Mississippi College

Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies Open Pimento’s Café and New Bookstore

September 28, 2012

Mississippi College senior Heather Barnes took one bite out of her kickin chicken sandwich at Pimento’s café and loved it.

“It’s really good food,” Barnes said at a corner booth of MC’s new restaurant tucked away in the heart of Olde Towne Clinton.

The Raymond resident was among many satisfied customers stopping by the café Thursday to celebrate its grand opening with President Lee Royce leading the ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

On a hot September day, Royce gave a warm welcome to Don “Papa” Jordan, co-founder of the Holiday Ham & Deli restaurants in Tennessee. The 1951 MC graduate and longtime supporter of the School of Business was delighted to bring his company’s first franchise restaurant, Pimento’s, to his alma mater. It’s conveniently located next-door to the university’s new bookstore.

During his remarks, Jordan fondly recalled the years he spent at Mississippi College when professors made him feel a part of the Baptist school’s close-knit family. Now he’s hoping that customers here will enjoy eating at his family restaurant with pimento cheese sandwiches, delicious salads and desserts all featured on the menu.

“We are thrilled to be part of this franchise,” says manager Mike Prince of Campus Dining, Inc., the Christian university’s food service provider. The company’s staff members will work at Pimento’s café that will be open six days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The downtown café  is closed on Sundays.

Mississippi College junior Justin Kelly, 23, of Greenville said he already feels at home when he dined at Pimento’s for the first time Thursday afternoon. “I like the fact that this is definitely downtown Clinton,” he said. “I’m a big fan of the Brick Streets.”

Two separate ribbon-cutting ceremonies attracted Clinton city leaders, folks with the Chamber of Commerce, representatives of Clinton’s Main Street program and Mississippi College leaders.

Other visitors came from the Illinois-based Follett company that operates campus bookstores nationwide, including the one at Mississippi College the past nine years.

Clinton city alderman Jehu Brabham was delighted to take part in the ceremonies and spoke of the twin events as a “perfect example of the partnership between Mississippi College and the city of Clinton.”

An MC graduate, he said the bookstore, upstairs lofts for graduate students and cozy café reflect a construction renaissance in the city’s historic district. It’s a vibrant place, Brabham said, “where friendships and relationships can be built.”

Photo: Mississippi College President Lee Royce and restaurant co-founder Don "Papa" Jordan were among those on hand for ribbon-cutting ceremonies at Pimento's cafe on the Clinton campus.

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