Simply Buckhead May 2020

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May 2020 ISSUE 70 • FREE



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Chamblee and Dunwoody

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532 East Paces Ferry Road | Suite 300 | Atlanta, GA 30305 | 404-504-7300 The above information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted. Offer subject to errors, changes, omissions, prior sales and withdrawals without notice.


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ATLANTA ABOUT ERIN YABROUDY Erin Yabroudy is one of Atlanta’s leading REALTORS® for premier neighborhoods such as Ansley Park, Morningside, Buckhead, Virginia - Highland, Inman Park, Druid Hills, and Brookwood Hills. An Athens native and resident of Ansley Park, Erin and her team pride themselves on being active and contributing members of the Atlanta Intown community. They are involved in numerous organizations across the metro area, most notably Piedmont Park Conservancy, Ansley Park Civic Association, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Morningside Elementary School Foundation, Gcapp, Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta and more. During these unprecedented times, Erin Yabroudy and Associates and Harry Norman REALTORS® are committed to continuing to work with sellers and prospective buyers in a way that promotes the health and safety of all involved. Whenever possible we will produce virtual tours and open houses, and of course continue to utilize traditional social media to promote all listings. If showing in person, we will work to ensure minimal or no contact by visitors with door handles, light switches, countertops and other surfaces and disinfect any such surfaces that were touched when the showing is over. Our digital platforms already eliminate the need for handling and physically signing documents, and our closing attorneys are ready to work with you to handle all the closing procedures virtually if you desire. Most importantly, we will continue to move forward and work diligently to promote local businesses and support the city that has supported us these past fifteen years.


Keeping Your Pets Happy While You Work From Home


PLAY INSIDE AND OUTSIDE Go on a walk before work Set break times for you and your pet to play DOG TV Canine-friendly videos for stimulation, relaxation, and exposure PET SUBSCRIPTION BOXES BarkBox, KitNip, Rescue Box, Purr Packs, just to name a few INTERACTIVE TOYS Try a Kong or a puzzle toy to keep them entertained while you’re on conference calls or need focused work time SHOW THEM THE LOVE Some extra care and attention are key. If you’re feeling a bit stressed, so are they

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ERIN YABROUDY D: 404.504.7955 | O: 404.233.4142



Buckhead Office - 532 East Paces Ferry Road, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30305 | 404.233.4142 | The above information is believed accurate, but is not warranted. This offer is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale and withdrawals without notice

1198FEBRUARY h owell REOPENING 2020mill

road at w e st si d e p rovi si ons


M AY 2 0 2 0

48 20


Contents 12 Editor’s Letter 27 Approved: [ SIMPLY NOW ]

15 News:

All Fired Up Up your grill game with these tools

Spa Day Getaway

28 Kids: Sweet Teeth

Something to look forward to: getting grounded at the Waldorf Astoria Spa Atlanta

Become more knowledgeable about your kids’ dental milestones

17 Local Salute: Honoring Kobe Special collection

30 Pets: CBD For Your P-E-T






42 Wellness:

64 Review:

Feel-Good Fitness

A Thousand and One Nights of Persian Cuisine

These area fitness studios give back to the community

funds athlete’s nonprofits

Here’s what you need to know about CBD pet products

20 Travel Far: A Desert Oasis



32 Home:

48 On Stage:

Home Office 101

In Their Shoes

Create an ideal at-home workspace that leaves you productive and inspired

Meet two historical interpreters who bring history to life at the Atlanta History Center


36 Tastemaker: Floored

50 Art:

Places to go and things to do

Haven Floors Founder Laura Boring Hopkins upgraded her garage from an eyesore to a family retreat

Composing Coupes

The greater Palm Springs area is rife with delectable treats

22 Staycation: Delightful Dunwoody The 12-year-old town invites visitors to play, dine and stay awhile

24 15 Minutes With: Andy Folio The record store owner on vinyl’s comeback

Buckhead painter Richard Webb marries art and automobiles

Timeless, traditional fare in the heart of Sandy Springs

66 Drinks: Garden to Glass Botanical cocktails inspired by the gifts of nature

71 Events: 75 Charitable: A spotlight on philanthropic and social gatherings

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


Photos: 53: Michael Owens/The Players’ Tribune, 36: Erik Meadows Photography



Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Chamblee and Dunwoody MAY 2020 | ISSUE 70 P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355 For advertising rates, call: 404.538.9895 Publisher and Founder


Joanne Hayes Chief Financial Officer

Sonny Hayes Managing Editor

Karina Antenucci Senior Contributing Editor

Jennifer Bradley Franklin Creative Director

Alan Platten ValueStream Media Chief Photographer

Sara Hanna Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Cheryl Isaacs Account Executive

Michelle Johnson Website Development Management

Michael Jacobs Michael Jacobs has worked for publications large (USA Today) and small (The Daily Dispatch of Henderson, North Carolina) in a journalism career nearing its 30th anniversary. Like the subjects of this month’s cover story—people who previously appeared on the cover of Simply Buckhead— Michael has seen some changes the past decade, from helping launch online news site in Georgia to editing the Atlanta Jewish Times to becoming a freelancer. Meanwhile, both of his sons finished high school and college. Some things remain constant, however, especially his East Cobb home (albeit after Hurricane Irma dropped a tree on it) and his wife, Chris.

We welcome all contributions, but we assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. No portion of this publication can be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Copyright © 2020 by Simply Buckhead ®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

BHG Digital Director of Audience Development

Mike Jose Copy Editor

H.M. Cauley Contributing Writers

Jill Becker Giannina S. Bedford H.M. Cauley Rebecca Cha Carly Cooper Jessica Dauler Mickey Goodman Angela Hansberger Michael Jacobs Nicole Letts Amy Meadows Amanda Morris Laura J. Moss Lia Picard Ginger Strejcek Graphic Designer

Layal Akkad Legal Counsel

Scott I. Zucker

FIND US ONLINE Read Simply Buckhead online at

A Place Where You Belong

Facebook “Like” us at LivingWellATL

Twitter Follow us @SimplyBuckhead

Instagram Follow us @SimplyBuckhead

After 10 years of publishing Simply Buckhead magazine, it was the right time to refresh and rebrand our website. The response from our readership has been phenomenal. We’ve seen digital growth to over 150K monthly visitors. Our readers are clearly hungry for positive lifestyle entertainment, as they view Simply Buckhead’s articles and interact with us and their favorite team members through links to their social media. We appreciate all of the great feedback on our new look, and have plenty of exciting new features up our sleeves as we move through 2020. We’re grateful for our “virtual” relationships, and look forward to seeing you again soon in person, too.

Thank you to our restaurants, shops and services during this difficult time. Thank you to our customers for ordering from the restaurants and continuing to support the shops and services through gift card purchases and more! Town Brookhaven will be back better than ever! ANCHORS CinéBistro/Cobb Theatre • Costco • LA Fitness • Marshalls • Publix

APPAREL & ACCESSORIES Boogaloos • Dress Up Boutique • Vestique

SHOES Big Peach Running Co.

HEALTH, WELLNESS & BEAUTY 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon • Benchmark Physical Therapy Brookhaven Orthodontics • Emory Clinic • European Wax Center GNC (General Nutrition Center) • Intown Pediatrics The Joint - The Chiropractic Place Julian’s Cosmetics and Skincare • Massage Heights Nail Talk & Tan • Saks Salon Salon Red • Salon Red Kids • Town Dentistry Vein Clinics of America • Vida-Flo: The Hydration Station

DINING Bua Thai and Sushi • The Flying Biscuit Café HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern • Lucky’s Burger & Brew Marble Slab Creamery • Moe’s Southwest Grill Newk’s Express Café • Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub Red Pepper Taqueria • Tanaka Ramen There Restaurant and Bar • Tropical Smoothie Café Urban Wok (Opening Soon) • Which Wich? • Yogurtland YOUR GUIDE TO LIVING WELL IN ATLANTA


HOME FURNISHINGS & DÉCOR Redefined Home Boutique


SERVICES Bank of the Ozarks • Brookhaven Alterations Brookhaven Animal Hospital • FBC Mortgage • Keller Williams Reflections Eyecare • Town Cleaners


TRAVEL & TOURISM Brookhaven Convention & Visitors Bureau (Opening Soon)

[ P ROU D M E M B E R OF ] Conveniently located on Peachtree Road adjacent to Oglethorpe University.

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


S I M P LY B U C K H E A D ® M AY 2 0 2 0

[ E DI T OR ’ S L E T T E R ]


hen Atlanta schools and businesses began to shut their doors in an effort to

help flatten the curve of COVID-19, the Simply Buckhead team dug our heels in.

Already working from home but running into production roadblocks, we were determined to produce this May issue to continue to both support local businesses and provide some much-needed entertainment to the residents of Buckhead and beyond, just as the magazine always has. From the city’s largest independent record store spotlighted in our 15 Minutes With story to the fitness studios in the Wellness column and restaurants in the Delicious section, many of the incredible businesses featured in Simply Buckhead this month are either currently closed or operating in a totally different capacity (such as takeout or web-based only). However, it is our hope that you learn of these noteworthy establishments and go out to experience them in person when things settle down. In the meantime, tackle your new home office project with the expert tips in our Home Feature and update your grill tools (even condo-appropriate grills!) with the cutting-edge options in Simply Approved. And keep up the self-care as you spend time in the backyard or on trails with the latest sunscreens featured in the Beauty column this month. Plus, enjoy the conversations with 10 memorable faces in this issue’s cover story who all have graced the magazine’s pages over the last decade. Michael Jacobs follows up with these trailblazers, including former Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia, Hunger Games actress Megan Hayes and Chef Hilary White, who was Buckhead Life Restaurant Group’s first female executive chef. What they’ve been up to lately might surprise you. What isn’t a surprise is that our community is #AtlantaStrong. We are coming together (albeit remotely) to serve each other and will get through this time together. Stay safe, and we look forward to occupying the streets of Buckhead with you again soon. COVER PHOTOS Roi Shlomo, Hilary White: Sara Hanna Takeo Spikes: Michael Owens/The Players’ Tribune Melanie Turner: Mali Azima Dominique Wilkins: NBAE/Getty Images


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Karina Antenucci Managing Editor

N E W S | L O C A L S A L U T E | T R AV E L | 1 5 M I N U T E S W I T H | A P P R O V E D | K I D S | P E T S



Andy Folio P24

"We stock more than 50,000 records. Vinyl accounts for about 90% of our sales." —Andy Folio

Atlantans have been satisfying their music fix at Andy Folio's Fantasyland Records for more than three decades. Photo: Sara Hanna

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


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May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


Ginger Strejcek


omething to look forward to: getting grounded at the Waldorf Astoria Spa Atlanta with such heavenly new treatments as Forest Therapy, Peachtree Indulgence and A Walk in the Woods. Think tension-releasing massages, exfoliating sea salt scrubs, warm stones and aromatherapy oils—all working in harmony to soothe body and soul. “This environmentally connected spa concept is a true oasis, offering respite from the rigors of urban living, stress

and travel,” says Jessica Shea, senior director of spa and fitness operations, Americas at Hilton. Guests rejuvenating with Forest Therapy will be boosting the city’s green space, as well, with proceeds benefitting Trees Atlanta. The spa’s expanded menu of services introduces collaborations with several leading luxury brands, including custom facial “skin cocktails” by Biologique Recherche, gemstone-activated collagen masks by KNESKO SKIN and meditative

Sound of Color nail treatments by Spa Ritual. The Deborah Lippman Manicure delights with a whipped marshmallow hand scrub to brighten and a shea butter, avocado hand cream to soften. There’s an equally sweet treat for feet. Meanwhile, take full advantage of the other amenities at the threelevel facility during your visit, including a saline lap pool, private garden and fitness center with yoga studio. n

WALDORF ASTORIA ATLANTA BUCKHEAD 3376 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.995.7500

NEWS CLIPS DUNWOODY WELCOMES RETAIL GIANTS Gear up for a shopping marathon at Perimeter Mall, set to open the first Georgia retail locations of Amazon 4-star and Fabletics later this year. The Amazon store will sell everything from consumer electronics and games to kitchen and home goods, all rated four stars or higher online, with a discount for Prime members. Fabletics, cofounded by Kate Hudson, offers a hip

spin on athleisure, featuring sportswear, shoes and accessories. Look for both on the upper level. Perimeter Mall 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road Atlanta 30346 770.394.4270

CONDO RISING IN BUCKHEAD Boasting sweeping skyline views, spacious open floor plans and resort-style amenities, the ultra-luxe Graydon Buckhead is set to

soar 22 floors from its prime perch on Peachtree Road. Developed by Florida-based firm Kolter Urban with expected completion in mid2022, the building will offer 47 residences, including a 5,850-square-foot penthouse, with prices starting at $1.6 million. “This stretch of Peachtree, from West Wesley to Andrews, is our best ‘waterfront,’” says Bonneau Ansley, founder/CEO of Ansley Atlanta, which is exclusively handling property sales.

Graydon Buckhead 2520 Peachtree Road Atlanta 30305 404.301.5302

NEW LEAD AT NATURE PRESERVE Kudos to Melody Harclerode, the new executive director at Blue Heron Nature Preserve. A passionate environmentalist and accomplished architect dedicated to cultivating great places, she’s excited to lead the charge of Atlanta’s 30-acre

green space. “Blue Heron is as an amazing environmental, educational and cultural oasis,” says Harclerode, named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2018. She formerly served as the executive director of the Sandy Springs Conservancy and the programs director at Arabia Alliance. Blue Heron Nature Preserve 4055 Roswell Road N.E. Atlanta 30342 404.946.6394

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


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Mickey Goodman

Left: Paul Mathewson and Cameron Davis share their home and lives with pups training to be service dogs at Canine Assistants. Below: Cameron Davis relaxes with a puppy at her Brookhaven home.

Honoring Kobe Special collection funds athlete’s nonprofits

The Dog Hoarder Preparing pups for service Cameron Davis has always been an animal lover, and when a friend asked her if she would help put on a fundraising event for Canine Assistants (CA), she jumped at the opportunity. The Brookhaven resident was instantly hooked on volunteering for the organization that breeds and trains golden and Labrador retrievers to provide diabetic support, seizure response or help for people with physical or mental challenges. Her friend’s warning: “You’re a dog hoarder. Just remember you can’t come home with all the dogs.” Ignoring the advice, Davis became a certified volunteer and foster parent two years ago. She brings up to three dogs at a time home for short periods to acclimate them to situations they

encounter during their service, such as busy malls and loud city noises. She and her boyfriend, Paul Mathewson, also share their home with Adrian, a breeder dog named in honor of one of CA’s long-time volunteers. “When he retires, he’ll stay on as our forever dog,” says Davis. In addition to working directly with the dogs at Canine Assistant’s Milton facility, Davis has organized an intown group to raise awareness for dog lovers who want to become involved in some way but don’t want to travel the distance. “I’ve always loved dogs, and preparing them for service is extremely rewarding,” she says. l For more information visit

People Power

Harriet Adams spearheaded the drive to save the historic Paces Ferry United Methodist Church.

Saving and preserving a historic church Every time Buckhead resident Harriet Adams passed the corner of Paces Ferry and Mt. Paran roads, she would admire the Paces Ferry United Methodist Church, a tiny white clapboard building with red doors that reminded her of the church in North Carolina where she grew up. One Sunday, she and her family attended services. “As soon as I stepped through the door, I felt the presence of God,” she says. “Its simplicity makes it powerful.” Not long thereafter, the lay minister announced his retirement.

