First Look: Socially conscious Mustard Seed Creamery opens Friday in downtown Denham Springs

Grab an ice cream or share a charcuterie board. Listen to live acoustic music over a glass of wine. Pick up a socially conscious gift made by a woman in need. This unexpectedly varied lineup of eats, drinks and retail items comprises the new Mustard Seed Creamery, opening this Friday, July 5, at 111 N. Range Ave. in downtown Denham Springs.

Once home to an antique mall, the cheery, expansive space has been reimagined as an eatery and gift shop featuring ice cream, floats, small plates, drip coffee, wine and goods sourced by organizations that support vulnerable women, say founders Tim and Tasha Levert. The two also work in ministry.

“We want to be a blessing to the community,” Tasha says.

Stocking local products and working with regional vendors is a priority. Eight flavors of ice cream are sourced from New Orleans Ice Cream Company. The root beer used in root beer floats is made down the street at Le Chien Brewing Company. Many retail items are provided by The Hope Shop, a Baton Rouge retailer that sources goods from micro-enterprises in the developing world.

Sustainability is also a goal, demonstrated by compostable straws made from sugarcane byproducts as well as biodegradable utensils, plates and cups.

The Leverts and their three young adult daughters began work on the project last year, closing on the building in June, and bootstrapping the transformation. Tim, also an English teacher at Live Oak High School, handled most of the work himself, replacing an aging popcorn ceiling with crisp, white beadboard, and building a large service counter trimmed with white and gold quartz and detailed cabinetry. He and his family also rehabilitated the adjacent alleyway, removing trash and debris and creating an attractive outdoor patio with several picnic tables.

Mustard Seed Creamery owners Tim and Tasha Levert.

Throughout the restaurant, stately chairs surround sturdy wood-topped tables, inviting patrons to stay for a scoop, a glass of wine or a full nosh. The menu features sharable Southern-inspired tapas, including crostini with caramelized onions and balsamic reduction, caprese salad, charcuterie and hummus topped with Central Grocery & Deli olive salad and served with pita or sliced cucumbers.

A stage of sorts toward the front of the space accommodates live music from local acts, and possibly, the Leverts themselves. The entire family is musical—with 21-year-old daughter, Zoe, a standout. She competed on The Voice earlier this year and made it to the top 12 working with celebrity judge John Legend.

Mustard Seed Creamery is located in the Denham Springs Antique Village.

Tim and Tasha are also the founders of Mustard Seed Church, a grassroots ministry that is part of The Ecclesia Network of churches. Beginning in August, the church will hold services in the creamery space on Sunday mornings.

Tasha says that the shop’s design is infused with intentionality, starting with a neon wall that reads, “Do love today.”

“We thought if people are going to take pictures in front of our neon wall to post, we wanted it to have this message, rather than just the name of our store,” she says.


Other touches reveal the couple’s community commitment. Both men’s and women’s restrooms have changing tables for parents who come in with small children. They also feature signage that reads, “You’re a good dad” or “You’re a good mom.”

Another detail is hand-painted gold veining that covers cracks in the buffed concrete floor.

“We painted the cracks because we love the idea of kintsugi,” Tasha says, referring to the Japanese practice of repairing broken pottery with gold-tinged lacquer. “We welcome the idea that people may come with their brokenness. When you bring brokenness in here, we paint it gold.” Find it on Facebook