Simply Buckhead July/August 2022

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Your Guide to Living Well in Atlanta




Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Upper Westside



sophisticated senior living. Now Leasing · · 404.891.9190

INTRODUCING A BOLD NEW VISION FOR LUXURY OCEAN TRAVEL Explora Journeys is transforming ocean travel through a synergy of the most elegant ships and the most immersive itineraries that allow guests to discover further, travel deeper and linger a little longer at each destination. Central to this experience is the accommodation onboard. Each of the 461 ocean-front suites, penthouses and residences – designed with a refined, European elegance – include floor-to-ceiling windows and private sun terraces so our guests can relax into their comfortable homes at sea, with their luggage delivered and a chilled bottle of champagne waiting as they undertake their ocean journey.



Or for a lifetime.

Just east of Atlanta, Reynolds Lake Oconee is a private waterfront community where Members from around the country thrive, and where passions and friendships flourish. With six championship golf courses, a lakefront Ritz-Carlton® and a range of acclaimed restaurants, shops and amenities, the vibrant destination is a favorite choice for families looking to retire, relocate or even just change course and reset.

B O O K Y O U R R E A L E S T A T E P R E V I E W to experience our friendly community for yourself as part of our lifestyle visit. Enjoy up to three nights in one of our cottages or at The Ritz Carlton®, two rounds of golf, a two-hour boat rental and more. Cottage packages are $299 per night and hotel packages are $399 per night.*

Homesites from

$100K-$2.5M •

Homes from


R E Y N O L D S L A K E O C O N E E . C O M / S I M P LY - B U C K H E A D • ( 8 5 5 ) 7 0 6 . 1 6 9 0 *Rates and availability are subject to change and excludes holidays. Club credit for promotional purposes only. Real estate and other amenities are owned by Oconee Land Development Company LLC and/or other subsidiaries and affiliates of MetLife, Inc. (collectively, “OLDC” or “Sponsor”) and by unrelated third parties. Reynolds Lake Oconee Properties, LLC (“RLOP”) is the exclusive listing agent for OLDC-owned properties in Reynolds Lake Oconee. RLOP also represents buyers and sellers of properties in Reynolds Lake Oconee which OLDC does not own (“Resale Properties”). OLDC is not involved in the marketing or sale of Resale Properties. This is not intended to be an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offers to buy OLDC-owned real estate in Reynolds Lake Oconee by residents of HI, ID, OR, or any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. As to such states, any offer to sell or solicitation of offers to buy applies only to Resale Properties. Access and rights to recreational amenities may be subject to fees, membership dues, or other limitations. Information provided is believed accurate as of the date printed but may be subject to change from time to time. The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is a private commercial enterprise and use of the facilities is subject to the applicable fees and policies of the operator.

For OLDC properties, obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it bef ore signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. Void where prohibited by law. WARNING: THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE HAS NOT INSPECTED, EXAMINED, OR DISQUALIFIED THIS OFFERING. An offering statement has been filed with the Iowa Real Estate Commission and a copy of such statement is available from OLDC upon request. OLDC properties have been registered with the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salesmen at 1000 Washington Street, Suite 710, Boston, Massachusetts 02118-6100 and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection at 1700 G Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20552. Certain OLDC properties are registered with the Department of Law of the State of New York. THE COMPLETE OFFERING TERMS ARE IN AN OFFERING PLAN AVAILABLE FROM SPONSOR. FILE NO. H14-0001. Notice to New York Residents: The developer of Reynolds Lake Oconee and its principals are not incorporated in, located in, or resident in the state of New York. No offering is being made in or directed to any person or entity in the state of New York or to New York residents by or on behalf of the developer/offeror or anyone acting with the developer/offeror’s knowledge. No such offering, or purchase or sale of real estate by or to residents of the state of New York, shall take place until all registration and filing requirements under the Martin Act and the Attorney General’s regulations are complied with, a written exemption is obtained pursuant to an application is granted pursuant to and in accordance with Cooperative Policy Statements #1 or #7, or a “No-Action” request is granted.


Intown Collective is a team of real estate licensees affiliated with Compass, a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. 404.668.6621

Our goal is to provide each client with comfort and confidence throughout the home buying and selling process. As certified interior designers and home stagers, we bring our attention to detail to each step of the process. From staging your home for success to helping you envision the perfect use of space, we obsess over the details for you.