Local jewelry designer Mary Hollis Callaway Langel has always been passionate about basketball and especially loved watching Michael Jordan go head-to-head with Kobe Bryant. Though not a Lakers fan specifically, she’s always been a Bryant fan, not only for his playing ability, but for the way he led his life. When the famous player, his daughter and seven others died in a tragic helicopter accident earlier this year, she was devastated. “I knew I had to give back to the organizations he founded in some way,” says the Buckhead resident and creator of The Callaway Collection. “I decided to design nine heart bracelets to honor each life lost in the crash. Each represents

Another blow came when the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church threatened to close it altogether. Adams, owner of Integrated Therapy, quickly organized a writein campaign, and along with mem-

bers and neighbors, she pleaded for survival of the church and adjacent Pleasant Hills Cemetery, where William Brown, who donated the land, is buried. Their persistence paid off. The conference agreed to provide a minister whom they share with Collins Hill Methodist. But their work is far from over. Updates are badly needed to the historic building that dates back to 1877 and served as a Confederate hospital. The fellowship hall needs to have air conditioning, heating and restrooms added. “We’re raising money through breakfasts, picnics and neighbor-

Mary Hollis Callaway Langel with her jewelry collection to benefit organizations founded by the late Kobe Bryant.

one of the victims, and the goal is for people to wear the bracelets and remember how precious life is.” Bracelets range from $28 to $48. All of the proceeds are donated to Mamba on Three, the organization Kobe founded. Its divisions—Mamba Sports Academy and newly named The Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation—strive to develop athletes to the peak of their potential. The focus is on serving underserved communities and providing equal opportunities for young women in sport. Callaway Langel began designing jewelry in 2013 and primarily sells her creations online. Each is globally inspired, handcrafted and designed in Buckhead. She’s also happy to partner with a client to customize pieces. l For more information visit

hood events,” Adams says. All proceeds go to the church’s capital fund. To further cement its survival, members are also working to have the church listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the Buckhead Heritage Society is helping preserve the gravestones. l For more information visit

Want to nominate a volunteer, company or nonprofit that makes Buckhead, Chamblee, Dunwoody Sandy Springs or Brookhaven a better place to live? Please contact:

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



Above: Dungeness Estate's rugged ruins recall the former splendor of the mansion, erected in 1884 as a retreat for industrialist Thomas Carnegie and his family. Right: Georgia's largest barrier island is a beachcomber's delight. Below: Cumberland’s freeroaming feral horses are a treasured sight for visitors.

All photos, except main: Ginger Strejcek

Coastal Treasure

Above: A place of astounding beauty, Cumberland has beaches, dunes, forests, marshes, estuaries and wetlands.

Discover a nature lover’s paradise on Georgia’s Cumberland Island STORY:

Ginger Strejcek


hile Georgia’s star-studded reign as “the Hollywood of the South” might be dictated by dollar signs, locals know that the state’s real charm lies in its natural beauty. That notably includes one of the most remarkable habitats in the Northern Hemisphere: Cumberland Island National Seashore. You won’t find any film crews on this secluded 18-mile stretch in the Atlantic Ocean. And celebrity sightings are rare, though John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette famously wed on the island in 1996. But you will be amply rewarded with the surreal experience of trekking through a pristine wilderness that could very well double as the set of Jurassic Park. I’ve ventured to Georgia’s largest barrier island twice in the past three years, following the coastline down to St. Marys in Camden County, where you board the ferry to Cumberland, accessible only by boat. The passage takes 45 minutes, with morn-


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

ing departures and afternoon returns at the Mainland Visitor Center. With public access managed by the National Park Service, Cumberland is a haven for recreational hikers and campers. More than 50 miles of marked trails are waiting to be explored and five designated sites invite guests to pitch a tent. Other than roughing it, the historic Greyfield Inn is the sole commercial establishment on the island (all-inclusive nightly rates at the luxury property start at $625). Day-trippers can set out on foot or rent a bike to cover more ground. I opted for the former, navigating the lower part of the island on the 4.3-mile Southend Loop Walk, from the Sea Camp dock at Cumberland Sound through the woods to the eastern Atlantic side, then south along the beach and back around. I’d done some preliminary browsing online to get the lay of the land, which encompasses thousands of acres of diverse ecosystems, each home to a variety of plants and animals—from alligators in the wetlands to feral hogs in the maritime forest, not to mention

300 species of birds. Still, nothing prepared me for the sightseeing delights the first time I stepped ashore. Stunning vistas are unveiled at every turn. Winding paths are fringed in vibrant green palmetto fans and lacy ferns. Blue skies overhead are filtered through a canopy of centuries-old live oaks, their gnarled branches hauntingly draped in Spanish moss. The beachfront is an endless expanse of white sand and sparkling waters, scattered with shells at low tide. I was fortunate to encounter Cumberland’s fabled free-roaming horses, grazing along the towering dunes dotted with sea oats. They aren’t indigenous but were likely brought to the island as livestock when Spanish missions were established in the late 1500s. At Dungeness Ruins, where skeletal brick and stone walls still stand from the 1884 mansion built by Thomas and Lucy Carnegie, I spied an armadillo scuttling in the brush and an osprey nesting high atop a chimney. The Ice House Museum, also along the route, offers a storied

overview of the people who’ve occupied the island, from the Timucuan Indians to James Oglethorpe. An extended guided tour by passenger van to the north end further delves into Cumberland’s fascinating history, with stops at the First African Baptist Church and Plum Orchard Mansion. Before departing the scenic shores, I found a shark’s tooth in the dirt and almost stepped on a snake, sunning on an embankment a few feet away. Thus is the magic of Cumberland, just as Mother Nature intended. n

THINGS TO KNOW Pack food, water, rain gear, sunscreen and bug spray. Cumberland is a carry-in, carry-out location, with no amenities beyond restrooms and water fountains. Round-trip ferry is $30 (book reservations); park fee is $10. Two campsite styles are available, and both require advance booking. Optional Lands & Legacies van tour is $45. Swimming is permitted. Sea turtle nesting season is in May.



Corner Café

Buckhead Diner

Chops Lobster Bar

Bistro Niko




Atlanta Fish Market


A Desert Oasis The greater Palm Springs area is rife with delectable treats


n Coachella, just 20 minutes outside of Palm Springs, I climbed out of a van driven by Nancy Cohee, owner of Tallgrass Hiking and Tours, and strolled along an artichoke grove. As I stood there wondering how such verdant land can exist in the desert, she said, “People know about us for pools and golf courses, but we’re an agricultural community.” While Palm Springs is best known for its midcentury modern architecture, its best kept secret is the food, thanks in large part to chefs moving from Los Angeles. So I made it my mission to eat my way through the desert. In Bombay Beach, a ghost town on the eastern edge of the Salton Sea, a large saline lake in the southern part of Coachella Valley, I enjoyed a tastefully prepared grilled chicken sandwich at the Ski Inn. The cash-only restaurant is plastered with dollar bills from the walls to the ceiling, but the affordable lunch menu is delicious. It also made an excellent stop on the way to Slab City, where a community of snowbird artists go to live “off the grid.” The main attraction here is Salvation Mountain, a

Lia Picard

The Saguaro Hotel is famous for its rainbow buildings


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Above: Ordering a date shake at Shields Date Garden is a Palm Springs ritual.


Lia Picard

Left: The author stands in a crevice on the San Andreas Fault. Right: El Paseo is considered the Rodeo Drive of Palm Springs

striking hillside sculpture depicting an abstract take on the “Sinner’s Prayer” made of adobe, straw and lead-free paint, and created by local resident Leonard Knight. It's a 90-minute drive from Palm Springs, but worth it to see a true desert oddity. Back at the Saguaro Hotel, which was once a Holiday Inn but is now Insta-famous for its rainbow buildings, I dined at the hotel’s restaurant, El Jefe. The lively cantina features a deep tequila list, but what got my attention was the beer-battered mahi fish tacos. A thin, crisp exterior gives way to fluffy mahi. Packaged with chipotle remoulade, pico de gallo and housemade tortillas, it was a satisfying choice after a busy day.

When it came to dining in the Palm Springs area, I found it was best to either eat cheaply or splurge. I discovered sheer joy in a burrito stuffed with chopped chicken, beans, rice, avocado and salsa from the no-frills Tampico Meat Market in La Quinta. I headed out there before taking a Jeep tour with Desert Adventures. The company has access to a private ranch on the San Andreas Fault, making it easy to explore the canyons without swarms of people. Zipping across the infamous fault in an open-air Jeep is a thrill, and seeing it at sunset is otherworldly. Later that evening, I dusted myself off and headed to The Venue, a sushi restaurant helmed by Engin Onural. The restaurant is located in the El Paseo Shopping District, a street for the well-heeled often called the “Rodeo Drive of Palm Desert.” Onural infuses the menu with homages to his Mediterranean upbringing, such as a tuna tostada appetizer accented with fresh feta cheese. To fully encapsulate the Palm Springs epicurean experience, I couldn’t leave without a date shake from Shields Date Garden in Indio. Founded in 1924 by Bess and Floyd Shields, the shake blends crystallized dates grown in the 17-acre grove with milk and ice cream. The shake is a delicious reminder of how sweet the desert can be, and sipping it is a Palm Springs ritual worth the trek. n

TRAVEL TIPS GET THERE: Delta now offers direct flights from Atlanta to Palm Springs four times a week. GET AROUND: Palm Springs proper is walkable, but to explore the surrounding areas you’ll want to rent a car. GO: Take a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park; it's only a one-hour drive from Palm Springs.

DETAILS Desert Adventures Salvation Mountain Shields Date Garden Ski Inn Tallgrass Hiking and Tours The Saguaro Hotel/El Jefe The Venue Sushi Bar and Sake Lounge Visit Greater Palm Springs


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May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



Above: Dine in or out at Alon's or browse the array of wines, pastas, pastries, breads and more to go. Right: Perimeter Mall, one of the metro area's premier shopping destinations, is home to Apple, H&M, Macy's, Nordstrom and more.


Dunwoody The 12-year-old town invites visitors to play, dine and stay awhile


ince the early 1970s, Dunwoody has been a district anchored by Perimeter Mall, the upscale retail center that sprouted on former farmland. Office towers, apartments and restaurants soon followed, and in 2008, the area transformed into an official city with a population of about 49,000. Given its destination for shoppers, workers, diners and homeowners, the municipality also developed a reputation for its traffic snarls, particularly around I-285 and Ashford Dunwoody Road. In 2012, the state stepped in to ease some of the congestion when it built Georgia’s first diverging diamond pattern to make getting in and out easier. Rush hour can still be challenging, but by the time happy hour is over, Dunwoody turns into a getaway destination that appeals on many levels. Start by parking the car at one of the city’s stylish hotels that welcome weekenders and overnighters alike. Two have undergone extensive renovations, boasting well-appointed rooms and amenities to help you kick back. At Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter, the outdoor pool is nestled beside a stone patio, and by evening, the expansive lobby bar morphs from a coffee house to a spot to enjoy craft cocktails and, on Fridays, live jazz. Pay attention to the ceilings and walls in both the public areas and guestrooms: What looks like abstract artwork is actually graphics depicting


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Right: The Spruill Center for the Arts offers a range of classes to inspire your creativity.


the hotel’s distance to metro area landmarks, including the airport. From the outside, the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia looks like it’s all business, but it also boasts walking trails, an indoor pool and a fitness center. A soaring, naturally lit lobby is dotted with dining areas and a coffee bar. But step outside and you’ll be in the Backyard at Parkwoods, a tree-shaded stone patio with a small stage where acoustic musicians entertain under strings of twinkling lights. Once you’ve stowed the overnight bag, figuring out where to have dinner could be the biggest challenge of the weekend. Dunwoody’s culinary array covers most cravings, from Italian to Thai. While the city is home to a variety of upscale, national operations such as Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar and Seasons 52, local culinary talent is well represented at McKendrick’s Steak House, where meat is the star, and the appetizer “towers” are a meal in themselves, stacked with oysters, shrimp, crab and lobster tails. Another local favorite is the clubby wood-and-brass ambiance at Joey D’s Oak Room. Known for its steaks, it’s also a destination for New Orleans-inspired seafood with dishes such as crawfish and andouille sausage in spicy lobster sauce. At lunch, the eatery is packed with diners who dig into the oversized, New York deli-style sandwiches.

H.M. Cauley

One way to work off those calories is by heading to Brook Run Park, a 110-acre greenspace with a playground, 2-mile trail, skate and dog parks, and the recently added Tree Quest with four adult ziplines and a kids’ zone with a trampoline and low ropes course. Kids of all ages will marvel at the beehives, treehouse and creek at the Dunwoody Nature Center that also offers three geocaching adventures. Slow the pace with a stroll through the gallery at the nonprofit Spruill Center for the Arts, where planning ahead can nab you a seat in a ceramics, painting, sculpture or photography class. Wrap up an evening with a show at the Stage Door Players theater that offers a variety of live theater productions. Jerry’s Habima Theatre at the Marcus Jewish Community Center is another local arts organization noted for its musical performances staged by adults with special needs. It’s worth forgoing room service to enjoy breakfast at Alon’s Bakery, the suburban outpost of the popular intown emporium. Place your order at the counter, pick up some pastries and pull up a patio table. Leave time to meander through the selections of gourmet breads, sauces, cheeses and candies, and pack a few into the backseat—just in case the traffic makes it hard to leave. n

DETAILS Alon’s Brook Run Park Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravina Dunwoody Nature Center Jerry’s Habima Theatre Joey D’s Oak Room Le Méridien atllm-le-meridien-atlantaperimeter McKendrick’s Steakhouse Perimeter Mall Stage Door Players Spruill Center for the Arts

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead 




Is reading a pastime of yours? Yes. I read magazines mostly. I like The New Yorker. I like Stephen King books a lot, too. And I’ve read every book Ayn Rand has ever written.


Jill Becker   PHOTO: Sara Hanna


e should call it the house of obsolete media,” jokes Andy Folio, the owner of Fantasyland Records, in reference to his shop’s expansive collection of vinyl albums, 45s, CDs, DVDs and more. A Buckhead institution since 1976, the city’s second oldest independent record store opened in an old strip center in Garden Hills before moving to its current location on Pharr Road in 2010. “Our rent was $250 a month when we first opened. That’s about what our power bill is now,” says Folio. A transplant from Greenville, South Carolina, the 74-year-old Brookhaven resident moved to Atlanta with no job, no money and no car, and rented a room in Midtown for $13 a week. After working at a local copy store for five years, he saved up enough to open his own business. It started as a small comic bookstore, but one day he brought in a box of records that he had lying around at home and sold them for $3 apiece. “Everyone went straight to them,” says Folio, “and I thought, I’m in the wrong business."


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Vinyl is making a comeback. How many records do you have in stock? More than 50,000. Vinyl accounts for about 90% of our sales. A lot of current artists are doing vinyl now. Your manager, Mark Gunter, has been with you for more than 35 years. You two must have some stories to tell. Who are some of the celebrities who’ve visited the store? Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes is a regular. So is Ed Roland of Collective Soul. Some of the others include Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, Eric Clapton and Peter Buck from REM. Michael Jackson came in one day in 1988 or 1989 with Emmanuel Lewis. He arrived in a big white limo and spent about $1,000. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there that day.

What’s the most expensive record you’ve ever sold? We sold a Beatles “butcher cover” album called The Beatles Yesterday and Today for $2,300. The first batch of the record had the band members on the cover wearing butcher smocks and holding [raw slabs of meat and decapitated dolls], and some people thought it was offensive, so the record label withdrew it from sales. What kind of music do you like to listen to at home? I don’t own a record player and don’t really ever listen to music at home. I listen to it in the store all day, so I’m inundated by it. What’s your favorite album of all time? One of my favorites is Modern Times by Bob Dylan. I’ve read about 50 books on him.

What else do you do in your free time? I like to bowl. A friend and I go on Sunday afternoons every two or three weeks and play four games at Funtime Bowl on Buford Highway. With shoes and everything, it costs us about $10 each. I also take basketball lessons twice a week at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Mike Cavanagh has been coaching me for 20 years now. I typically shoot about 100 three-pointers, 100 free throws and 50 layups. What are your go-to places in Buckhead? I like Henri’s. And the Landmark Diner on Roswell Road. Name something on your bucket list. I’d like to travel. I haven’t been outside of the U.S. but once or twice. I’d love to see the Pyramids. n FANTASYLAND RECORDS 360 Pharr Road N.E., Suite B Atlanta 30305 404.237.3193



Low Carb, Gluten Free, All Natural, Chef Prepared cakes, cookies, bagels and more Local specialty grade low carb coffee drinks

901 Abernathy Rd NE, Sandy Springs GA

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M-F 8:00 am – 6:30 pm Sat: 9 am – 5 pm



May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


Apply or Nominate a Child for...

b e rt ’ s b i g a d

! e r u vent

Established in 2002, Bert’s Big Adventure is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides a magical, all-expenses-paid, five-day journey to Walt Disney World® for children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families.

