The Greenhouse on Porter, Ocean Springs

Who would have guessed that a recipe for a coffee shop would include an old greenhouse and two young ladies with a passion for biscuits, coffee, and art? The resulting “dish” is the Greenhouse on Porter in Ocean Springs. Four years young, this unique setting works for owners Kait Sukiennik and Jessie Zenor and the eclectic assortment of clients that make their way there. And the most interesting part of this tale is the journey to the result, as these two young entrepreneurs were just looking for some kind of business that would feed their respective passions. Kait is about anything “biscuit” while Jesse is all about good coffee and art.   And that is what happens at the Greenhouse on Porter. The biscuits are always fresh, whipped up each day, with the flavors based on what produce is available from the weekly order of supplies. Except for sweet potato (must be Kait’s favorite), a combination of “sweet” and “savory” options are ready for tasting each and every day. Toppings can include homemade jams or cheese and whatever that awesome white, sweet, creamy “something” was on mine. Can’t recall the name of the stuff but want more of it! Oh, and the biscuit was tasty as well. And then there is the coffee. Every cup is prepared by the “pour-over” method and includes offerings from three U.S.-based roasters: something for everyone’s taste.

Lisa Armstrong at the Greenhouse

As for what drives these two ladies and their business, the theme is a familiar one: a love of people, good food and coffee, and a desire to serve their community. “I can’t imagine doing anything else”, said Kait, as she describes her and Jesse’s business model of giving back by letting things happen, exploring new ideas, and meeting new people. The people that show up range from the young and old, and include an eclectic bunch, like poets, songwriters, and musicians that have a place to share their passions with a willing audience. On any given night, and on regular schedules, you can hear music, poetry, or just have a great conversation with your friends. And like any good place, the “regulars” are the key to success. “The community is part of growing our business,” says Kait.   The giving back for the Greenhouse is in supporting local groups in this most unusual community space. Groups can work with Kait and Jesse to arrange for an event, the cover “charge” going to that group. Or just show up for the regular music groups, poetry night, art shows, or for Greenhouse Hothouse Yoga. A cocktail bar is coming soon, and well, who knows what else.

The Greenhouse on Porter is just that: an evolving journey of opportunity that serves its customers and the many visitors that come from wherever.   Make your way to the Greenhouse next time you are in Ocean Springs and experience something different, yet familiar, for any good coffee house feels like home. Perhaps in this case more like the porch, but a part of home all the same.

More on other great coffee spots to come!!! Because, there is always time for a great cup of coffee, at a fair price, made by your friends and neighbors, in the place that we all call home.

Hope to see you at “your” favorite coffee shop soon!!!


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.


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