By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is a time of revelry, rich food and an excess of celebration. In honor of 10 years in business, Mel’s Kloset, 2109 W. Main St., offered shoppers a way to celebrate the off-beat holiday in style.
With the shop’s anniversary falling on Mardi Gras, owner Melissa Kahn decided to make the best of it, providing decadent snacks — many of which were purple — giveaways, store specials and pieces of King Cake with a gift for the customer who got the baby.
Catering for the day’s event was by Ricki Bly’s Taste of Soul. Kahn and her staff handed out Mardi Gras beads to shoppers, which they could trade for a chicken and waffle meal from Taste of Soul, which set up their carnival-style vending truck on site behind the shop.
“I celebrate every year, but I did a much bigger thing for 10 years,” Kahn said. “I didn’t realize it was Mardi Gras when I first started planning the event.”
A friend pointed out that it was Fat Tuesday, so the celebration expanded.
“The food truck, Taste of Soul chicken waffles was a big hit,” Kahn said. “I just wanted something different. I wanted something fun.”
Kahn also gave away prizes. Customers had a month to register.
“I gave away five $100 gift certificates and two $250 gift certificates, so I gave away $1,000 worth of merchandise to celebrate my 10 years in business,” Kahn said.
Kahn moved to Norman in 1996 and started working at Harold’s. At one time, she was a manager at Brother’s, but her dream was to be her own boss.
“My dad had been self-employed my whole life, and I really wanted to work for myself,” she said. “Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to have my own store. I started out on Lindsey Street in a little store with about 600 square feet.”
About seven and a half years ago, Kahn moved into her current location on Main Street. She picked OU-Texas weekend as the time to close and make the move.
“We figured that was a good time in this town to have to close for a couple of days,” she said.
Kahn was pleased with the celebration.
“It was a big success,” she said. “I had fun, my customers had fun and I had a lot of friends and family come out to support me.”
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