Effortlessly powerful and incredibly luxurious. The new Continental GT Convertible Azure. Find your extraordinary at The name ‘Bentley’ and the ‘B’ in wings device are registered trademarks. © 2022 Bentley Motors Limited. Model shown: Continental GT Convertible Azure



TOOTSIES ATLANTA 31 6 7 P E A C H T R E E R D N E . A T L A N T A , G A @shoptootsiesatlanta







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Contents 24 76

84 12 Editor's Letter

UP FRONT 15 NEWS Strike a Pose Buckhead boutique goes vogue for new generation

16 LOCAL SALUTE Dream Becomes Reality Broadening kids’ horizons

Photos: 18, 84: Joann Vitelli, 28: Terry Allen, 66: Sara Hanna, 76: Erik Meadows


18 18 LIVING THE LIFE Michael Rogers

24 TRAVEL FAR Captivating Captiva

34 BULLETIN BOARD Sleep Matters

Dorsey Alston Realtors’ CEO and president transformed his family’s small business into a real estate juggernaut

Tiny island off Florida’s coast offers super-sized fun

Getting the most out of your Z's

19 APPROVED Fly Away with Me

Wylie Hotel impresses as an escape

Travel savvy and stylish this season

22 TRAVEL NEAR Cultural Columbus Georgia’s second-largest city is an epicenter of arts

26 STAYCATION Pretty on Ponce

LIVING 28 HOME Lured to the Lake Sandy Springs residents find peace on Lake Oconee

36 TRENDING Shine On Metallics are back in the spotlight

38 TASTEMAKER It Takes Two Nina Long and Don Easterling bring Mathews Design Group to life

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40 FASHION In Good Taste

58 ON STAGE Buckhead Reality TV

Teresa Caldwell reincarnates her signature boutique

MTV spotlights local 20-somethings in new show

42 BEAUTY Keep Your Cool

60 PROFILE Public Art Takes Off

Strategies to look flawless this summer

“Wings of the City” adorns Brookhaven outdoor areas

44 WELLNESS Planting a Seed

62 TASTEMAKER Thrilling Stories

Ear seeding’s therapeutic benefits

Kimberly Belle pens her eighth novel set in Atlanta

46 TASTEMAKER Lips Don’t Lie Yvette Landin created a vibrant lipstick line with a mission

FAMILY 48 KIDS Bye-bye Boredom


Sara Hanna



76 REVIEW Bella Vita

Places to go and things to do

Brookhaven’s Valenza offers a taste of Italy, close to home


80 DRINKS Punch It Up

66 Rising Stars

Expert care tips for petite and exotic pets

54 STRATEGIES Going Back for Seconds Real estate investment property advice

89 Charitable A spotlight on philanthropic and social gatherings

92 Scene

Reclaim your cocktail hour

7 locals are making waves in their respective industries

53 PETS Small World




Kid subscription boxes offer activities, clothes and more




82 FOODIE JOURNAL Local Flavor


Embrace fresh, local provisions this summer with these farmers market tips

84 TASTEMAKER The Conductor Pam Kachmar celebrates 13 years steering The Frosty Caboose

86 Featured Restaurants A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead

Erik Meadows


BEHIND THE COVER Simply Buckhead’s annual Rising Stars cover feature is always a treat to produce. This year, we thought why not put our stars on a stage? We could think of no better spot in Buckhead than the iconic Buckhead Theatre. Built in 1930, it has hosted major performers such as Wynonna Judd, the Indigo Girls and Mumford and Sons. On a rainy afternoon in June, our group got the full experience, with hair and makeup backstage (complete with wallpaper adorned with golden “buck heads”) before taking the stage for a dressed-down group shot. Then each of our stellar subjects switched outfits for their individual portraits in unique environments around the Spanish baroque-style building. Talk about a star turn!


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Photographer: Sara Hanna Producer: Jennifer Bradley Franklin Photography assistants: Judd Redmond Josh Swinney Makeup: Bernice Farrell Nyssa Green Hair: Alicia Igess Special thanks to the team at Buckhead Theatre.

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Editor's Letter


Serving Buckhead, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Upper Westside

hat do you want to be when you grow up? In this

P.O. Box 11633, Atlanta, GA 30355

issue, the stories of our seven “Rising Stars,” who

have each made a mark in their respective professional

industries, might inspire you to take a professional leap

For advertising rates, call: 404.538.9895

or pursue a passion project. Giannina S. Bedford interviews Marie Opeaye who recently launched a sports

Joanne Hayes

agency at 41 and adds agent to her various entrepre-

Sonny Hayes

Publisher and Founder

neurial roles; Michael Jacobs chats with Iraq vet Ted Kalb

Chief Financial Officer

who just this year pivoted his career and bought a luxury


woodworking shop; and Lauren Finney Harden pens the

Managing Editor

Karina Antenucci

story of Salim Mekhmoukh who designed a new kind of

Jennifer Bradley Franklin

energy drink for U.S. tastebuds. These doers, as well as

Alan Platten

our other stars, show us that anything is possible with a

Giannina S. Bedford

Senior Contributing Editor Creative Director Contributing Home Editor

little (or a lot of) creativity and determination.