Learn more about qualifications and how to nominate a child or apply at


BBA_SimplyBuckhead_apr20_rev.indd 1

4/8/20 2:04 PM


“Judge Rieder is compassionate, competent, and hardworking. She has always had a servant’s heart. She has faithfully served the citizens of this county with diligence and is committed to the law and the best interests of the citizens of Fulton County. Judge Rieder has always dedicated her career to helping people.” MATT THIRY, PRESIDENT BUCKHEAD BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

“Prior to practicing law, Becca was a teacher and it was as her student where I first met her. As an educator, she balanced endless patience and compassion with a firm expectation that all students deserved a strong educational foundation to excel in their communities. Since becoming a judge, I have consistently seen Becca bring those qualities to the bench.” JESSICA REECE FAGAN.

“I am a criminal defense attorney with over 10 years of experience... I support Judge Rebecca Crumrine Rieder because she listens. I have never walked out of her courtroom feeling as if my arguments fell on deaf ears. She thinks. She researches the arguments of the State and the Defense. She weighs it all. Rebecca Crumrine Rieder is already doing the job for which she seeks your vote — and she is doing it well.” W. DEVIN FRANKLIN “I’ve had the opportunity to practice before Judge Rieder in Fulton County Superior Court as an Assistant District Attorney assigned to her courtroom. I’ve seen firsthand how she handles some of the most serious cases in our county – with careful fairness and patience. She treats the lawyers who practice before her with respect and professionalism and is genuinely focused on serving the community that is Fulton county.” CARA M. CONVERY

“I was called to serve for jury duty and you were the presiding judge. You did a good job and you have my vote.” JAMIE PENNINGTON “I have known Judge Rieder for over 15 years. From day one, I was impressed with Judge Rieder’s work ethic, determination to finish whatever task was before her and to make sure the work was done properly. Judge Rieder is someone whom we can all trust to make the hard decisions judges are called upon to make.” LEIGH FAULK CUMMINGS “I have known Judge Rieder for twenty(20) years. She is intelligent, hard working, and most importantly, a person of the highest integrity and professionalism. She treats both citizens and lawyers who come into her courtroom with the utmost respect. Simply put, she is outstanding. This is too important.” ROBERT D. BOYD “I am a resident of Fulton County and a family law lawyer. Judge Rieder is prepared when you appear before her. She knows the law well and brings tremendous experience with her to the bench. She moves her cases along and is not afraid to rule. You will always be treated with respect in her courtroom. Her ethics and professionalism are outstanding. Please join me in voting for Judge Rieder June 9th.” TINA SHADIX RODDENBERY “Becca has all the qualities of a great Judge – integrity, compassion, even temperament and a knowledge of the law and rules of evidence. She is universally respected by her colleagues on the Fulton Superior Court and by the lawyers and parties who appear before her. She is a Judge’s Judge.” HENRY R. BAUER, JR.

A resident of Metro Atlanta since 2001 and a leader in our community - Judge Rieder serves Fulton County with diligence and dignity. Judge Rieder appreciates your SUPPORT and your VOTE. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO JOIN THE TEAM, PLEASE VISIT: KEEPJUDGERIEDER.COM


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


Sur La Table Maple Grilling Plank ($10.95) Enhance your favorite fish or meat by cooking on wooden planks that bring out deeper flavors. Maple is the sweetest of the grilling woods and will impart a flavor that may be described as rich and nutty. The plank also allows for a more even heat distribution on the grill so even beginners have a cooking edge. Plan on tossing them Sur La Table after one use, 3500 Peachtree Road or recycling Atlanta 30326 them in your 404.973.3371 fire pit.

Weber iGrill 2 App-Connected Thermometer ($99.99) Show off perfectly grilled steaks, chicken and burgers with help from your secret weapon, Weber’s Bluetooth-enabled thermometer. Choose your desired temperature, and the iGrill app will monitor your meal while you relax with friends. You’ll get an alert to your phone once the meat reaches the desired temperature. The app takes less than a minute to set up and features custom alarms, a timer and even social media sharing so Lowe's Home Improvement you can showcase 5925 Roswell Road N.E. your grill sessions, Sandy Springs 30328 time, temperature 404.497.8920 and tips.

ChefWave Sosaku Smokeless Infrared Rotisserie Indoor Tabletop Grill ($227.99) A cool new alternative to a propane or traditional coal grill is this 5-in-1 smokeless indoor grill. It has everything you could want from a standard grill and then some, such as a variety of surface cooking plates, rotisserie cook option and quick start time—a bonus compared to tradiMacy’s tional grills that take up to 20 minutes to 3393 Peachtree Road N.E. heat. It's perfect for making all of your Atlanta 30326 BBQ favorites including hamburgers, 404.231.2800 steaks, chicken and vegetables.


Backyard cooking season is about to commence, and when warm weather hits, Atlantans grill everything from pizza to peaches. But no matter how great your grilling skills are, the right products can make or break a meal. Now is the perfect time to up your grill game with a little inspiration for getting the most out of the season. STORY:

Jessica Dauler

Top Chef Barbecue Tool Set with Nylon Case ($59.99) Whether it’s time to upgrade your grilling tools or you're in the market for a new set, having the appropriate utensils for grilling is vital not only for convenience but also for safety. This popular, TV-show-branded kit comes in a nylon case that contains all of the essentials for grilling like a pro: sturdy tongs, grill fork, an all-purpose knife and four skewers. Nordstrom 3500 Peachtree Road N.E. Atlanta 30326 404.442.3000

Cuisinart Petit Gourmet Portable Propane Gas Grill ($105.26) The perfect city-friendly option for those who live in condos or apartments, this lightweight grill stands out from the rest with its unique design. Outfitted with a porcelain-enameled cooking grate, it has enough cooking surface to accommodate grilling for four to six people at once and converts from a freestanding model with telescoping Home Depot legs that shift from ideal grill height into 2525 Piedmont Road N.E. a tabletop model in seconds. The compact Atlanta 30324 design, weighing in at 17 pounds, is easy 404.841.5608 to tote to lakes, beaches or parks, too.

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



PACIFIER VS. THUMB Parents are often reluctant to give babies pacifiers because they may lead to crooked teeth or “nipple confusion,” but Cassinelli says it’s better than thumb sucking. Just make sure to choose an orthodontic pacifier that has a narrow base, such as those from Nuk, and avoid the ones with a stuffed animal attached, which can add weight and harm the teeth.

Having trouble envisioning how your rambunctious 1- or 2-year-old is going to sit still in the dentist’s chair for an exam? Cassinelli says she often examines a child while they are lying in the parent’s lap. “The chair is the most intimidating part of the visit. I don’t even put a little one in it. We take our time, show them everything we’re going to do and, truthfully, if they begin to scream, it’s easier to examine their teeth!”


Dr. Cassinelli examines a patient with her mom's help.


Karina Antenucci

It is a good idea to switch to a regular toothbrush when your baby’s molars erupt. When selecting a brush, a smaller, kids’ size brush with soft bristles is best. You can show your child how to use it, but make sure to brush after them to hit all the surfaces. “A good rule of thumb is to brush your children’s teeth for them until they have the dexterity to tie their own shoelaces, around third grade,” Cassinelli advises.


reating a positive experience with dental hygiene is an important part of your role as a caregiver. And yes, that often involves convincing your child to do or let you do something that they don’t want to do—like brushing, flossing or visiting the dentist. Dr. Aimee Cassinelli of Peak Pediatric Dentistry in Sandy Springs calls this process “magical” and enjoys helping shape kids’ dental experiences. “Pediatric dentistry has a lot of personality. It is all about talking to kids and parents, and having fun. We can shape their experience and create a positive lifelong dental experience,” she says, and notes that pediatric dentists have two additional years of training that includes behavior management. Here, Cassinelli weighs in on what to do, and when, to keep those little smiles in tip-top shape.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

First Dentist Visit Dr. Aimee Cassinelli of Peak Pediatric Dentistry in Sandy Springs.

First Tooth It may seem silly to brush your child’s teeth when she only has two. However, regular brushing should begin as soon as the first tooth pops up. “To start, parents can just use water and a washcloth. It’s really the mechanical act of brushing that’s most important early on,” says Cassinelli.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that your child see a dentist within six months of the eruption of his or her first tooth or by their first birthday, whichever happens first. “The first visit is to establish the ‘dental home’ and includes a lot of education for parents,” explains Cassinelli. “We’ll cover everything you need to know, including things like what to do when your kids fall and bump their teeth.”

Losing Baby Teeth Kids start losing their baby teeth around age 5 or 6. “We want your child to visit their dentist every 6 months, just as adults do. When children start 'exchanging' teeth— getting permanent teeth—seeing the dentist regularly is really important to watch the growth and development of the permanent teeth and jaws,” says Cassinelli. As for flossing, parents should floss their children's teeth each day after brushing if their teeth are close together and touching. Flossing takes better dexterity than brushing, so children really need help with flossing until at least third grade.

Permanent Teeth In Many children do not need to see an orthodontist until all of their permanent teeth have developed, usually around age 12. “Your child's dentist will watch your child's tooth and jaw development and let you know when it is time to see an orthodontist,” Cassinelli explains. n

PEAK PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY 6095 Barfield Road, Suite 150 Sandy Springs 30328 770.274.4428




New Look!

If you want to experience interior design that is personalized, collaborative, principled, and focused on creating homes with “Real Life, Real Style,” then our professional design team is right for you. We want our clients to experience design in a whole new way and our redesigned showrooms will be the vehicle for that experience. Meant to inspire, each space will be richly layered with custom furnishings, lighting, art and accessories and feel more like a designer showcase home than a typical furniture showroom. This will be interior design at its best, with the end goal of allowing our clients to touch, feel, sit in and learn about the high quality of our fully customizable furnishings.

L E T ’ S G E T S TA R T E D

Make an appointment today for a private tour of our newly re-designed showroom and collaborative design studio. 6170 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs 404.521.9303 |



For CBD Your P-E-T

Here’s what you need to know about CBD pet products


BD, which stands for cannabidiol, is a natural compound derived from hemp plants, and it’s everywhere these days. You can purchase CBD-infused candy, sparkling water, coffee, lotion and even bath bombs. And there’s no shortage of CBD treats for our furry friends as well. In fact, The Georgia Hemp Co. in Sandy Springs sells a variety of pet CBD products, including dog biscuits, pet chews and tubes of CBD-infused salmon oil, a tasty-to-them treat that can be added to pets’ food or administered under an animal’s tongue. Like CBD and hemp items for humans, pet CBD products are marketed to treat everything from pain and anxiety to itchy skin and sleep issues. Despite the pervasiveness of CBD-infused products, a lot of questions still surround the plant compound. Let’s explore some of the most common. Does CBD cause a high? While CBD products can contain trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the compound that causes a “high”), CBD derived from hemp has no psychoactive properties and cannot make you or your pet high. However, CBD has been found to


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

provide a relaxing or calming sensation in people. Is CBD legal? All states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction. By federal law, industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% of THC to be considered legal. “There are no regulations around CBD derived from hemp, as hemp is federally legal as of 2018,” says Joe Salome, managing partner of The Georgia Hemp Co. However, there are currently no FDA-approved CBD products for pets. There are regulations on how CBD products can be labeled and marketed, though. “You cannot claim health and medical benefits because the FDA has only approved one drug (Epidiolex, which treats severe epilepsy in humans) for pharmaceutical or health reasons,” Salome says. “When we reference benefits, we have to reference research done in Israel or anecdotal evidence online.” What research has been done on CBD use in pets? Numerous studies into CBD use in pets and its potential side effects are currently underway. There have been some studies into how CBD is me-


Laura J. Moss

tabolized by dogs, and a recent Cornell study found that small amounts of CBD “can help increase comfort and activity” in dogs with osteoarthritis. Much less research has been done on the effects of CBD in cats. Can veterinarians prescribe CBD? Veterinarians aren’t allowed to prescribe or even recommend CBD to clients, but if you have questions about using CBD for your pet, ask your vet. If your vet doesn’t know much about CBD or isn’t comfortable answering questions, visit for information. As CBD continues to gain popularity, it’s likely more vets will become well versed in its uses for pets. According to a recent survey by the Veterinary Information Network, two-thirds of veterinarians say they’re asked about cannabis by their patients at least monthly. What should you look for in pet CBD products? Currently, the CBD industry is largely unregulated, especially when it comes to pet products. However, veterinary experts recommend looking for products that claim to follow

The Georgia Hemp Co. sells CBD pet products, including these beef-flavored pet chews, which retail for $29.99.

Good Manufacturing Practices, have a National Animal Supplement Council seal and can provide a Certificate of Analysis. The product should also specify how much CBD it contains, as well how much, if any, THC. It’s important to avoid giving your pet CBD products intended for human use, as they contain ingredients such as xylitol or grapeseed oil, both of which can be harmful to animals. n THE GEORGIA HEMP CO. 290 Hilderbrand Drive Unit B-3 Sandy Springs 30328 404.343.2796




Floored P36

“The garage used to be the eyesore of our house. I’ve turned it into a space that I love.” — Laura Boring Hopkins

The Haven Floors founder offers tips for how to transform garages, home gyms and outdoor areas into stylish, comfortable areas that the whole family can enjoy. Photo: Erik Meadows Photography

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



Jessica Ahnert Davis, owner and creative director of Nest Studio & Atelier Davis, enjoys ample workspace and natural light in her home office design.



or years, there’s been a lot of talk about work-life balance. People have striven to make the distinction between focusing on professional tasks in the office and savoring personal time at home. With world health events this spring, we’ve all been spending more time in our houses, and the lines have become blurred. For many, working at home is now the norm. It’s important to create a personalized and inviting home office that allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

The Right Spot There’s something to the old adage about “location, location, location.” Choosing the right place to set up your at-home office is key to facilitating productivity. Courtney Shearer, founder of Buckhead-based firm The Designery, recommends finding a secluded space, if possible. “I need a space that can be closed off and private so I can concentrate and spread out,” says the interior designer. “My brain knows that when I’m in this space, though it’s inside my home, I’m at work. It makes it easier to hone in on the tasks at hand.”


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


Amy Meadows

If it’s difficult to find a completely separate room, there are other options. “Look for space where you could tuck in a desk or repurpose an existing table,” says Laura Wilson, a design crew member at West Elm, with a location at The Shops Around Lenox in Buckhead. She encourages clients to ask themselves, “Do you have an unused corner of your living room or bedroom? An alcove or foyer? Space in your basement?” Try to create a distinct zone for each member of your home who needs a workspace. “Maybe one person’s command center is the dining room, and another works at a desk in the bedroom,” she says.

The Basics No home office can be without a desk, but according to Buckheadbased designer Jessica Ahnert Davis, owner and creative director of Nest Studio & Atelier Davis, any surface can be used, including a counter, a console table or a vanity. To take advantage of a smaller multifunctional space, such as a living room or bedroom, Wilson suggests a scaled-down desk, such as the Mid-

Century Mini Desk from West Elm. She adds, though, “Be wary of sitting at a coffee table that may be too low and cause strain as you reach down to type.” For many people, a sit/stand desk that allows you to shift between the two positions can bolster both creativity and output. That level of comfort should apply to your office chair as well. Jonathan Puleio, a certified ergonomist and

Courtney Shearer, founder of The Designery, uses custom cabinets and a desktop made of vinyl to provide functionality and style.

global VP of consulting for Humanscale, recommends finding a chair that automatically adjusts or offers easy repositioning of height and armrests. A good example is Humanscale’s Liberty chair that features a self-adjusting, weight-sensitive recline with a pivoting, lumbar-sup-

The Humanscale Nova task light provides glarefree light that can be adjusted to any need or preference.

“Cool colors like blues are great for relaxation and focus, so try to create a space that feels serene and Zen.”— Jessica Ahnert Davis

Above: West Elm’s Ladder Shelf Desk and Narrow Bookshelf set are designed for smaller spaces and can match any room style.

Words to the Wise WORK-AT-HOME PROFESSIONALS SHARE THEIR ADVICE Working in your own home office has its rewards—and its own set of unique challenges. We asked several local work-from-home aficionados to share their tips and tricks for making the most of the experience. From how to stay productive to the best tools to use, here’s what they had to say.

SHERRI DICKENS Blogger, Rage Against the Mom Jean

“Begin and end the day at the same time. Create consistency around your work routine and stick to it. I try to take a break every hour to stand up, grab coffee, maybe do a non-workrelated task or listen to a podcast.”

Above: Stylex’s F4 chair is lightweight and moves effortlessly with its user.

