The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table, and SAU alumna Christy Ouei ’96 works hard each day to make this statement a reality for her patrons.
In 2018, Christy and her fiance’ and business partner, Burt Adams, packed their bags for a road trip. They traveled through the southeast and central United States to seek entrepreneurial inspiration that could add value to the local community. They saw an opportunity to have a career they were passionate about which would allow them to work side by side.
Just one year later, MuleKick opened its doors in Magnolia. MuleKick offers a unique customer experience through its eclectic environment, live music, and handmade pizza, coffee, craft beer, and ice cream. Ouei’s establishment offers Arkansas-based products including coffee from Ouachita Coffee Roasters in Mena, craft beer from Native Dog Brewing in Camden, and ice cream from Loblolly Creamery in Little Rock.
Christy states, “When you come in, we want you to feel like you have stepped out of this area.” The restaurant, located less than half a mile from Overstreet Hall, quickly became a staple for Magnolia and Southern Arkansas University. “College students provide energy with just their presence. Magnolia doesn’t have a typical college town feel. They have embraced us and the connections we have made with SAU students,” explains Ouei, who has hired over 100 Mulerider students since opening.
Just two trips around the sun and Ouei was off to her next adventure – a new location. MuleKick @ MAD opened in late September 2021. The new hot spot came to life through a partnership with the Murphy Arts District in El Dorado. “We hit the ground running and have already worked several major live music shows. We hosted more than a half-dozen Christmas parties. The community continues to let us know how excited they are to have us here,” states Ouei.
In October 2021, the SAU Alumni Association hosted an alumni event at MuleKick @ MAD, the first official alumni event held since the COVID crisis began. The event featured an SAU Jazz Ensemble Concert. Later in November, Mulerider Athletics hosted its Live Remote at Lunch at MuleKick’s Magnolia location.
A Stamps native, Christy was named one of the 2021 Most Intriguing Women by AY Magazine. She was the 2017 Small Business Association (SBA) Emerging Leader graduate, and the 2021 Arkansas Community Development Fall Conference keynote speaker. Christy also makes time in her busy schedule to volunteer and support many special causes, such as the Special Olympics, Battered Women’s Shelter, Nepris, and public school districts.
The “Ouei Way” of determination, passion, and creativity helped Christy build her empire from ground zero to now over 140 employees across five business models. “Christy is an excellent role model for students and alumni who have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to make a difference.
I can’t wait to see what exciting adventure she starts next,” states Megan McCurdy, SAU Director of Alumni Relations.
To learn more, connect with MuleKick on social media at @MuleKickatMad and @MuleKickMag.