H.M. Cauley Copy Editor

Beyond the cover story, our July/August issue also fea-


tures a plethora of hot topics such as how to get your hair

ahead to August’s school

H.M. Cauley Carly Cooper Lauren Finney Harden Taylor Heard Hailey Hudson Mickey Goodman Angela Hansberger Michael Jacobs Denise K. James Nicole Letts Amy Meadows Hope Philbrick Claire Ruhlin Vanessa Pascale Rust Ginger Strejcek

start, the Kids column is


and makeup to stand up to the humidity, which Jennifer Bradley Franklin covers in the Beauty column. For those with summer travel and recreation top of mind, check out the Approved story with gear that makes packing and flying a cinch and the Home feature with a beautiful Reynolds Lake Oconee abode for dreaming of lake life. And for parents looking

boxes to make your life easier. As I type this letter in June,


and Atlanta’s heat advisory

Senior Account Executive Sara Hanna

Karina Antenucci Managing Editor

Account Executive

Layal Akkad Graphic Designer


BHG Digital Website Development Management

Mike Jose



Michelle Johnson

the icy pop recipes in Claire

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.

Hailey Hudson is a fulltime freelance writer and content marketer who lives in Cumming, Georgia, with her cat. Her writing focuses on the health care, digital marketing and pet industries, and she pens Pet and Tastemaker articles for Simply Buckhead. Her other freelance clients include Dell, Lenovo, Chewy, Healthline and MetLife Pet Insurance. In her spare time, she writes young adult novels and does ministry and advocacy work in the chronic illness and disability field. @haileyh_writes

Cheryl Isaacs

says to stay inside, I’m eyeing

Enjoy, and stay cool out there.

Hailey Hudson

Terry Allen Sara Hanna Erik Meadows Joann Vitelli

stacked with subscription

Ruhlin’s Foodie Journal piece.


Copyright © 2022 by Simply Buckhead ®. All rights reserved. Printed by Walton Press, Inc. Distributed by Distributech and Distribution Services Group.

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Director of Audience Development


Scott I. Zucker Legal Counsel








"Captiva ideal choice for an off-thebeaten-path experience."

Captivating Captiva Page 24 The poolside view from the South Seas Island Resort is the Gulf of Mexico's turquoise waters.

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Ginger Strejcek




oung women can sashay the summer away in a sweet new line from Buckhead-based boutique House of Wallace. Bridging the fashion gap for ages 12 to 21, the G2 (Generation 2) collection features tiered skirts, smocked tops and ruffled dresses in a minty fresh palette of pastels and breezy whites. Tags range from $58 for a strappy Alba

crop top to $148 for a crocheted, striped Everett mini dress. “We created this line to give teens exactly what they want. The style is sweet but short, a happy compromise between mother and daughter,” says designer Ashley Wallace, founder/president of House of Wallace. “G2 was conceptualized when we noticed an ongoing gap in the

market and heard on repeat from our clients that there was a need for smaller sizes. We listened, asked a lot of questions and are beyond thrilled with how well it has been received.” The first capsule collection sold out immediately (with a portion of sales benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), and the launch party post fashion show was so

packed that many shoppers had to return the next day. Up next on the roster: a second collection for those who prefer a little more muted style. Meanwhile, get a sneak peek of the G2 monthly drops on Instagram. n HOUSE OF WALLACE • @houseofwallace1985

NEWS CLIPS READY FOR ACTION As the streaming wars wage, Chamblee-based Blackhall Americana is bringing out the big guns for your viewing pleasure. Mobilizing creative troupes to develop adrenalin-fueled films and TV series that tell uniquely American stories, the new streaming service maverick has snapped up significant acreage in Covington for a no-holds-barred production campus. “It’s original programming with all action-adventure content like Black Hawk Down or John Wick,” says founder of Blackhall Americana Ryan Millsap. Backed by an initial $300 million investment, Millsap aims to

build an entertainment mecca that encompasses the entire production process, from development to distribution. Look for exclusive content to drop in early 2023 through a proprietary distribution platform. “Spoiler: We are developing a show about the Southern Mafia,” Millsap says. @blackhallamericana

HEAD OF THE CLASS School’s out, but Kimbrell Smith is in full prep mode, happily ensconced in academia as the new head of school of Atlanta Girls’ School in Buckhead. With an im-

pressive track record of leadership roles at Westminster, Trinity School and Atlanta Speech School, Smith formerly served as AGS’ interim head before the Board of Trustees unanimously promoted her to lead the school for grades six through 12. “As a lifelong Atlantan and a mother of two daughters, I know how vital the mission of Atlanta Girls’ School is and have long admired the unique place it holds in Atlanta’s educational landscape,” says Smith, a UGA graduate and ordained Presbyterian minister. “It is a tremendous honor and truly a joy to hold a position that brings together

my lifelong passions all in service of helping young women grow into confident, courageous leaders.” @atlantagirlsschool