ESSENTIALS: AirPods, The Self Jour-

nal (planner) and Pzizz (an app that produces background noise)

Right: West Elm’s Mid-Century Wall Desk offers a sleek design coupled with ample workspace and storage.


porting backrest. Traditional office chairs aren’t to your taste? Buckhead resident Gregg Irby, owner of the Gregg Irby Gallery, suggests choosing one that is comfortable, roomy and pretty. “My desk chair is an upholstered armchair with a straight back so it gives me good support, and it’s great for pulling my feet up and reading when I need it,” she says. “My office chair also turns into an accent chair when we’re entertaining and need more seating.” With the desk and chair in place, don’t forget two additional essentials: lighting and storage. Davis says, “You need task lighting—lighting that is directed onto your work surface—but also ambient lighting.” Irby, who uses a table lamp to ease her into each morning, says sunlight is equally important; if possible, make sure your desk is near a window that allows light to stream in during the day. You also need ample space to store everything from paperwork to supplies. Shearer believes organization integrated into a desk space can increase productivity, noting that custom cabinets can be both func-

“The single most important thing I do to stay productive is to turn off notifications across all my devices for a set period of time. For example, from 8 a.m. to noon, I don’t get dings from emails, chats or phone apps. I even turn on the Do Not Disturb feature on my phone; after lunch, I’m available to answer questions, attend meetings and collaborate for the rest of the day.”

tional and attractive. For an all-inone option, Davis points to modular systems that offer a custom look while providing plenty of storage, shelving and surface area. She adds, “I love wall-mounted [storage] that keeps floor space free.”

Bells and Whistles The fun comes in personalizing your office. Start with the foundation: color. “Cool colors like blues are great for relaxation and focus, so try to create a space that feels serene and Zen,” Davis explains. No matter what color you choose, accent it with an array of stylish desktop accessories, from baskets and trays to computer storage items and funky office sup-

plies. You also can enhance your space with art. “I’m a firm believer that art can uplift at first sight,” Irby says. “As with buying paintings for any other area in your home, buy what you love and what speaks to you. It should naturally bring you happiness, which will inspire you.” Wilson agrees about surrounding yourself with items that make you smile as you work. “Wherever you set up shop, a couple of photos of family and friends, a small plant and a few colorful accessories will make it feel more personal and inviting,” she concludes. “Everyone has a different personal style, so create a space that is comfortable, functional and brings you joy.” n

ESSENTIALS: Noise-canceling headphones, the Google suite of tools for collaboration, Calendly (a meeting scheduling tool) and a Chromebook


“I like to switch up my workspace throughout the day to stay productive and keep my mind thinking creatively. I’ll start in my home office in the morning, have lunch at the kitchen table and then bring my laptop over to the dining area for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I typically return to my office space to finish up and to take any calls or video conferences.” ESSENTIALS: Laptop, cell phone,

headphones, a printer and a window to enjoy natural light

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead




Giannina S. Bedford


rom funky patterns to industrial materials, the washroom has seen numerous trends over the years. Here, we talk to Buckhead resident Tim Schroeder, founder and president of Duravit USA (DUSA), a subsidiary of Germany’s Duravit, a manufacturer of design-conscious bathroom ceramics, about 2020 trends.

incorporated across a host of Duravit’s ceramic products promote ease of use and wellness through smart technology and hygienic design.

What are the top bathroom design trends of 2020? Wellness and hygiene, lighting (an ongoing lifestyle trend in the bath) and color in the bath.

What is “out” this year? Pedestals are no longer a trend in the bath. In fact, we are seeing that clever and sensible storage drives customers to choose vanities and consoles over pedestals. Consoles are a great alternative for individuals inclined for the look and feel of a pedestal, offering a shelf for storage. Overall, people need more storage in the bath, and therefore, pedestals are no longer as popular as they once were.

What are some cutting-edge Duravit products that fit within these trends? Smart home technology, material science and ease of use are cutting edge trends in the bathroom. From Duravit, back-lit mirrors with

adjustable light afforded through the smart technology in the XViu, XSquare and Happy D.2 Plus mirrors; fingerprint-proof finishes of the Happy D.2 Plus collection; C-bonded material innovation [a technology that allows washbasins to be bonded to vanity units seamlessly to appear as one unit] incorporated across the Happy D.2 Plus collection; and HygieneGlaze 2.0 [a bacteria-reducing formula baked into the ceramic during firing]

Are there any hard and fast rules homeBuckhead resident owners Tim Schroeder is the should founder and president keep in of Duravit USA. mind when designing a bathroom? Work with a design professional. You’re only going to do it once or twice in your lifetime, so you should design your bath like you design any other big decisions in your life. Educate yourself, partner with a professional and then enjoy the fruits of your labor. n

DESIGN NEWS n Pike Nurseries is mourning the passing of its founder William “Pete” Pike. A native of Hogansville, Georgia, the entrepreneur started Pike Nurseries in 1958. He began with three employ-


ees in a 200-square-foot location on Highway 41 in Marietta. Today, the company has 500 employees in peak seasons and 18 retail stores in the metro Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, areas, including two in Buckhead. Monte Enright, the current CEO of Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers, had known Pike since 1990 and calls him “an icon in the lawn and garden industry.”

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Alfresco spring entertaining doesn’t have to mean uninspiring disposable dinnerware. These eye-catching melamine dishes are the creation of the three local women behind outdoor dish company Relish. The chip-resistant and virtually shatterproof plates and bowls are ideal for classy outdoor affairs and durable enough for the entire family—kids included. Available in white, cream, taupe and grey for $18-$22 at or PRODUCT in store at Buckhead’s SPOTLIGHT Erika Reade Ltd.






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May 2020 | Simply BuckheadтАГ



when the weather is bad. It’s become a useful part of our house. Aside from aesthetics, what are some other benefits of adding flooring to a garage? Garages are a common area for slips and falls. Even when LifeTiles are wet, the product is more slip-resistant than carpet, making it a popular choice for seniors, families with small children and anyone who’s concerned about safety.

Laura Boring Hopkins founded Haven Floors after a dreary garage (left) left her wanting more. Now, with new paint and LifeTiles flooring, it’s a favorite recreation spot for her family.

What tips can you share for those who want to create more useful indooroutdoor spaces in their homes? I like to bring indoor design elements to outdoor spaces. For instance, we painted the garage walls the same color as inside so it feels like an extension of our home. On our outdoor patio, we made sure that the color palette matches the look and feel of the rest of our house, with a dining area for entertaining and an outdoor living room. We added cozy elements like pillows, an outdoor rug and a TV on the covered patio. Choose colors and textures that flow, so the design feels cohesive. Consider the durability of the materials, so what you choose will stand the test of time.


Jennifer Bradley Franklin


aura Boring Hopkins didn’t set out to be a flooring entrepreneur. She grew up in Dalton, Georgia—often dubbed “the Carpet Capital of the World”—and once equipped with an MBA from Vanderbilt University, she found success in marketing and finance. However, when she and her husband bought a house in Buckhead in 2017, she discovered the garage was the one part of the home she dreaded visiting. “There was no functional use for


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Erik Meadows Photography

Floored Haven Floors Founder Laura Boring Hopkins upgraded her garage from an eyesore to a family retreat

our family,” recalls Hopkins, who will welcome twins later this year. Finding limited options to upgrade its cracked and oil-stained floors, she connected with Engineered Floors about the company’s LifeTiles, a line of 100% polyester flooring previously only available for commercial projects. After giving her garage a major upgrade, she launched Haven Floors in 2019, making it the first directto-consumer retailer of the moldand mildew-resistant modular

Why was it important to turn your garage into a functional living space? A garage tends to be 600 to 800 square feet on average. With any house, you can be pressed for space, and it’s important to maximize the use of your entire home. The garage used to be the eyesore of our house. I’ve turned it into a space that I love. Having a safe, functional garage has created bonus space.

flooring that’s become popular for garages and gyms. Here, she shares her mission to help others create indoor-outdoor spaces that are safe and functional. How do you use your garage now? The upgraded flooring helped turn our garage, which was a pain point in our home, into kind of a multifunctional space where I can work out with my Peloton, and the boys [10- and 13-yearold stepsons] play pickle ball, even

Sustainability is a buzzword across industries. How does it play a part for your company? There’s so much ocean plastic, and it’s become a hot topic. One box of our product contains the equivalent of 492 recycled water bottles. To cover an average two-car garage, our flooring will contain approximately 4,000 recycled bottles that would otherwise end up in a landfill. n

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Well Suited P38

Octavius Terry is a walking billboard for his creative designs, whether it’s an elaborate, red floral tux or graphic poncho pullover.

Atlanta-born and -based fashionista Octavius Terry has designed clothes for everyone from Ariana Grande to Mary J. Blige. Photo: Elvis Piedra

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead 





Jill Becker

Fashion designer Octavius Terry’s career all started with a simple pillow


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Elvis Piedra


hen Tarell Alvin McCraney was announced as one of the winners of the Best Adapted Screenplay for the movie Moonlight at the Academy Awards in 2017, Octavius Terry was at home watching the ceremony from his Atlanta living room. As McCraney proudly strode off the stage with his statue, host Jimmy Kimmel announced to the audience and the world that the custom three-piece, cream-colored brocade suit McCraney was sporting was the “best tuxedo of the night.” That’s when Terry’s phone began to light up—he had designed that very one-of-a-kind tuxedo. That suit now sits on a mannequin outside a second-floor conference room of the Art Institute of Atlanta’s Sandy Springs campus, where Terry serves as the fashion design program director. “It’s a huge role,” says AIA Dean of Academic Affairs Max Shangle of Terry’s position at the school, which covers everything from shaping the curriculum to bringing in big-name speakers for panels and seminars. “Atlanta isn’t a traditional fashioncentric location like New York or Los Angeles,” says Terry. “But when I speak to the students, I tell them that this is a safe place and to hold their heads up. And I assure them they can have as much job and [financial] stability as a doctor or lawyer.” A “Grady baby,” Terry was born and raised in Atlanta. After high school, he attended Georgia Tech on a track scholarship, becoming an All-American hurdler and making the U.S. Olympic team in 1997 before breaking his foot and retiring from the sport several years later. After college,

Terry worked as a wealth manager for several major financial institutions, which led him to Los Angeles at one point. He had a knack for the job and was very successful, but after 11 years in the corporate world, he decided it was time to make a change. Wanting to explore his creative side, he took a class on how to sew a pillow at a Joann fabric store. That pillow soon turned into sweatshirts, which caught the eye of celebrities such as singer Miley Cyrus. Next, a pic of Queen Latifah wearing one of his custom jackets made its way onto a celeb gossip site. After graduating with two degrees from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in 2013, Terry presented his first collection to the world; it went viral and got the attention of Ariana Grande, who had him design costumes for one of her videos.

He’s since created clothes for everyone from Mary J. Blige and Demi Lovato to Karamo Brown and Nick Cannon, some of whom he met through his husband, Jamal Sims, an LA-based director and choreographer who’s worked on films such as Hairspray and Alladin. After getting married, along with 32 other couples, on live TV at the Grammys in 2014, they donned ornate all-white tailcoat tuxedos designed by Terry, and Terry found his fashion niche. Shortly thereafter, the couple launched GROOM Official, focusing on bespoke men’s wedding attire. Sims and Terry have recently “uncoupled,” and the company has been renamed Octavius Marsion, but they are still “great friends” and work together. In fact, Sims co-produced and directed the launch of Terry’s second collection, which took place at the

Art Institute in March. Terry is also expanding the company to be more of a lifestyle brand and include items such as bags, eyewear and fedoras. He has since closed his LA studio and is working from the basement of his home in Mechanicsville, which he shares with his French bulldog, Gucci. Terry is a walking billboard for his creative designs, whether it’s an elaborate, red floral tux or graphic poncho pullover. “I don’t want to be onedimensional,” says the self-proclaimed “country boy from Atlanta” who was voted best dressed in high school. “You have to be bold, authentic and inspiring.” Mission accomplished! n





The floor, ceiling, wall and windows are blank canvases. Create a mood, hint at something, tease a little or try a hassle-free room makeover.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



Tan Booster Bali Cacao Tanning Oil SPF 15 ($22.95) If you’re determined to amp up your tan, this cacao and coconut-enriched oil both protects (SPF 15) and boosts your color instantly for a bronze glow before you even step outside. The plant-based body oil contains some organic ingredients and is both cruelty-free and vegan.

On-The-Go Touch Ups

Ulta Beauty

SETZ Mineral Sunscreen Powder ($5.99 for 8 pack) It’s important to reapply sunscreen throughout exposure to ensure your protection is current. These single-use packs of powdered, oxybenzone-free mineral sunscreen are perfect to keep in the car or beach bag for a touch-up. Each 100% recyclable “blotter” absorbs excess oil with powdered zinc oxide, and the non-greasy formula helps set makeup and “mattify” your face, even if you’re sweaty. CVS


Jennifer Bradley Franklin

As spring temperatures climb, most of us will be looking for opportunities to be outside. Sun protection is vital year-round because we’re exposed to UV rays even when the sun isn’t fully out, and now is the perfect time to refresh your sun protection routine. This mini guide has you covered from hair to skin.

Strand Protection Coola Organic SPF 30 Scalp & Hair Mist ($26) Give your hair and scalp some TLC and sun protection with this vegan, 70% organic, formula. It’s loaded with good-for-your-mane ingredients such as nourishing monoi oil and provitamin B5 (both have a “dry” feel, so there’s no oily residue). Plus, it’s water-resistant for 80 minutes. Spritz the pleasant salted-sage scent on to keep your scalp from burning and your hair color from fading under UV rays. Ulta Beauty

Under-Eye Shield Complexion Saver Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen ($30)

Earth-Friendly Screen Bare Republic Mineral SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Spray ($14.99) “Reef-safe,” a term popping up on sunscreen bottles, typically means the product doesn’t contain oxybenzone or octinoxate, two common UVblocking agents found to cause harmful coral bleaching in our oceans. This reef-safe mineral spray is lightweight, packed with non-nano zinc oxide for broad-spectrum coverage and contains antioxidant-rich grape and carrot seed oils for gentle hydration. The coconut mango scent is beachy-fresh. Target


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Even if your face makeup contains some level of sun protection, experts agree that a dedicated sunscreen is an important step to stave off sun damage and premature aging. This sheer SPF 30, derived from 100% non-nano zinc, includes hydrating sugarcane-derived squalane and cooling waterlily. Wear it underneath foundation or on its own for a dewy complexion. Sephora

SUPERGOOP! Bright-Eyed 100% Mineral Eye Cream SPF 40 ($36) The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of your face, so gentle products work best to treat and protect it. Not only does the formula offer SPF 40 protection, this daytime eye cream is formulated with probiotics and caffeine to combat dark circles and puffiness by brightening and smoothing the under-eye area. It also contains wild butterfly ginger flower, an ingredient purported to offer protection against damage caused by blue light (from screens). This clean product is an ideal primer for eye makeup. Sephora

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Interior Design Atlanta | New York 617.833.7244


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Above: Forme Studio’s annual charity event for Girls on the Run, encourages supporting young women in the community. Left: Camp Gladiator’s mission is to positively impact as many lives as possible.


Above: Life Time Fitness Foundation works with school nutrition programs to promote healthy foods and habits.

These area fitness studios give back to the community


good cardio workout is certainly good for your ticker, but what’s even better for your heart health? Combining a sweat session with doing good for others. The Buckhead area has no shortage of fitness studios that give back to the community. Here are a few that we heart—and hope we can all get back to ASAP. STUDIO: CAMP GLADIATOR a 4-week pop-up workout program held at parks including Lynwood Park and Blackburn Park CAUSE: “CG Gives” supports under-

served youths and promotes health and wellness programs for lowincome communities throughout the country, including here in Atlanta. Camp Gladiator Regional Director and Trainer Brandon Hall says, “We’ve fed the homeless and collected blankets and jackets for St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church. Atlanta has a huge homeless population. We are willing to do anything to help those who are less fortunate.” HOW TO CONTRIBUTE: Camp Gladiator fans and any volunteers who would like to help are encouraged to participate in upcoming give-back events. Call or check the website for future happenings.

#TURNitForward participants after an event at Big Sky in Buckhead.

