Kayln Lindsly's new brick-and-mortar Basel's Market location was a hot topic this year. Photo by Sean Gasser.

A little faith and a love of food made these our top feature stories of 2021

This year was full of trials, triumphs, love and loss, but one thing each of these feature stories have in common is perseverance and prosperity. In a season of uncertainty, Kalyn Lindsly found a forever home for her growing food market, descendants of the Chauvin family found new inspiration for the future of a historic chapel, and Father Josh Johnson brought inclusivity to a small St. Amant church that had been plagued by back-to-back misfortunes. In 2021, we needed some hope to hold onto, and these are the stories to which we clung.

Click the titles below to read the full stories.

3. Descendants of the Chauvin family join forces to save a beloved church

Photo by Russ Gorabty

In this story from our August issue, descendants of Louis Chauvin II and Pierre Chauvin came together to restore St. Mary’s Chapel in the small town of Union. The church, which was built in 1875, now sits weathered and worn from years of storms and isolation. However, thanks to descendants of the Chauvin family, the newly formed nonprofit Friends of St. Mary’s Chapel is working to restore the historic site and bring back its charm and character to the community for all to appreciate.

2. Basel’s Market Food Truck is ditching its wheels for a permanent location in the heart of Baton Rouge

Photo courtesy Basel’s Market

Kalyn Lindsly said out with the old and in with the new this year as she ditched her popular food truck and brought her restaurateur dreams into a more permanent location in Baton Rouge. The 5435 Highland Road location is now home to a brick-and-mortar Basel’s Market, but in this story, we were still just previewing the plans for this homey cottage-turned-eatery. For a fully fledged look at what you can find inside, check out our follow-up story about the restaurant’s cottagecore-inspired interior.

1. How a small church in St. Amant inspires inclusivity amidst isolation

Photo courtesy The Catholic Commentator

Although Father Josh Johnson has since taken on a new mantle as parochial vicar of Christ the King at LSU and as director of vocations for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, his work fostering community and representation at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Ascension Parish helped make this our top feature of the year. The height of the pandemic brought a lot of isolation and loneliness to his surrounding neighborhoods, so Johnson thought the time had come to instigate his plans for the Full of Grace Café, a place where volunteers line up to prepare hundreds of free meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as a plethora of other service-minded programs with the goal of getting people of all backgrounds involved. In this story, we stepped outside traditional church doors to learn a new way of envisioning community.