the ground beef you buy there is a mix of you don’t know how many pieces of meat from 15 different cows,” he said. “When you come to us, it’s going to be all from one piece of meat from one animal.”

The same can be said of the in-house produced sausage, Leslie said.

“It’s no byproducts, just pure meat,” he said. “You can get it in green onion, jalapeño and smoked pork. No meat we sell comes in pre-packaged.”

All of this is undergirded with another philosophy, Leslie said — if it can be found locally and it is quality, that’s what they’re going to try to get at BB’s.

The fish comes in fresh twice a week, including Mississippi farm-raised catfish and Gulf shrimp. Crawfish can be bought live or boiled. Other offerings include speckled trout, halibut, salmon and frog legs.

But as much as anything, the biggest determining factor is the one that matters most for most people at the end of the day — the palette.

“We choose what we like to eat and what we think people like to eat,” Leslie said.

BB’s is located at 2 Seargent Prentiss Drive and can be reached by phone at 601-446-5858.

The business is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. open Monday to Saturday.