CAUSES: Sandy Springs’ Turn Studio

hosts #TURNitForward charity cycling classes and HIIT workouts upon request, and all proceeds go to a nonprofit cause. Before Turn opened in 2018, it raised more than $10,000 with seven different #TURNitForward events around Atlanta. To date, Turn has raised funds for Make-A-Wish Georgia, ALS, LLS, A Cure in Our Lifetime, American Kidney Fund, Ovarian Cycle, Furkids, Wake for Warriors and more. HOW TO CONTRIBUTE: Anyone may get involved if a cause resonates. Email to learn about hosting or participating in a ride. Turn Studio 6405 Blue Stone Road, Suites 220 & 230 Sandy Springs 30328 678.515.3122

Various locations.



A luxury athletic club in Sandy Springs CAUSE: The company’s Life Time

An indoor cycling and strength studio in Sandy Springs

Foundation partners with schools to help kids get more nutritious meals.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

For example, the Buford City Schools is one of Life Time’s local partners. Life Time raised funds for an expert assessment of the district’s school nutrition program, resulting in a menu that is 80% free from trans fats and hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, hormones, antibiotics and much more. HOW TO CONTRIBUTE: Make a donation or recommend a school district for grant consideration through the foundation’s website, Life Time Fitness 5580 Roswell Road Sandy Springs 30342 404.257.0900

STUDIO: ACTIVE SOL YOGA A yoga studio in Buckhead CAUSES: Over the years, Active Sol

Yoga has made monetary contributions to area performance artists by hosting donation classes in their honor. The studio has also provided free rehearsal space to dancers and donated ticket sales from performances to various artists. Jillian Mitchell founded Active Sol as a way to keep running her professional dance troupe, Kit Modus, the resident company at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. However, she also wanted to give back to the arts community at large. “I recognized that creating a new arts organization also creates a continual need for funding. One way to alleviate that was to gener-


Nicole Letts

ate a revenue stream. I decided to purchase a business and wound up with a yoga studio,” she says. Active Sol’s proceeds go back to Kit Modus as well as to other art-driven groups around the city. HOW TO CONTRIBUTE: Attend classes, volunteer and rent the space, which is available for parties and photoshoots, too. Active Sol Yoga 200 Bennett St. N.W. Atlanta 30309 404.236.9642

STUDIO: FORME STUDIOS A barre studio in Peachtree Hills CAUSES: Forme donates to Girls on

the Run ATLANTA, Lost-n-Found Youth, St. Pius X Catholic High School and Christ the King School, among others. “We want to support the next generation of women. It’s important that these girls get the chances that we didn’t have as kids and that they grow up without having to feel second rate because they are female. We want girls to run the world,” says Owner Donna Burke. HOW TO CONTRIBUTE: Participate in Forme’s annual events such as Good4Girls, a cardio dance event held each fall that benefits Girls on the Run. Forme Studios 365 Peachtree Hills Ave. N.E., Suite 204 Atlanta 30305 404.668.1947 n


Caroline Beckman’s personal health battles led her to launch Nouri, a probiotics brand with an innovative, science-backed delivery system.

NOURI Available at Whole Foods: Buckhead 77 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.324.4100 Chamblee 5001 Peachtree Blvd. Atlanta 30341 470.552.0750 Sandy Springs 5930 Roswell Road Atlanta 30328 404.236.0810

ting sick far too often. I realized that 70%—some say 80%—of your immune system is located in your gut. Gut health is the cornerstone on which the rest of your day-to-day health is built. I looked at how we could create better solutions for a new generation within this category.


PRODIGY Nouri Founder Caroline Beckman is a wellness industry rising star STORY:

Jennifer Bradley Franklin


hen you hear that 26-yearold Nouri Founder Caroline Beckman is taking on the $59 billion gut health industry—where top competitors include behemoths such as Clorox, Procter & Gamble and Nestle—it’s tempting to fixate on her youth. She was only 18 when she joined the company that built Suja Juice, where she ultimately served as V.P. of special projects. After battling her own health struggles, she connected with a team of top scientists and investors to develop a probiotic encapsulated


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

in plant-based omega oils with the goal of a more reliable delivery and results. Beckman spent 2018 laying the foundation for the brand (named for an Arabic word for “light”), moved to Buckhead in 2019, and this year, Nouri’s three formulas— Digestive Health, Women’s Health, Weight Health ($40 for a 30-day supply)—became available in Whole Foods nationwide. Regardless of her age, the energetic entrepreneur is making waves. Here, we learn more about what drives her.

Were you always interested in business? I grew up curious, so it’s not surprising I’d be an entrepreneur. While I was generally interested in business, I went to college confused about what to do. The first couple of weeks at the University of San Diego, I joined with the founding employees of Suja, a cold pressed juice company. Helping start that business back in 2011 and 2012 was the first thing I did professionally. It was a good time in the healthy beverage market, and we grew the business quickly. [The company sold a 30% stake to Coca-Cola for $90 million in 2015.] I learned that I loved business and advancing consumer health. How did you decide to pursue developing probiotics? I had some immune battles myself. I lost a ton of energy and was get-

What makes Nouri different from the many other products? Our biggest differentiator is the delivery, [so consumers] see results sooner and have more effective, reliable results. Most probiotics don’t survive the trip through your stomach to make it to the intestines where they do their best work. We found a way to encapsulate probiotics within omega oils, so it’s a two-in-one capsule. It delivers double as much bacteria [versus most others on the market] where it needs to go. The second big differentiator is the clean label. We stand firmly on traceability and the clarity of what’s in the product. The label shows you where the bacteria came from, so you can make [an informed] decision. What’s your personal wellness routine when you’re home in Buckhead? I try to focus on spiritual, mental and physical wellness. I’m involved at Passion City Church, a great, diverse group of people. I’m a morning person, and I take [at least an] hour of quiet time every day, reading and writing. From a physical standpoint, I love boxing. I live across from Panthéon, an awesome local gym, and I train [with CEO Ben Duvall] most days. n


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May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



CRAB404 Crab404, located in the heart of the perimeter off of 285 Roswell Rd exit, opened in September 2019. Our food is fresh from the sea and ready to serve, straight from the Gulf of Mexico. Crab404 offers a laid back atmosphere with a full service bar and TV’s. The dining area can host up to 100 customers, with a view of the award-winning kitchen. Reservations recommended. 4969 Roswell Road, Atlanta 30342  l 770.457.7161 l


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May 2020 | Simply Buckhead







In Their Shoes P48

Meet the Past historical interpreters bring history to life at the Atlanta History Center.

“I am actually acting out history. I get to live the lives of these people.” —Kate Kovach May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



Left: Damian Lockhart performs a monologue in front of the Texas locomotive.

Above and below: Kate Kovach portrays a variety of characters in historic homes, in the galleries and at special events.

In Their Shoes Meet two historical interpreters who bring history to life at the Atlanta History Center


ucked behind the skyscrapers of Buckhead, Meet the Past historical interpreters at the Atlanta History Center immerse visitors in history. Dressed in period clothing, they recreate everyday life and events from the past. For Kate Kovach and Damian Lockhart, the job allows them to combine their love of acting and history. “The interpreters are so valuable, especially with our school groups,” says Howard Pousner, the center’s manager of media relations, of the 35 part-time interpreters on property. “They make strong first impressions about the Atlanta History Center and history in general, and often those first impressions are long-lasting.” Kovach has worked at the center since 2014, following a year-long volunteer assignment combating human trafficking around the world. She landed in Atlanta because of its strong anti-trafficking presence. Kovach, who has a theater and


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

performance studies degree from Kennesaw State University, enjoys her work at the center as she pursues her acting career. “I am studying historical ritual and culture, as well as the performative aspects of it. I am actually acting out history. I get to live the lives of these people,” says Kovach. Lockhart also has a theater and performance studies degree with a minor in African and African Diaspora studies from KSU. “I’ve always loved African history,” says Lockhart, who has worked at the center since 2015. “But working here, I’ve grown to love a wider range of history.” Outside of the center, he pursues acting, directing and producing as a freelancer. Interpreters play the roles of historians and educators as well as actors. As part of the hiring process, candidates do a “cold” read of a previously performed monologue. Kevin Edmiston, the center’s education manager, says an acting background is preferred, but it isn’t the most im-


Amanda Morris

portant quality of an interpreter. “The person must have passion,” he says. Throughout the week, interpreters portray multiple characters based on actual people from history. Lockhart might one day guide a school tour as a young 1963 activist, and the next day work in the gallery as Denmark Mitchell, a journalist from the postReconstruction era (1863-1877). Likewise, Kovach, alternates between roles, portraying Celeste, the wife of a slave owner, at the Smith Family Farm or a student in a Civil Rights sit-in. “I love the student because I’m portraying someone who has since become a friend of mine,” says Kovach of Joan C. Browning, the inspiration for the student character. The now 78-year-old was one of the original Freedom Riders in Albany, Georgia, who protested for civil rights during the 1960s. “She came and saw our tour and said it was so much like the actual experience.” The actors also play roles in special

events, where, for instance, visitors learn what African Americans went through during the complex times at the end of slavery. During an event like this, interpreters may act in performances including “Order of Freedom,” written by award-winning playwright Addae Moon, the director of performance-based interpretation at the center. Lockhart explains that it’s important for interpreters to be in tune with their audiences and understand that each visitor comes in with a different background and point of view. “We have to read people to know if the person wants to have a real discussion and to learn about the history,” says Lockhart. “The kids ask the best questions.” n ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.814.4000

Katie Jones, Buckhead Art & Company




Buckhead resident and artist Richard Webb paints lifelike versions of classic cars.

Buckhead painter Richard Webb marries art and automobiles


ichard Webb arrives at our interview at Buckhead Art & Company wearing a classic dress shirt with a sporty twist: it’s dotted with tiny embroidered cars. “From my kids,” he beams. “I get something car-related for every holiday.” Webb is a 71-year-old Buckhead resident and artist who has merged his lifelong interest in automobiles with his passion for art. He studied painting as an undergraduate at Pratt Institute and later a graduate at Florida State University, but he didn’t fully commit to being an artist until he retired from a career in advertising. In fact, his children didn’t even know the extent of his talent until recently. “In 40 years, they never saw me pick up a paint brush,” he says.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Retirement drove Webb to revive his passion for painting. “I was bored with nothing to do, and I couldn’t stand retirement. After about a year, through my wife Betty’s suggestion, I picked up a brush for entertainment.” She encouraged him to paint what he loved: cars. After all, he has owned more than 370 automobiles in his lifetime. “Cars were always a part of my life, whether buying, selling or collecting. It was only natural that if I was going to get back into painting, I was going to paint cars.” In 2013, Webb transitioned from full-time retiree to full-time artist. As a classically trained grid artist, Webb captures the intricate details of cars, from their glistening surfaces to their textured oxidations, with incredible precision. Inch by inch (literally), Webb sketches his subject on wood panels. “Being able to replicate an

image and then being able to control that replication through scale was the natural, easy way for me to learn,” he says. Once his subject is gridded, Webb masterfully layers acrylic paint and, where appropriate, other materials such as sand, modeling paste and epoxy to bring the cars to life. This attention to detail is best seen in his auto-oxidation series, which is centered on car rust. “When you blow rust up, it’s very textured; there’s no flat surface. It has to do with the enamel paint used in old cars. The paint was embedded with all of these colors. Sunlight breaks them down, so if that old car sat out in the sun all of its life, the color breakdown is faster. The result is unique and really special colors that aren’t just standard rust red.” Through his strokes, Webb depicts the beauti-


Nicole Letts

ful side of rust, something that might be viewed as unsightly. “I call it nature’s abstraction,” he says. Much like cars themselves, Webb’s work is grand and lifelike. Each painting evokes movement and spurs excitement and awe, which, for Webb, is the entire point. “Everybody’s got a memory about a car. [Cars] are all such a part of our lives. What I try to do is bring that memory out, force it into shape and put it in front of you.” n

BUCKHEAD ART & COMPANY 288 Buckhead Ave. N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.883.3670

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead 



Real-Life as Inspiration

REDHEAD IN A BLUE CONVERTIBLE is available at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon, where it retails for about $16. STORY:

H.M. Cauley

Sandy Springs author draws on family experiences for his first novel


ark Twain is credited with telling aspiring authors, “Write what you know.” For years, legions of writers have debated not only if it was Twain who uttered that adage (some credit Hemingway) and whether the advice was meant to be taken literally. For his first novel, Ivan Scott decided to take the suggestion to heart. The Sandy Springs resident tapped into his wife’s real-life experiences and drew on his favorite local locations to create the romantic comedy Redhead in a Blue Convertible. “The character of Sarah is based almost 100% on my wife, Kim, who happens to be a redhead,” says Scott. “And she’s OK with it. She’s even called me out for some things I didn’t get right.” Scott’s fictional story parallels


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

the devastating effect a corporate merger and downsizing had on Kim’s marketing career. “When new management phased out her position, I saw what it did to her,” says Scott. “She went through a stretch where her sense of self-worth was low, and she didn’t think anyone would want to hire her again.” Scott’s wife, a Marist and Georgia Tech grad with deep Atlanta roots, worked through the emotional upset of downsizing and discovered people did want to hire her: She’s now a chief marketing officer who “rebounded nicely,” says Scott. He had his own challenges trying to get the book published. “I sent it to 303 agents before I finally ended up doing it myself last August,” he says. With those experiences as inspira-

tion, Scott crafted a similar story of a female doctor who hits a career nadir only to work her way out of disappointment and despair, and to reestablish her life. “I wanted to write about someone who overcame adversity—and who rebounded like my wife, who discovered people did want to hire her,” says Scott. “A lot of the feedback I’ve gotten is that seeing this character rebound gives people hope. That’s the target I wanted; I want readers to be inspired.” Buckhead also plays a key role as the novel’s backdrop. Scott, who grew up in Knoxville, considers Atlanta his adopted hometown, and he wanted to include his favorite locations in the story. “I came here in 1990 when I was 23, when I felt like a young boy, so

this is really the city I grew up in,” he says. “I have special memories of family, friends and major life moments here. When I go back and read about these places in the book, it’s like falling in love all over again with Atlanta.” Readers follow Doctor Sarah as she drops by The St. Regis Atlanta for tea, has dinner at The Southern Gentleman and grabs a meal at the OK Cafe, where Scott and his wife had their first date. One spot that doesn’t turn up in the story is Georgia Tech, where Scott’s day job is working in video production for the campus TV station. Though it’s not writing novels, it’s not very different, he says. “At work, I’m telling stories using video, audio and graphics,” he says. “I just love to tell stories.” n




Entertainers, athletes, authors, chefs, advocates, entrepreneurs—all these and more have graced the first decade of Simply Buckhead covers, representing the range of ways people live and work well in Buckhead and beyond. This issue, we catch up with 10 memorable faces from the past 10 years to see how their careers, families, homes and perspectives have changed. Not all live in Buckhead now, but the Buckhead area still lives in all of them as they blaze their unique trails. STORY: Michael

Jacobs May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



July/August 2013, Buckhead Nightlife Then & Now


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

NBAE/Getty Images


asketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins’ place in Atlanta sports history is set in bronze, like the larger-than-life statue of “The Human Highlight Film” outside State Farm Arena since 2015. But at age 60, the longtime face of the Atlanta Hawks as a player, game analyst and vice president of basketball isn’t sitting on the bench. “I’m having more fun now than I have in a long time,” he says, though with moderation. For the July/August 2013 cover story on “Buckhead Nightlife Then & Now” he told Simply Buckhead that he frequented such nightclubs as Limelight and Rupert’s during his playing days; now he prefers Buckhead Life restaurants Chops Lobster Bar and Kyma for a night out. He has cut beef back to twice a month in favor of fish, chicken and all the vegetables he can get, feeding his love of grilling and experimental cooking. Living with diabetes, he has modified his workouts, although he says he still runs a mile or two a day. “I’m all about health care,” Wilkins says. “I love finding and developing a way to help people help themselves and have more options on how they deal with their health.” He has worked with hospitals, diabetesfocused nonprofits and other health research organizations. He chairs the board of KultureCity, whose focus is accommodating the sensory needs of people with autism. “We do a lot of other things to help people live a much more carefree life and feel like they can function in society without a ‘woe is me’ attitude,” Wilkins says, explaining that KultureCity helps people hurdle obstacles and “keep moving.” He’s deeply involved in wheelchair basketball because of his youngest daughter JoJo, a

STILL SOARING AT 60 DOMINIQUE WILKINS EXTENDS HIS DOMINANCE TO NONPROFITS AND PODCASTS tween who showed in a viral video from their backyard court in August that spina bifida doesn’t hurt her shooting touch. She and teen brother Jacob, whom Wilkins says will be a special basketball player, are the last of seven children living in Conyers with their divorced dad. He has four other daughters and a son, Isaiah, who played pro basketball in Poland this year. Wilkins’ role as a Hawks vice president keeps him involved with the team’s alumni and community endeavors, such as the construction of public basketball courts, and gives him a courtside view of the development of a young team led by star guard Trae Young. “Nobody wants to see this team win more than me,” Wilkins says. His love for the franchise extends to Tony Ressler and the rest of the group that bought the team in 2015.

