Moon Pies, Beads, and Mardi Gras Traditions: Inside Toomey’s Mardi Gras with Stephen Toomey

MOBILE, Ala. (via Port City Plate Podcast) – Join us for an exciting episode as we dive into the heart of Mardi Gras festivities in Mobile! Today's guest is none other than Stephen Toomey, the owner of Toomey's Mardi Gras Store, an iconic institution that has been a staple of Mobile's Carnival scene since the 1970s. If you're a Mobilian, you're surely familiar with Toomey's - the go-to place for Moon Pies, beads, trinkets, and all things Mardi Gras. Get ready for a captivating conversation that unravels the history, business operations, and unique offerings of Toomey's Mardi Gras.


Stephen walks us through the incredible journey of how Toomey's Mardi Gras started. Born out of his father's travels and connections in the deep south, the business began as a solution to the demand for Mardi Gras throws. It all began in their family garage before evolving into the 70,000 square foot establishment we know today. Stephen shares how his family's deep involvement in Mardi Gras parades and festivities laid the foundation for their store's success.

Discover the intricate workings of Toomey's operations. Stephen delves into the process of directly importing Mardi Gras supplies from China and hand-selecting items for each Carnival season. The story behind their custom-made beads, including unique designs for corporate groups like Bucee's which adds another layer to their exceptional offerings. Dive into the world of Moon Pies - a signature throw of Mobile's Mardi Gras - as Stephen shares insights into the massive quantity of these iconic treats they sell each year.

Explore the role of Toomey's Mardi Gras beyond its business operations. Stephen's involvement with local Mardi Gras organizations and his family's rich history in Carnival add a personal touch to their story. The podcast unveils the intricate logistics of managing the store's vast inventory, especially during peak Mardi Gras season. Discover how Toomey's makes history come alive within their store through carefully curated displays that showcase America's Original Mardi Gras in Mobile.

Join us as we delve into the changing trends in customer preferences and Mardi Gras merchandise over the years. Stephen's insights paint a vivid picture of Mobile's enduring connection to Mardi Gras, from its artistic side to the dedicated individuals who make the celebration possible. Whether you're a seasoned Mardi Gras reveler or a newcomer, Stephen's recommendations for must-have items and experiences from Toomey's will surely enhance your Carnival season. Don't miss this captivating episode that celebrates Mobile's vibrant Mardi Gras traditions and the iconic store that keeps the spirit alive year-round.

Local Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Osman's
  • Ruth's Chris
  • Callaghan's Irish Social Club
  • The Royal Scam
  • Squid Ink
  • Red or White
  • Vandals Street Kitchen
  • Royal Knight
  • Judy's Place
  • T Marie's Ristorante Italiano
  • Regina's Kitchen