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Reigniting a Dream

December 17, 2019

Reigniting a Dream

Mark and Mary Shapley felt they could be successful in the restaurant business, and their intuition proved to be correct. Led by their passion, they opened Shapley’s in 1985 in Ridgeland, Mississippi and it became a must-visit dining destination. A few years later, the couple made the decision to take a break to spend more time raising their daughters. 

“The restaurant was fun, but it’s such a consuming business,” says Mark Shapley. “You have to be here all the time. We decided it was time to become a family and let the restaurant just kind of handle itself.”

Twenty years later and with everyone grown up, Mark and Mary had the opportunity to repurchase the business. They were ready to return but needed help figuring out the financial side, so they turned to Origin banker Leigh Pace, who happened to be a longtime regular of Shapley’s. 

“Yeah, I’ll take care of that,” Pace recalls telling the couple. “You take care of the restaurant, and we’ll get this deal done.” 

Mark Shapley says the relationship with Origin is strengthened by the bank’s ability and willingness to bank them as people more so than bank just the opportunity. It’s about the personal touch, not just the professional transaction. 

“As a business owner and entrepreneur, I have a lot to worry about. The financials is not one of them,” adds Shapley. 

In the process, both sides have found true friendship and genuine partnership in the restaurant’s success. Shapley says, these days, he and Pace are just as likely to talk about their personal lives as they are to discuss business.

“That’s why I go by the bank a lot of times, not because I need anything. It’s because I want to visit,” Shapley says. “I don't like borrowing money. I’d just as soon not borrow money. But if I have to, you've got to have someone that you care about and love enough to want to go to.”  

Watch a brief video to discover more about Origin’s relationship with MM Shapley’s.


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