“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” Wilkins says. “Our total ownership group is made up of some of the most wonderful people you’ll ever meet.” Those owners include entrepreneur Jesse Itzler, a guest on one episode of the podcast, The Dominant Ones, Wilkins launched last fall. Athletes, actors and others visit Wilkins’ home to share stories of struggles and successes, and discuss what dominance means to them. A bonus episode features Andrew Yang, who talks about universal basic income, Martin Luther King Jr., children with disabilities and the NBA after a pickup basketball game with Wilkins during a presidential campaign stop in Atlanta. “You’re a class act,” Yang told Wilkins. “As awesome as a basketball player as you are and were, you’re a better human being.” n

What from the past decade are you most proud of?

I’m able to stay healthy and keep myself trim and slim because of having diabetes. A lot of people lose faith in themselves and let themselves go, so I’m really happy, especially since in the last few years I’ve stepped up my care with diabetes. I’m able to still feel and look pretty young, I think. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself still involved with the Hawks. They’ll probably have me put beside my statue when I finally fade away. I just feel like there’s some business I’m just getting started.


June 2014: Buckhead’s Most Intriguing Mansions

a home developer, they didn’t change the layout of the family compound, where a son in his 20s, a son who’s a high school senior and, until recently, a niece have lived with them. They spend most of their time in the library and the kitchen. They eat in the dining room and play in the ballroom, which has a pingpong table when it isn’t hosting arts events and benefits. “When we have the next generation singing in the house, I just sit in the library, and I cry because it’s exactly where we wanted it to be,” Turner says. As the third woman to own the house, Turner says her only significant change was moving the

laundry room from the kitchen area to what was a maid’s room by the second-floor bedrooms. “The house has such a strong personality that I don’t fight it. It looks good no matter what you do,” Turner says. “I love this house. I want the house to be used.” She brings the same emphasis on beautiful, functional design to her clients. She sees a house as a business in which every part should work for the family. “You’re not pigeonholed into one look. You can do everything,” Benecki tells her. “I just think I’m fearless,” says Turner, who is at the helm of a 15-person firm. In addition to the main office

in Buckhead, she has a location in Charleston, South Carolina, and Big Sky, Montana. She’s also opening in Rosemary Beach, Florida. Her design diversity will be showcased in a book coming out next year, a project that developed from her intention to feature the Pink Castle. Now she hopes a book about her storied home will be her second book. “Every day I pinch myself,” Turner says about living in the mansion. “All of our focus is on making sure that this house continues into the next hundred years and that it can be enjoyed by our family and friends and the community.” n

What from the past decade are you most proud of?

Building the business from scratch; we’ve worked really hard. I’m also proud of what we’ve done with this house. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see the business continuing to grow and being a grandmother. I love what I do. I don’t see myself ever giving it up.

Mali Azima


elanie Turner had a vision of her daughter marrying in the ballroom of the Pink Castle, the Buckhead estate she and husband Stan Benecki bought in 2013, but Cydney Davis wed Jeffrey Mitchell at a villa on Italy’s Amalfi coast in 2018. Turner says her painstakingly restored 1923 house designed in the 16th century Italian Baroque style “wasn’t Italian enough” for her daughter. Instead, a niece from New York had the first family wedding in the house on Pinestream Road, though Turner held a post-wedding reception for her daughter in the great room and hopes to hold a baby shower for her there in May. The Pink Castle is perfect for such celebrations because “the house is almost like another family member,” Turner says. “It’s got such a soul to it. We take very good care of her.” Turner was newly settled in the house when they—Turner and the Pink Castle—appeared together on the June 2014 cover of Simply Buckhead, “Buckhead’s Most Intriguing Mansions.” The CalhounThornwell Estate, also known as Tryggveson, showed its history, its neglect from several years of vacancy and its potential. Nearly six years later, the Pink Castle has a new roof, new landscaping, new plumbing, a new electrical system and central air conditioning for the first time. The walls were redone. The murals were restored. The planters outside were re-created. And the pink of the stucco, used by the original architects to make the house look 300 years old, was preserved. Though Turner has run an interior design firm since 2010, and Benecki is


What from the past decade are you most proud of?

I’m really proud of the Kale Me Crazy concept, how sustainable it is. Also I feel grateful for the Atlanta market to understand the concept and support it, and show that we were ready for it, and it’s not just about eating chicken wings and doughnuts.


oi Shlomo brought a West Coast concept to Atlanta when he launched self-serve frozen yogurt chain Yogli Mogli in 2009, and he acknowledges people wondered whether he was pushing the California-to-Georgia approach too far four years later when he opened the first Kale Me Crazy juice bar in Inman Park. “I just knew the market was ready,” says Shlomo, who was meeting his own desire for non-GMO, fast-casual dining. “People want to eat like their grandparents used to. People want to connect with their roots.” With more than 20 locations, including 15 in the Atlanta area, Shlomo has shown that Kale Me Crazy feeds a hunger for organic smoothies, cold-pressed juices, wraps and other healthy food. His experience with Yogli Mogli, which he sold in 2014, helps him choose franchisees who can’t be absentee owners. “This is not like buying stocks or buying real estate,” he says. “The business needs their attention.” He’s taking his superfood cafe into the heart of health food culture by opening in southern California, starting with the fourth company-owned location in West Hollywood. Just as he lives near his Buckhead location on Peachtree Road, he hopes to find a home in Los Angeles and split time between the cities. He embraces the chance to prove his recipes against the competition in LA, where one advantage will be size. The West Hollywood cafe is slightly larger than the Buckhead store, while healthy eateries in Los Angeles typically are smaller because of the higher rents. “Most places are either a smoothie bar, a juice bar, a poké bar or an açai bar,” Shlomo says. “We are not. We are a one-stop shop for all of these.”


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

I definitely see myself married with kids. I want to keep learning and getting better at business and my personal life. I really want to start mentoring more. I was really focused on opening my own businesses; I think the second half of my life I want to focus more on mentoring other people on how to start theirs.


Sara Hanna

July/August 2015, Buckhead’s Rising Stars

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

ROI SHLOMO SHOWS A SUSTAINABLE KNACK FOR SERVING HEALTHY APPETITES He expanded and refined Kale Me Crazy’s menu for nearly two years after opening, and he continues to tweak the offerings, such as adding avocado and salmon toast and 2-ounce juice shots. By the time Shlomo was one of “Buckhead’s Rising Stars” on Simply Buckhead’s July/August 2015 cover, the mix of food and drink represented “our true identity,” he says. Shlomo maintains the Kale Me Crazy lifestyle, working out five times a week, juicing and eating

at the cafe. But his identity since he was a child in Israel has been “entrepreneur”—in part, he says, because “I’d be the worst employee.” He never went to college but says he understands business and hasn’t been afraid to fail while trying at least 50 ventures over the years. He is bringing Kale Me Crazy to the site of one failure, Houston, where he moved at 21 from Israel to operate an ice cream truck. It was supposed to be a three-month gig to make money for some post-

military travel. Instead, when he hated that job, he took a bus to New York, dabbled in street vending and decided to stay in America. At 41, Shlomo remains focused on Kale Me Crazy’s growth while looking for the next food trend and dreaming of opening a fine-dining Israeli restaurant in his adopted hometown. “Atlanta is such a great market for start-ups because the cost of running businesses here is much cheaper, but the clientele is really good.” n

March/April 2013, Buckhead Insider’s Guide

What from the past decade are you most proud of?


uckhead native Megan Hayes has found a new film home on a journey back and forth across the country. Her acting career was Catching Fire from her work in the Hunger Games sequel when she appeared on the “Buckhead Insider’s Guide” cover of Simply Buckhead’s March/ April 2013 issue. “If you’re going to die on camera,” she says, “in Josh Hutcherson’s arms in Hawaii is a really good way to go.” She left Atlanta for Los Angeles in July 2013, after her father, a Southern Baptist preacher, died on her planned departure date earlier that month. She struggled but found occasional good roles, such as a customer in Zola, a buzzed-about indie at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. A highlight came in 2017 while she was working as a nanny for a producer on the Hulu series Future Man, starring Hutcherson. Hayes provided the on-set voice for a smart house that’s a combination of HAL9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey and Samantha in Her. She did so well that producers canceled plans to dub another voice in post-production. “LA is not an easy city if you’re a woman,” Hayes says. “I got told many times that a woman my age was too hard of a sell, or if they were interested in a woman my age, I didn’t have enough credits.” The now 46-year-old was even lying about her age at her agent’s insistence. “If they know I’m actually 7 years older, what are they going to do–roll out a coffin for me?” She returned temporarily in August when Atlanta’s Chipper Dog Productions, owned by her friends Dustin Lewis and Matt Colon, shot a 12-minute film she wrote, Perchance to Dream. Originally a stage actress, she then

Perchance to Dream, writing and directing. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself being a creator, an executive producer, writer and director of my own show. I would love to have my own production company that is doing my work but is also enabling other women to have their work produced. I’d be a voice for marginalized voices and provide an opportunity for other people. Probably call it Too Hard to Sell Productions.


ACTRESS MEGAN HAYES FINDS A NEW DREAM BEHIND THE CAMERA was cast in mid-October in Waffle Palace Christmas at the Horizon Theatre. When the show ended in December, she decided to stay. She officially made the move in January, albeit to “Buckhead adjacent” Smyrna because “who can afford to live in Buckhead anymore?” Perchance to Dream was a gamechanger because she directed for the first time. “Now all I want to do is write and direct and create my own content and give a voice to women over 40.” Shot in 2½ days in black and

white, Perchance stars Hayes and Lewis as middle-aged insomniacs who fall in love in the middle of the night. It pays homage to the romantic comedies of old Hollywood, especially Billy Wilder’s The Apartment. (Hayes named her rescue shih tzu, Baxter, for Jack Lemmon’s character in that 1960 film.) “I guess I would love to be a hybrid of Billy Wilder and Nora Ephron—yeah, that sounds good. I wouldn’t mind a splash of Goodbye Girl. I’m obsessed with that movie right now,” Hayes says.

While Perchance is being submitted to festivals, Hayes writes screenplays, auditions, occasionally teaches other actors and (coronavirus willing) works at Parish restaurant. “As a freelance and as an artist, you have to live 500 different lives,” says Hayes, but she dreams of developing scripts that aren’t about straight white men, coming-of-age girls or women whose main role is motherhood. “I’ve had quite a few people call my desire for women roles over 40 a passion project, but I don’t think that it needs to be a passion project. People want that,” Hayes says. “Just because it’s not the machine we’ve been feeding all these years doesn’t mean it’s something that doesn’t need to be seen and heard.” n

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



What from the past decade are you most proud of?

I come to work every day, and I’m so fortunate to have my own business. We’re fortunate that we’ve surrounded ourselves with good people, that we’re in a good community doing what we love and that we’ve met so many wonderful people over the years. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

November/December 2013, Pano + His Protégés

Hopefully we’ll have grown into our space here, and we’re supersuccessful.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Sara Hanna


istro Hilary chef-owner Hilary White uses one phrase repeatedly when talking about opening a French eatery in downtown Senoia at the end of 2017: “We’re starting over.” Some chefs are constantly on the move, whether changing kitchens, launching concepts or expanding proven brands, but not White. Fresh out of the Culinary Institute of America in 1995, she was hired at 103 West and worked her way up to become Buckhead Life’s first female executive chef (earning her a spot on Simply Buckhead’s November/ December 2013 cover with company founder Pano Karatassos and 12 of his other protégés). She then spent a decade nurturing her farm-to-table reputation running the kitchen at The Hil at Serenbe while husband Jim served as the general manager. When the Whites’ plan to operate Bistro Hilary as a companion to The Hil became a clean break with both the restaurant and Serenbe ownership, they brought most of the staff the chef refers to as “my kids” 26 miles south. The group includes Hilary’s mother, Sandy Pitsch, who leads the front-of-house team and prays for everyone at church before working brunch each Sunday. Half the staff moved a block away from Bistro Hilary when the Whites opened Italian eatery Jimmy Pomodoro’s in March 2019. Jim runs the restaurant, and Morgan Poorman, the bistro’s former sous chef, leads the kitchen with recipes Hilary developed. Jimmy Pomodoro’s fills the niche for a local, red-sauce joint, White says, while her bistro stands out for fine dining. In an era of celebrity chefs, food vlogs and upscale groceries, “Everyone’s a


CHEF HILARY WHITE AND HUSBAND JIM BRING A FRENCH BISTRO AND ITALIAN EATERY TO SENOIA foodie,” she says. “Why leave the small towns out of that?” Still, Bistro Hilary requires some customer education. White says she has twice systematically replaced French words with English ones on the menu. “Bistro food is comfort food. We try to have a range of foods at different price points,” she says. Noting a diner’s comment that beef Bourguignon is just beef stew, she adds, “Until you’ve tasted beef stew that’s made by someone that lives and breathes making stocks and sauces—my mother was an excellent cook, but her beef stew was nothing like my beef Bourguignon.” Aside from the stew, if you make

the hour-plus drive from the Buckhead area, White recommends her favorite dish on the menu, scallop casserole Coquilles St. Jacques, or a steak from the wood-fired grill. Brunch on a sunny Sunday offers the chance to enjoy the large brick patio out front, one of the features White likes best about her standalone location. Her deep farm relationships come through in seasonal specials. The key ingredients might be the oyster mushrooms from a tree that fell on a farmer’s house, the 100 pounds of strawberries she picked one morning after a farm owner tipped her off that the time was perfect or the

peaches gathered during a three-day safari through Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina to supplement Georgia’s bounty. “Fruit that hasn’t been refrigerated is something magical,” White says. After steady but not rapid business growth, she’s ready for The Walking Dead, shot in Senoia, to wrap up and clear the way for the construction of 30 to 40 homes within walking distance of the bistro. “We’re definitely on the early side of it,” White says of Senoia’s growth. “We know the people are coming. We just have to get to that point.” n




eff Hilimire once built businesses to sell them, but a search for purpose made him realize that he could make a difference. “I’m living in a system that continues to reward me, and I need to find ways to have a big impact for other people,” says Hilimire, who credits Leadership Atlanta in 2012 and 2013 with setting him on a new path. “The only regret I have in my career is not finding my purpose sooner,” he says. His embrace of that purpose by 2015 coincided with the shift of Dragon Army, which he cofounded in late 2013, from a maker of mobile games to a digital marketing agency. CEO Hilimire, now 44, says his army made games people downloaded and played, but monetization proved elusive. The firm’s expertise in gaming addictiveness, however, provided an opportunity. “There was a lack of agencies that focused on engagement,” he says. Dragon Army now creates e-commerce sites, apps and online strategies for companies such as Honey Baked Ham, Delta and ParkMobile. The 30-person firm retains an internal gaming studio at its” office building in the Old Fourth Ward, its second move since launching at Atlanta Tech Village and earning Hilimire recognition on Simply Buckhead’s January/ February 2014 cover as one of the “Pioneers on Peachtree.” “I want Dragon Army to be a forever company because I really want people to see you can have great success while also focusing on doing good,” he says. The firm aims to grow to 200 employees, allowing it to inspire more

happiness, do more work with nonprofits and thus prove Hilimire’s belief in capitalism as a positive force. Last summer, Dragon Army acquired two agencies, Sideways8 and Watchword Branding, to round out its digital offerings and add talent. Sideways8 CEO Adam Walker worked with Hilimire in 2015 to launch nonprofit 48in48, through which volunteers create websites for nonprofit organizations. Last year Hilimire and Watchword’s founder, Rachelle Kuramoto, created Ripples of Hope to provide nonprofit leaders

the type of mentorship available to for-profit entrepreneurs. In 2019 Hilimire published his first book, The 5-Day Turnaround, to drive awareness of Dragon Army and to spread knowledge of the principles of entrepreneurship. The main character, Will, is named after the protagonist of Hilimire’s favorite book, Pat Conroy’s The Lords of Discipline. His second book will address living with a purpose and making the most of each moment. In addition to running a business, writing blog posts and leading 48in48, Ripples of

Hope and anti-homelessness nonprofit Central Outreach and Advocacy Center, he reads three books a month, runs half-marathons, comes home by 4:30 p.m. most days and still gets eight hours of sleep a night. “Once I found my personal purpose, I spent time thinking about the big, core areas of my life, and I was able to get those down to three,” says the married father of five. Anything he does must fit one or more of those areas: family, Dragon Army and doing good. n  l

What from the past decade are you most proud of?

