After serving as a veterinary technician at LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for 20 years, Holly Carey retired last September. However, her respite was short lived. By April, she and her husband, Joseph, had opened Heaux Jeaux's Bar on Airline Highway between Baringer Foreman Road and Buzbee Drive.
The 2,000-square foot tavern was quick to distinguish itself as the only venue in the city that offers a Napa Technology Wine Station, an automated, high-tech wine dispenser allows patrons to taste a half-glass or a pour of a variety of vintages. “If there's any expensive bottle of wine that you're considering purchasing but are unsure whether you'll like it,” Carey explains, “the station allows you to try it. It is excellent for wine tastings because it pours an exact amount, and it's at the perfect cellar temperature because the cooling system runs off an argon gas tank.”
The wine station quickly turned Heaux Jeaux's into a destination for discriminating oenophiles and business blossomed. Yet, from the beginning, Carey's idea of a successful enterprise entailed more than just a healthy bottom line. She aimed to support local musicians, artists and local non-profits.
“When we decided to open a business,” she says, “we wanted use it to give back to the community.”
So, she embellished Heaux Jeaux's walls with pieces from local artists and began booking Chris LeBlanc Band, David St. Romain and other local bands for bi-weekly live music shows.
This Friday (August 24), the Careys open their business to support a cause dear to Holly's heart—animal rescue. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Heaux Jeaux's presents An Evening with David St. Romain, a Benefit for Friends of the Animals (FOTA).
The event begins with a cocktail hour featuring hors d'oeuvres from Little Village, Pimanyoli's, Wings of Glory and Mr. Taco. The highlight of the event is an acoustic performance by local musician David St. Romain. Since being named a finalist on the 2007 Nashville Star competition, the Baton Rouge born singer/songwriter has created his own DSR label and recently released the single Some Things.
“We are grateful to Holly, David St. Romain and our restaurant sponsors for providing such a fun, wonderful way for the community to contribute to Friends of the Animals,” says Jodi Golden, chair of the non-profit's fundraising committee.
Since 2009, a growing corps of FOTA volunteers has arrived daily to exercise and engage animals awaiting reclamation by an owner, adoption, rescue or even euthanasia. In the course of promoting humane treatment, FOTA has enhanced the kennels with ceiling fans, elevated dog beds with fleece covers. In the last year, the group purchased a $20,000 t-building for use as a veterinary clinic and a second building to house healthy orphaned kittens and nursing mothers.
Also, by encouraging families to become weekend or holiday fosters and hosting offsite adoption events at the Arts Market and Orvis, the non-profit has placed 425 homeless animals with their forever families.
“All the proceeds from this event,” Golden explains, ”will be invested in projects that improve the lives of the thousands of homeless pets who land in the East Baton Rouge Parish shelter every year.”
While seating is limited, additional information and tickets are still available at fotabr.org.
Click here to view some of FOTA's adorable, adoptable animals who will benefit from this fundraiser.
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