We are proud to initiate a new series in which we will be introducing our readers to businesses and people who use our Panibois artisanal wooden baking molds, boards, rings, trays and crates. Today, we are proud to introduce you all to a new neighborhood bakery and whole animal butcher shop that will be opening in the Kirkwood, Atlanta area. We’ve been chatting with owner Emma Schacke since the beginning of the year and following along on Instagram while her and her husband Sean set up their beautiful new shop. Read below for an introduction on Emma and Sean, how they got into the field, and what steps they took to open their new butchery + bakery. Following the introduction, we will have an exclusive Q&A with Emma and Sean of Evergreen Butcher + Baker.
Emma has always known she wanted to be a professional baker and bakery owner, so she left Georgia to attend the French Pastry School of Chicago in 2009. Since graduating, she has worked as a chocolate maker and pastry chef in Atlanta, a pâtissier and baker in Amsterdam, an executive pastry chef in Nashville, a wood-fired bread baker and croissant maker in Chicago, and a Bread baker + Bagel Maker in Maine. She has worked passionately for the last decade to learn as much about her field as possible.
Sean has been a chef for over 12 years, cooking his way to the top of kitchens in Atlanta and Nashville. In 2014, he began his quest for knowledge and skill in the craft of butchering. He became the Butcher supervisor at the renowned Publican Quality Meats in Chicago, then continued to learn about the importance of the farmer/butcher connection working as a butcher in Maine.
Together, Emma and Sean closed on their new space which will be the home for Evergreen Butcher + Baker in September of 2018, it had been empty and abandoned for forty years in the Kirkwood, Atlanta area, and has been under construction since. The two are hoping to open by September 2019! With the idea that good meat + good bread should be staples in your household. The two are hoping to provide people within the Kirkwood, Atlanta area with accessible and unpretentious product. Each ingredient used is thoughtfully chosen, sourced as locally as possible, and raised sustainably and responsibly.
After noticing the butchery + bakery on Instagram, we reached out and sent some customized samples so that Emma and Sean could experiment with Panibois.
Not only did they enjoy using the molds but what they created is absolutely stunning.
In addition to sharing some of their early bakes, and their story we were able to ask Emma a few questions about her life as a chef/baker.
Q1: You said that you've always known you wanted to be a professional baker and bakery owner. Was there anything or anyone that inspired these dreams when you were younger?
A: We would visit my grandmother and she would have appeltaart and boterkoek and I was fascinated that it was possible to make things from scratch. When we moved to Georgia from Toronto, I took a home economics class and made buttermilk biscuits, and that's the first time I knew for sure that I loved to bake and mostly that I loved to share what I had created.
I'd come home from high school every day and watch Ina Garten on Barefoot Contessa and try to recreate what she had made. My parents wanted me to get a college degree so I went to the University of Georgia for two years but ended up leaving to attend the French Pastry School in Chicago when I was 19.
I think attending the FPS was the best possible thing for me, I loved that the instructors there teach you to respect the craft at such a high level.
Q2: How did you and your husband, Sean, meet? It seems like a lot of people are excited about you two opening in this area, what kind of feedback have you had from the community so far? Are you two excited to be business owners together?
A: The day that I moved back to Atlanta from Amsterdam I started to work as the pastry chef at a restaurant called the One Eared Stag, where Sean was the Sous Chef. That was 7 years ago, and we've been moving around the country and working in kitchens together ever since.
We are very excited (and nervous!) to be business owners together. I'm excited to learn more about butchery and he's excited to shape bread with me.
Our dream for the space is to be a place where all of our neighbors can easily swing by daily for their meat, bread, and treats and bring it home to share with friends and family. We want to be very community-driven and can't wait to see what sells and what doesn't. We want to be a sounding board for what the community around us needs.
Q3: We saw a beautiful rendering and some architectural plans of what your shop plans to look like when finished. How much of a part did you and Sean have in the design process?
A: We are so beyond lucky to have found this abandoned building in the heart of downtown Kirkwood, and even more lucky to have my family investing in us and supporting us.
The building was basically an empty box, so we were able to design the space for exactly our needs. I've been dreaming of what I wanted my bakery to look like for about 15 years, so the retail space and storefront were the most fun to design.
Sean and I knew exactly how we wanted the kitchen layout to be and what equipment we needed to purchase, we found it all used off of Ebay, it's been really fun to get it all up and running.
We'll also be living above the bakery and have been designing our future home at the same time, so that was new territory for me, and pretty overwhelming. My mom, who purchased the building and has been our main investor/supporter, is a designer and an artist, and having her input is probably what made it into such a beautiful space in the end
Q4: It's stated online that your neighborhood shop plans to "combine old world traditions and techniques with modern appeal." Would you mind diving into this a bit and explaining it a bit more? What inspired the approach?
A: My time working as a baker in Amsterdam inspired our idea of being a true neighborhood butcher shop and bakery. There was a high-quality baker and butcher every few blocks, and it seemed to provide such a healthy way of life for the residents.
I truly would like our neighbors to know us personally and to feel free to ask any questions about our ingredients and processes, and Sean would really like to be able to help people understand whole animal butchery and how important it is to respect the whole animal and utilize every part. He also wants to teach people how to cook different cuts at home that maybe people aren't familiar with yet.
We like the idea of our neighbors having access to nutritious hearty bread and knowing exactly what ingredients go into what they are feeding their families.
Q5: What would someone absolutely need to order when they come check out Evergreen Butcher + Baker for the first time? Do you have any favorites on the menu?
A: On the bakery side, I'm very excited about my pastry menu. I'm using all regional grains from local mills in both my bread and my pastries, which are harder to work with but add so much flavor!
We'll be making savory turnovers using Sean's deli meats and sausage rolls, we love anything that combines both of our crafts.
Everything we sell we're making in-house, so we plan on having a pretty large larder section, anything to accompany our deli meats and sourdough (pickles, condiments, cultured butter, and jam).
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