The success of 48in48. We’ve built well over 800 nonprofit websites in the last five years, which has helped all those nonprofits find more donors and volunteers. The impact of that I’ll never know. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would like Dragon Army to have both a thriving, growing digital agency and also have a thriving, growing game studio. I would hope that we are pointed to as an example of a company that has helped the Atlanta community, that has really made a positive impact in the city.

January/February 2014, Pioneers on Peachtree

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



September/October 2011, Off the Field (And in Your Backyard)


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Michael Moreland


hen Takeo Spikes saw his essay displayed in a University of Miami MBA class about five years ago, he feared he was an example of what not to do. Instead, the creative writing instructor praised the persuasive paper, then encouraged the retired NFL linebacker to do his own writing for a planned coffee-table book. The Georgia native earned his master’s in 2016 and released that book, Takeo Spikes Presents: Behind the Mask, in 2017. The first of a series, the book features Spikes’ interviews and photos of a dozen legendary linebackers. “They all played the same sport. They all spent an extensive amount of time in the locker room, but they all had a different story,” Spikes says. “They all had a different trial and tribulation that made them into the people they are today.” Featured on the “Off the Field” cover of the September/October 2011 issue of Simply Buckhead when he lived in Buckhead, Spikes retired from football in 2013 after 15 seasons. He worked with the NFL Network, NBC Sports and SiriusXM, and he provided commentary on weekly ACC football games. But the Behind the Mask brand defines who the 43-year-old Roswell resident is today. “Even though what I do is a passion project, now Behind the Mask is a business,” says Spikes, whose careful handling of his football money gives him career freedom. His media company includes Takeo Photography, which grew from a hobby to commercial shoots, and he plans to add documentaries. He and co-host Tutan Reyes, who played 10 years in the NFL as an offensive lineman and pursued his MBA with Spikes, launched the Behind the Mask Podcast at the start of

What from the past decade are you most proud of?

When I retired and moved here, I was proud of the fact that I was able to see her [daughter Jakai] grow from seventh grade all the way up now to getting out of Roswell High School.

TACKLING A MULTIMEDIA SECOND CAREER FOOTBALL STAR TAKEO SPIKES IS THRIVING WITHOUT A FACE MASK the 2019 football season. In Season 2 it has expanded from football players as guests to Olympic bobsledder Aja Evans and Married to Medicine star Quad Webb. Spikes is working on the second Behind the Mask book, highlighting running backs. “It’s not just a sports book. It’s life. It’s reality,” Spikes says. Off the field, he spends time with daughter Jakai, a Roswell High senior headed for his alma mater, Auburn, next year. He also serves as the Georgia point man for the Players Coalition, the nonprofit organization created by current and former NFL players in 2017 to work

toward equality and social justice. And he consults with teams and players to help them prepare for life after football by always emphasizing two F’s: focus and follow-through. “I never knew how much stress I was under until I retired. I was oblivious to it because I thought that’s how life was,” Spikes says. “When I retired, I walked away, and it was one of the first times I can remember exhaling.” A member of the Alabama and Georgia Sports Halls of Fame, Spikes has twice been on the ballot for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He says induction would validate a career that included two Pro Bowls, one

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

We’re creating award-winning documentaries. Top author, best seller. Syndicated podcast. That’s what I’m looking forward to accomplishing with Behind the Mask Media.

First Team All-Pro recognition, 13 years as a team captain and an unprecedented mid-career comeback from a torn Achilles tendon. His biggest obstacle could be the lack of team success: The Bengals, Bills, Eagles, 49ers and Chargers never made the playoffs while he was with them, and only Buffalo in 2004 had a winning record. “What drives me is I never rely on certain moments to be able to rest on my laurels. There is not one moment where I truly say I made it,” he says. “Every day I continue to grow. Every day I continue to learn.” n

Sara Hanna




January/February 2012, Live Well for Less

July/August 2015, Buckhead’s Rising Stars

September/October 2012, The International Issue




lark Howard hasn’t betrayed his thrifty reputation just because his first grandchild was born last fall. He bought a year’s worth of onesies on sale while oldest daughter Becca was six months pregnant, and he has stockpiled clearance-priced toys and puzzles. “I buy bargains for him, just like normal,” Howard says. “You are who you are, right?” Howard and wife Lane make regular Sunday drives from Buckhead to Dunwoody to visit the baby. “It’s the greatest. You have this kid that’s yours, but you’re not responsible,” he says. “I’m a bystander of what I experienced three times as a parent. This whole bystander thing is much better.” His grandson also is named Clark, though Jewish tradition frowns on naming a child after a living relative. Howard’s first thought on learning of the honor: “Am I dead?” Howard, who turns 65 in June, is very much alive despite a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2009 and a life-threatening interaction between prescriptions in 2017. Clark’s Christmas Kids marks its 30th year of providing gifts to foster children this year. Howard’s wallet wisdom is reaching more people than ever. It wasn’t long after he appeared on Simply Buckhead’s January/February 2012 “Live Well for Less” cover that he and Christa DiBiase, his radio show’s longtime executive producer, revised their operating plan. They decided their core product was information, not radio. That change in thinking freed the team to experiment with content delivery methods. Some haven’t worked, such as video on demand through cable TV; others are thriving, including podcasts. Howard had 18 people working on radio and television in 2012; now he has three. His online operations have expanded from two people to 34. “We follow the eyeballs,” he says. His radio show still airs on more than 200 stations, including WSB in Atlanta, and he appears daily in live and recorded TV segments. The message throughout his content, Howard says, is to “always live on less than what you make, no matter what. That makes all the other things possible.”   •  404.892.8227

ia Jackson was nearing her network television debut on Last Comic Standing when she appeared as one of “Buckhead’s Rising Stars” on Simply Buckhead’s July/August 2015 cover. She reached the semifinals of the competition, and the towering talent from the University of Georgia has since steadily climbed the stand-up ranks. “I want to be on a TV thing or something long enough for someone to say, ‘That’s Mia Jackson. I know her from this thing,’” she says. Montreal’s Just for Laughs Comedy Festival named her a “new face” in 2017, which helped her gain management. She spent much of 2018 and early 2019 opening for Amy Schumer, and she warmed up the crowd at Infinite Energy Arena when Ron White taped his most recent Netflix special. Jackson was featured on a 2018 episode of the Epix series Unprotected Sets that combined an interview with her stand-up, and a half-hour special she recorded in New Orleans aired on Comedy Central last November. She regularly headlines shows, performing 45 to 60 minutes instead of the 10 or 15 allotted to the opener or second act. The extra time enables her to tell stories, including the trials of being 6 feet tall, rather than just deliver rapid-fire setups and punchlines. Even as a headliner, a woman in stand-up faces extra heckling, Jackson says. After a college show, for example, some frat types told her, “You’re a woman, and our plan was to destroy the show. But we listened, and you were actually funny.” Ageism also is a problem for female comics, says Jackson, who would rather be known as “a grown adult with a good skin care routine” than discuss her age. “It doesn’t matter. Old dudes do comedy all the time.” A former Sandy Springs resident, she now splits time between New York and hometown Columbus, Georgia, when she isn’t on the road, but she enjoys performing in Atlanta. A show at Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theatre in December, for example, let her test a routine about her mom’s “top of the line” catchphrase while Mom was in the audience. Jackson recently toured from Washington to Florida, and North Carolina to Nevada, but one destination remains illusive: Australia, where her Epix special won her an unexpected surge of support.

ormer Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia has transitioned from a jersey to a suit without leaving the NBA. Pachulia spent half of his 16-year career with the Hawks but hit his professional peak by winning championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. He returned to the Warriors in August as a consultant, an intentionally vague job title that let Pachulia sample everything a pro basketball team does off the court, from scouting and coaching to broadcasting and running the business. “When you combine the experiences, it was pretty cool. There are so many dots to connect,” says Pachulia, 36. He lives in the San Francisco suburb of Hillsborough but still misses Atlanta, from its Southern friendliness to its large community of people who, like him, are from the other Georgia, the former Soviet republic in the Caucasus. He and wife Tika kept their house in Sandy Springs when he left the Hawks for Milwaukee in 2013, hoping to return someday to finish his career in Atlanta. “Atlanta is a special place. So many great things happened to me [there],” he says, from the births of his first three children to a physical faceoff with Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett in the playoffs in 2008 that established Pachulia as a tough guy who wouldn’t back down. “I’ll never forget that atmosphere,” he says of the super-charged environment inside Philips Arena. He even sees positives from his co-ownership of the Buckhead Bottle Bar, noted when he appeared on the September/October 2012 cover of Simply Buckhead, “The International Issue,” at the start of his eighth and final season with the Hawks. The bar failed within two years, but he enjoyed the experience and learned to be careful with his investments—and to stay away from the bar and restaurant business. Pachulia isn’t certain which NBA professional path he’ll pursue, but he rejects the travel and crazy hours of coaching. He prefers to spend time with his wife and their sons, ages 11 and 10, and daughters, 7 and 2. He dreams his sons will follow his size-17 footsteps to the NBA, but he doesn’t coach them, instead struggling not to be too obnoxious as a sideline parent. He credits his wife with helping him learn to be a better father, just as she enabled his long playing career. “We experienced so many great things together,” Pachulia says. “Without her, it’s hard to visualize that I ever could have done it.”

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



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A Thousand and One Nights of Persian Cuisine  P64

Family-friendly half-moon booths weave through Zafron's cozy dining room, and the scent of Persian aromatics make the vibe intimate and energizing.

Just what you're craving: Zafron's exquisitely prepared Middle Eastern cuisine, traditional old-world hospitality and reasonable prices.

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



A Thousand and One Nights of Persian Cuisine Timeless, traditional fare in the heart of Sandy Springs STORY:

Rebecca Cha


afron flew under my radar for years until recently when some foodie friends asked what I thought of it. I confessed I'd never been there, and they gasped in disbelief. "How have you missed it?" they cried. "It’s wonderful!" Embarrassed, I mumbled about it being "low profile,” or some such nonsense, but promised to go at the first opportunity. A wise decision. Zafron (Farsi for “saffron”) may not be on any “top 10 in Atlanta” lists, but to heck with those lists. As I discovered for myself over several visits, Zafron is a neighborhood gem that could easily be an every-night-of-the-week affair. We pulled up at “early bird” hours on a Saturday evening and found the parking lot already full. Families streamed in the front door, and we followed, entering a modest dining room packed with customers and conviviality. Walls of calming orange and red and air scented with Persian aromatics create a vibe that is intimate and energizing.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

Half-moon booths weave down the center with tables flanking either side. A gracious host led us to a cozy booth, and within minutes, complimentary stone oven-baked pita arrived along with a colorful sabzi plate—small bites of feta, cucumbers, mint and basil, radish, walnuts and olives. The crisp, light pita proved the perfect vehicle for our starters. The first was mirza ghasemi, a fire-roasted tomato and mashed eggplant dish blended with traditional spices. We found the silky texture winning and the eggplant flavor earthy and thoughtfully prepared, but my guest declared it “too smoky” after a bite or two. Thankfully, the second starter of muhammara had universal appeal. A generous portion of red bell pepper hummus with a soupçon of fiery heat, it was drizzled with a blood-red pomegranate glaze. We followed this up with a palatecleansing shirazi salad—crisp lettuces, seedless grapes, olives and crumbled feta served with a luscious mint and citrus vinaigrette. You can’t go to a Persian restaurant and not eat kabobs. There are many tempting

Focal point: Zafron's woodburning stone oven where pita is baked and served fresh throughout service.

choices, but this night, we had our hearts set on lamb. As the plant-based movement takes hold in Atlanta, it’s trickier to find lamb on menus, so if you’re a fan or save it for special occasions, Zafron is the place for you. They’ve nailed this dish, marinating it in yogurt and cardamom then grilling to mediumrare with a nice exterior char. Served with tangy shallot-yogurt sauce and aged basmati rice with lentils, raisins and advieh (Persian spice mix), it’s a perfect sharing plate. The verdict’s still out on desserts at Zafron, where the sweets are more East-meets-West than straight-up Persian. To wit: tiramisu. Yes, it was on the menu, and yes, we tried it. I know, I know. I hear all the purists in the room cry “foul!” but my justification (or rationalization) is this: Why else would they put it on the menu unless it was really good? It arrived pretty as a still life, with butter-colored cream, a thick dusting of cocoa powder and a dark chocolate straw and button for added panache. The mascarpone’s flavor was too subtle for my taste, but the espressosoaked ladyfingers were deliciously moist and bittersweet. We also ordered the more traditional pistachio roulade, a sponge cake filled with crème fraiche, mascarpone and a touch of rosewater. It was mildly sweet and studded

Left: The sabzi plate is a delightful starter and is—like the freshly baked pita—always complimentary. Below: Marinated in yogurt and cardamom then grilled to medium-rare, Zafron's savory lamb kabob is a menu must-order.

It may have missed the "top 10 in Atlanta" lists, but Zafron's an "everynight-of-the-week" affair in my book. Left: The grilled chicken skewer with basmati rice, raisins and pistachios is rich with traditional Persian flavors. Below: There's no better way to start a meal here than fresh pita and eggplant-rich mirza ghasemi.

with crunchy bits of pistachio, but since the rosewater flavor fades after a day or two, be sure to ask if the roulade is made that day. Our follow-up meal began with the “Zafron special”—not technically a special as it’s on the menu year-round—but the flavor is indeed special. Green chile chutney mixed with freshly chopped mango, blanched eggplant, cilantro and spices, it was a table favorite. We also ordered Zafron wings and an arugula salad. The meaty, marinated wings are skewered, cooked perfectly on the grill and served with a side of “spicy lemon hot sauce,” which, uncharacteristic of Persian cuisine, ran high on the Scoville scale. Thankfully, the wings were so good, the sauce was unnecessary. The cooling mid-meal salad was a welcome splash of green and artfully tossed with sweet dates, cherry tomatoes and diced beets, then dressed with a delightfully subtle sumac and

balsamic vinaigrette. Still eager for more, we opted for the fire-roasted salmon, which the server was happy to split for us. One of my favorite salmon dishes in recent memory, it was seasoned with lime and saffron, grilled to medium and plated with a yummy dill-fava basmati rice. Besides the delicious authentic fare, one of the best things about Zafron is that no matter how much we ordered—and it was always plenty—the bill seemed to creep up at a snail’s pace, causing me to check if they’d forgotten to add a dish or two. Zafron really is the best of traditional old-world dining and hospitality: reasonably priced, generous to a fault and masterful in technique, presentation and flavor. It’s guaranteed I won’t pass by Zafron as before without popping in to experience the magic all over again. n

ZAFRON RESTAURANT 236 Johnson Ferry Road N.E., Sandy Springs 30328 404.255.7402 Prices: starters: $5-$9; salads: $6-$9; wraps (lunch only): $12; entrees: $12-$32; sides and rice: $3-$7; desserts: $5-$7. Recommended: mirza ghasemi, muhammara, Zafron special, Zafron wings, arugula salad, shirazi salad, marinated lamb kabob with lentil-raisin basmati, fire-roasted salmon with dill-fava basmati, pistachio roulade. Bottom line: This neighborhood gem serves up fresh, authentic Persian/Iranian dishes with earnest old-world hospitality.

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead


D R I NKS Left: Snap peas are added to a Last Word at The Iberian Pig for a zingy and savory take they call Young Lady You’re Scaring Me. Right: The Select’s Bird of Paradise brings the garden to you, not just with infusions of chamomile and elderflower, but also with the bird-shaped vessel in which the drink is poured. Below: Elderflower liqueur is a delightful way to bring floral flavor to a cocktial. Kyma goes one step further with the addition of edible hibiscus.

