Port Isabel business to have celebratory ribbon cutting

Alana Hernandez/Valley Morning Star Catherine “Cat” Donnelly is the owner of The Cat’s Meow Vintage Emporium and Gourmet Shop and is celebrating her business’ new location with a ribbon cutting ceremony and mixer this month.

PORT ISABEL — For years, Catherine “Cat” Donnelly held desk jobs, but with each year she grew closer to her retirement, her desire to express her creativity and become an entrepreneur continued to grow.

So in May of 2019, Donnelly made her dreams come true and opened The Cat’s Meow Vintage Emporium and Gourmet Shop in Port Isabel.

Donnelly’s shop sells a wide selection of curated items from more than 100 local consignors.

From antique and vintage to collectibles and contemporary items, visitors are likely to find a little bit of everything at the shop.

“It’s ever changing every day, as far as what comes into the shop and the kind of people that we get to engage with,” Donnelly said. “It’s a lot of fun and I’m a big proponent of the shop local movement and promoting all the businesses in our area.”

As the shop approaches its third year, it’s now in a new spot in Port Isabel.

In celebration of the business’ new location, the Port Isabel and South Padre Island Chambers of Commerce are hosting a ribbon cutting and mixer scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 18.

“I’m excited about the ribbon cutting,” Donnelly said. “Because of COVID, nobody was really having ribbon cutting and events like that yet, but I feel like things have moved far enough along where there really is no danger and people can mask up and try to socially distance and can come in and look around.”

The Cat’s Meow Vintage Emporium and Gourmet Shop is located at 421 East Maxan St. in Port Isabel’s Lighthouse Square.

Visitors of the ribbon cutting ceremony will be treated to refreshments, snacks and door prizes.

Donnelly’s shop opened in its new location in October of 2020.

“We opened it at another location in Port Isabel in 2019 and there wasn’t a whole lot of foot traffic, but I kept my eye on what was going on at the Lighthouse Square and we found that there was a space open so we jumped on it,” Donnelly said. “It was the best decision we ever made.”

Donnelly said she enjoys being able to meet different people from all over the world through her business.

After visiting the Laguna Madre area for a vacation, Donnelly and her husband fell in love with the area and moved there from northwest Arkansas.

“I retired early from my job, took my retirement money and started a business,” Donnelly said. “I know that there are some already, but we just felt like there wasn’t enough because we love flea markets.”

Donnelly describes her husband of 29 years as an integral part of the shop.

“I can’t really even express how much I depend on my husband to help me run this business. He is my rock. I don’t think I could do it without him,” Donnelly said. “We’re really a team and work very well together.”

As we enter 2022, Donnelly said she’s looking forward to expanding the gourmet line of her business.

She explained that because of different circumstances, it’s been really hard to concentrate on the gourmet portion of her business’ name.

“There was just too much going on and it’s always been on the back burner, but I never give up,” Donnelly said. “I intend to do it so we’re going to be rolling it out in 2022. We are very excited about that.”