Garden to Glass


Angela Hansberger



otanical tinctures, infusions and syrups have a long history of being restorative. Spring tonics, while medicinal in historic recipe books, are also a terrific way to bring the green flavors of the garden into a drink. It’s easy to get inspired by this enlivening time of year with everything lush and blooming. A clipping of fresh fronds here, a heady hint of floral petals there— bartenders incorporate these simple, beautiful ingredients into libations brimming with the essence and aroma of a garden. Sometimes they’re almost too pretty to drink—almost. Lime, snap pea, chartreuse—these aren’t just shades of green; they are ingredients in the verdant cocktail “Young Lady You’re Scaring Me” at The Iberian Pig. Bartender Stephen Saylor took the idea from the classic Last Word. His version is a mix of botanical gin, green chartreuse, fresh lime juice and housemade simple syrup infused with fresh peas. The use of pea simple


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

syrup was chef-inspired, he says. He twists pea tendrils around the glass for edible garnish. “As for the name, it was inspired by the title of a song ‘Young Lady You’re Scaring Me’ by Ron Gallo,” Saylor says. Add to the enchantment of the forest with an order of paperthin slivers of jamón Ibêrico de Bellota from pigs fattened on foraged acorns. Elderflower has grassy and lemony aromas reminiscent of the early days of summer. It comes from the elder tree, whose genus “sambuca” translates from Latin to “gift of the gods.” Its healing properties were known by ancient Greeks. At elegant Greek mainstay Kyma, elderflower liqueur and gin form the flavor foundation of the Morpheus cocktail. Fall under its hypnotic spell with the addition of lavender petals, lemon and an edible hibiscus flower bobbing in the sleek glass. In the 1920s, authors Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, gathered with other literary giants, artists and intellectuals at the outdoor cafe Le Select

in Paris. The Select in Sandy Springs is named in honor of the famous brasserie, serving French-influenced cuisine in an art deco atmosphere. The staff brings the outside to your table with their whimsical Bird of Paradise cocktail. Tapping into the beauty of the garden, chamomile-infused gin mingles with passion fruit, elderflower and fresh lime juice in the cutest bird-shaped glass. Mint and rosemary act as featherlike garnish. It’s as playful and fun as it is tropical and fresh. No matter what you order at The Garden Room, you’ll feel immersed in a full garden experience with cocktails inside this enchanting solarium. It’s an opulent, fantastical space richly layered with trees, ivy, flowers and tinkly chandeliers under a curved glass roof. Start off with a frothy pink Paradis Bramble, with cognac, Côtes du Rhône wine, blackberries, lemon and an egg white. Flower petals are an extra outdoor touch. You’ll swear butterflies are flitting about. n

DETAILS Iberian Pig Buckhead 3150 Roswell Road Atlanta 30305 404.994.4940 Kyma 3085 Piedmont Road N.E. Atlanta 30305 404.262.0702 The Garden Room 88 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta 30305 404.600.6471 The Select 6405 Blue Stone Road Sandy Springs 30328 770.637.2240


Culinary News & Notes


Lia Picard

Jocelyn Gragg is a one-woman shop crafting artful truffles (pictured above) in Chamblee.

Every Day She’s Truffling



ou’ve probably had Jardi Chocolates before and not realized it. The artful truffles, crafted by pastry chef Jocelyn Gragg, are served at Atlas and frequently appear at special events at places such as Jimmy Choo in the Shops Buckhead Atlanta. With Mother’s Day and graduations on the horizon, it might be time to get acquainted. Most recently, Gragg was a pastry chef at Restaurant Eugene but couldn’t resist the lure of chocolate. In 2015, she signed the lease for her workshop in Chamblee. It’s hid-


den in a nondescript office park, and it’s worth seeking out if you want to indulge. I visited the chocolate wonderland and got a crash course in what makes her confections so special. Gragg, a powerhouse who runs the company on her own and yet seems tirelessly upbeat, took me through the workshop where she makes truffles using molds. To create her works of art she uses preservativefree dyes. “They’re not as technicolor, in-your-face vibrant as colors made with food dyes, but I can make them



include classics such as the Manhattan and Old Fashioned. For pool sipping, we recommend the Negroni, a refreshing combination of gin, bitters and sweet vermouth. You can find the brand at Savi Provisions in Buckhead.

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

the hazelnut crunch is one of her originals and features a blend of nuts and milk chocolate inside the dark chocolate shell. While I usually like to enjoy chocolate truffles by nibbling slowly, I found with Jardi Chocolates, it’s best to pop one in and let the unique flavor combinations hit your palate at once. Good things truly Jardi Chocolates come 3400 W. Hospital Ave. #102 in small Chamblee 30341 pack470.240.8353 ages. n


This pool season, how about tasting a canned cocktail? Indulge in a poolside tipple without the hassle of mixing it yourself. Bonus: no glass! Start summer out with a splash with some of our favorite canned drinks. Tip Top Proper Cocktails Miles Macquarrie, beverage director of Kimball House, partnered with music industry veterans Neal Cohen and Yoni Reisman to create Tip Top. Cocktails come in 100-milliliter cans and

more vibrant now that I’ve started making them in house,” she explains. She creates more than 12 flavors, plus seasonal ones that rotate throughout the year. One of the standouts is a dark chocolate shell filled with a chocolate and rosemary ganache and pecan and sage shortbread. It’s both sweet and savory with an added textural layer from the crunchy cookie. “I was excited about this and the herbs de Provence flavors, but I wasn’t expecting them to be as popular as they are.” For those seeking more traditional flavors,

Cirrus If you don’t want to imbibe consider Cirrus. The founders of Second Self Brewery, Jason Santamaria and Chris Doyle, created this line of sparkling water infused with cannabidiol. While its effects are debatable (it doesn’t get you high, but it may relax you), you will definitely feel refreshed. Try the Key Largo flavor with grapefruit and lime. You can find it at Nuts ’n Berries in Brookhaven.

Post Meridiem Spirit Company Another local brand, Post Meridiem features five cocktails in its lineup. For something tropical, try the 1944 Mai Tai, made with a blend of rums, lime juice, orange curaçao, almond orgeat and mint. You also can’t go wrong with the Hemingway Daiquiri, with rum, maraschino liqueur, lime juice and sugar. You can find it in several spirits stores including Sandy Springs’ Corks & Caps and Perimeter Bottle Shop in Dunwoody

n Juicy, Japanesestyle chicken tenders can be found at Lenox Square where Ponko Chicken opened its doors this spring. In addition to tenders, you can find tacos, sandwiches and salads.

n Grana opened its doors in Piedmont Heights in March. Pat Pascarella, who also co-owns The White Bull in Decatur, whips up classic Italian eats of meatballs, pasta and pizza. n Chef Christopher Grossman, formerly of Atlas, is opening The Chastain in the former Horseradish Grill space this summer. The restaurant will feature a modern American menu using seasonal ingredients.

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May 2020 | Simply Buckhead



FUN FACT Bledsoe quilts in her spare time.

One Smart Cookie Brookhaven’s Renee Bledsoe bakes and decorates shortbread treats for every occasion STORY:

Carly Cooper


enee Bledsoe is what industry folks call a “cottage baker,” meaning she bakes out of her Brookhaven home and sells her iced shortbread cookies in more than 53 designs on Etsy. High Waisted Cookie, as her business is called, also hosts corporate workshops and cookie decorating bars for local companies, including Spanx. Prior to starting her sweet enterprise, Bledsoe worked in corporate marketing and started a wedding planning app called EverlyWed. She later gave up the app in favor of working on High Waisted Cookie full time. “It’s a job but also a hobby,” Bledsoe says of baking. “I enjoy things that I can do with my hands. It’s really cathartic.” Her cookies sell for $55-$100


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

per dozen, as each is hand-cut, baked and iced for occasions such as weddings, holidays and baby showers. Bledsoe may be baking her own shower cookies soon, as she and her husband expect a baby boy this month! We spoke to her to learn more about her business and plans for the future. How did you get into baking? Growing up, I always made cookies with my grandma for the holidays. They were sugar cookies with rainbow sprinkles. In 2018, my little sister was getting married, and I wanted to do something special for her bridal shower, so I decided to make cookies. I used royal icing because it was a different medium, and you could do more with it. YouTube is the greatest thing in the world for someone like me because I’m a visual learner. I really enjoyed making [the cookies],

and [soon after], friends and family started asking for them. What’s different about your cookies? There’s no egg in the cookie dough, and no raw egg white in the meringue [in the icing]. I put more vanilla in the dough than most people do. My cookies are softer than most shortbread—they’re like cake cookies. There’s a nice crunch when you bite in, but then they melt in your mouth. They’re only about a ¼-inch thick. How many cookies do you sell? I cap myself at six orders a week, but that doesn’t mean six dozen. Someone could order three dozen in one order. It usually takes about two to three weeks [to receive the cookies] from when you place your order. I need time to let the cookies dry before shipping them out. What are your top sellers for bridal and baby showers? Engagement rings, lips, champagne flutes and mini gem cookies for bridal. I try to personalize [the cookies] based on the theme, so I’ve done Eiffel Towers for a couple who got engaged in Paris and bowties for

couples’ showers or groomsmen gifts. That way, the guys can have something in their stomachs while they’re drinking whiskey. For baby showers, I have onesies, and I’ve done penguins, ducks and sleepy bunnies. For gender reveals, the cartoon-y swimming sperm cookies with wide eyes always get a good laugh. It’s my favorite shape. People put [my cookies] on top of cakes and give them as favors. What have you learned since launching High Waisted Cookie? There are so many things that go into cookie baking that people don’t realize. You have to chill your dough before and after you cut your cookies to maintain shape because if your butter gets soft, it will spread, and the steam will release up instead of out. Making the dough is easy, but color mixing takes a really long time. My Hocus Pocus cookies for Halloween had 14 colors. It took two-and-a-half hours to mix the icing. Why do you think your corporate cookie-making workshops are so popular? I think people want to get off their computers and phones, be in a relaxed setting and learn something new. What’s your goal for the future of the business? I would love to have a commercial kitchen with a workshop space at the front and offer it as an incubator when we’re not using it. Who knows— maybe we’ll have locations up and down the East Coast some day! n


E V E N T S | C H A RI TA B L E | S C E N E


Ginger Strejcek

[ F E AT U R E D E V E N T ]



ead to the Chattahoochee River at Morgan Falls Overlook Park on July 26 for one of the biggest paddleboard races in the Southeast. Open to all ages and ability levels, Stand Up for the Hooch features a 2-mile recreational loop that’s perfect for beginners and first-timers, and a 6-mile stretch for advanced paddlers along a flat, gentle course. Children (ages 6-12) can get their feet wet in a free 500-yard race, while family and friends cheer them on from the sidelines.

“Paddleboarding has blown up around the country but even more so in the Southeast because we have so many lakes and rivers that make paddling accessible,” says John Sloan, race director and general manager who co-owns High Country Outfitters, which hosts the event and an after-party with an awards ceremony and lunch at the Buckhead store. For the first time this year, the longer course includes surfski, kayak, canoe and outrigger canoe, too.

A SUP enthusiast who launched both the race and a seasonal outpost for rentals, Sloan anticipates 200 to 250 paddlers and 150 spectators at this year’s event, co-sponsored by SweetWater Brewing Co., Patagonia and YOLO, with proceeds benefiting the city of Sandy Springs’ charity of choice. “I would say 70% are out there to have fun. We have some unbelievable athletes going for the gold with fast paddlers doing 10-minute miles, but most people are simply cruising.”

STAND UP FOR THE HOOCH July 26, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. $45-$65 race fee, free kids race 200 Morgan Falls Road Sandy Springs 30350 404.977.2523 stand-up-for-the-hooch/

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead




Right: Eveline Miller’s Daybreak is part of the series What Lies Beneath. “Every new daybreak gives us the opportunity to find calm even with undercurrents of chaos,” says Miller.

Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-noon 2744 Peachtree Road N.W., Atlanta 30305 Stock up on farm-fresh fare at this community market at The Cathedral of St. Philip, with more than 50 weekly vendors, live music, chef demos and special events. The wholesome offerings, including fruits and veggies, eggs, cheese, meat, pasta, breads, jam, coffee and sweet treats, come straight from the provider in a sustainable food system that connects farmers and growers with consumers.


Above: Lisa Stockdell’s Crowning Glory was inspired by a stallion from the Gypsy Vanner Horse breed, known for their thick, luxurious manes.

[ A RT ]

Creative Expression Nancy Nowak’s Sunday Walk at the Pier is a scene from her vacation trip to the Santa Barbara Pier in California.


Browse a captivating virtual gallery of pastel paintings by artists from Georgia and around the globe at the Southeastern Pastel Society 19th International Juried Exhibition, with approximately 90 pieces on view May 8-June 21 at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (currently online). “We have a hugely talented membership, so you will see a top-quality show with all manner of subject matter,” says Cyndi Marble, president of SPS, a nonprofit founded in 1988 to promote pastel as a medium in the Southeast. “The Society has been a wonderful community partner, sharing the wealth of beautifully executed works of art by their members and generously giving back to our students,” adds museum director Elizabeth Jennings, noting that OUMA is the only small liberal arts university museum in the Southeast that regularly shows nationally and internationally recognized exhibitions.

SOUTHEASTERN PASTEL SOCIETY 19TH INTERNATIONAL JURIED EXHIBITION May 8-June 21 Oglethorpe University Museum of Art 404.364.8555

June 4-28; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.; 1-4 p.m. Sun. 1130 West Conway Drive N.W., Atlanta 30327 Peek into a magnificent 9,000-square-foot residence on six wooded acres in Buckhead featuring the work of top interior designers and landscape architects at this annual benefit for the Atlanta History Center. Ticketed event with shuttle service.

SOULSTICE YOGA June 20, 10-11 a.m. 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody 30338 Find a moment of Zen to celebrate summer solstice at the Dunwoody Nature Center, where Sally Maxwell will lead a free one-hour morning yoga session in the North Woods Pavilion, tucked away in the trees in a wonderfully serene (and climatecontrolled) space.

CURE CHILDHOOD CANCER BELIEVE BALL July 18 The St. Regis, Atlanta 88 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Atlanta 30305 Enjoy a night to remember while supporting a noble cause at this annual black-tie affair benefiting pediatric cancer research and services that support patients and families. The elegant evening kicks off with a cocktail followed by a live auction, seated dinner and dancing the night away. Various sponsorship levels are available.

Visit the Simply Buckhead website for the most up-to-date event information.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

MORE THAN A GYM : A COMMUNITY Come and see what our community is all about.

404.228.3705 3215 CAINS HILL PLACE NW



Even when we are physically apart, we are bound by love, and in that spirit, we are humbled and inspired by all who have come together to help others in crisis during this difficult time. At CURE Childhood Cancer, we believe we are always better together.


Cheryl Preheim

Photos: Haley Salvador and Brett Tighe

Conner Greenberg, Angela DiPietro, Matt Clover


Louis Long, George Katergaris, Jerry Martel, Alan Johnson


Lauren Cunningham, Stephanie Cunningham, Alison Sonecha

resented by the Adler Group and Dream Big, the fifth annual Enduring Hearts Bourbon Gala & Auction was the national nonprofit’s most successful fundraiser to date. Thanks to the generous contributions of 450 attendees at the Foundry at Puritan Mill, the event brought in more than $1.2 million, nearly three times the amount raised in 2019. Enduring Hearts is dedicated to funding research that helps juvenile heart transplant recipients live longer, healthier lives. Cheryl Preheim, 11 Alive anchor and mom to a son with a congenital heart defect, served as the emcee, and auctioneer Dean Crownover encouraged attendees to bid generously. Some of the stand-out auction items included two reserve barrels of bourbon from Pappy Van Winkle; a trip for five to the Buffalo Trace Distillery, complete with transportation aboard a private jet; and the Audi Dream Driving Experience, in which the winner will zip around in a different Audi each month for a year. One poignant moment included remarks from Kelley and Jeremy Gray, parents of 9-year-old heart transplant recipient Everett, who was on-hand to say hello to the generous donors. Dean Crownover

Cory Raines, Jonathan Nwiloh Eila, Everett, Kelley and Jeremy Gray

Ankur Chatterjee, Dean Bellmoff, Pamela Berman, Beatrice Salazar

Patrick and Madelyn Gahan, Debbie and Mike Gahan, Kelsey Gahan, Travis Clarke

May 2020 | Simply Buckhead 



PACKING A PUNCH Caroline Beckman, founder and CEO of probiotic company Nouri, makes fitness a priority, regularly training at Panthéon in Buckhead.


May 2020 | Simply Buckhead

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