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS As seismic shifts in workspace redefine the 9-to-5 grind, Venture X Atlanta-Buckhead is up and running at the Atlanta Financial Center on Peachtree Road, offering everything from virtual offices to company suites. Membership-based coworking space at the new franchise location starts at $49 a month, with no lease or long-term contract re-

quired. Day and weekly passes are also available. “Coworking provides a sense of flexibility and community while still providing a professional workspace to be productive,” says Sales & Community Manager Hailey Barnett. Boasting sweeping views from the Sky Lounge, Venture X encompasses 84 office spaces, two studios equipped for podcasts/ content creation, private phone booths, professional mailboxes and conference rooms with 24/7 member access. On-site amenities include cafes, a wellness room and weekly events, including yoga., @venturexusa

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Staff members Tammy Patterson, Executive Director Adrianne Hamilton-Butler, Resident Advocate Belton Burton, Derwin Davis and Mary Wesley.


Mickey Goodman

One of a Kind Night and day

Founded in 1984 to create a place where homeless couples could remain together, The Zaban Paradies Center for Homeless Couples at the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation (known as The Temple) was—and is— the only one of its kind in the Southeast. Beginning in September, the residential services program will be open 24 hours a day year-round to help the community’s most vulnerable, says Executive Director Adrianne Hamilton-Butler, a Sandy Springs resident. Originally called The Temple Night Shelter for the Homeless, it was renamed in 2015 to honor generous contributions from Atlanta philanthropists Erwin Zaban and Rick Paradies. In the early days, the shelter was run by scores of volunteers from The Temple and other faith-based organizations. It provided 20 separate rooms and meals for couples from mid-October through April from late

afternoon to early morning when couples had to leave. Today, a small permanent staff helps a rotating group of 10 to 15 couples move toward self-reliance via a 90-day program that includes assistance finding permanent housing and jobs, as well as financial education, online job training and referrals for mental health, etc., who can remain as long as necessary. Extensive community outreach programs help the homeless find permanent housing or assist financially so they can continue staying with family members. This year, a total of 444 individuals have been served. “Eighty percent of our residential and community support services residents who stay in the program for 40 days attain or maintain independence,” says Hamilton-Butler. ZABAN PARADIES CENTER • 404.872.2915 • @zabanparadiescenter

Smiles for Charity Founder Chad Harlan and Executive Director Caroline Lombard with the $25,000 grant from Northwestern Mutual.

Dream Becomes Reality Broadening kids’ horizons The late Julie Muir Harlan was passionate about nonprofits such as Agape that serve underprivileged kids. In 2017, she had just begun developing plans to create a faithbased organization focused on getting Agape kids outdoors when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer. She died 35 days later. Devastated by the loss, her husband, Chad, mentioned her desire on the nonprofit CaringBridge’s site, and friends urged him to carry out Julie’s plan. The result was Julie’s Dream, which recently received a $25,000 grant from Northwestern Mutual as part of the company’s Community Service Awards honoring the work of wealth managers like Harlan in their communities. “In 2018 we raised $250,000 and had kids going on trips almost


immediately,” says Harlan, whose Northwestern Mutual office is located in Buckhead. “During the last four years, we’ve raised $1.9 million and served 500 kids.” Referrals come from Agape, PAWKids and Field Camp Ministries, and the adventures are planned and led by the staff at Julie’s Dream with the help of volunteers. Experiences include shooting the ’Hooch, overnight camping, zip lining, white water rafting, horseback riding and more. “We’ve led trips to New Hampshire, Jekyll Island, Washington state, Colorado and even Puerto Rico. As a result of the outdoor program, Agape’s retention rate for high school kids has soared.” says Harlan. JULIE’S DREAM • 470.427.3166 • @julies.dream

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A child of Iranian immigrants, Dr. Andrew Kokabi of Brookhaven Family Dentistry grew up with parents who believed in giving back to the community that had helped them when they came to America. “Their generosity was not lost on us,” he says. “We believe that businesses don’t just exist to make money but to help the community.” The practice has always donated to local schools and their patient’s pet nonprofits but had no set strategy. “My wife suggested that we develop a more cohesive plan by selecting a local nonprofit every month and encouraging patients to help contribute,” Kokabi says. He named it “Brighten Your Smile, Better the World,” and for a donation of $150, patients receive a custom set of teeth whitening trays valued at $400. “It’s a win-win because they’re supporting a good cause and improving their smiles,” he says. Recent recipients have included Chamblee Middle and High schools; Huntley Hills, Montgomery and Ashford Park elementaries; the Kyle Pease Foundation; Chattahoochee Riverkeeper; and the Georgia Transplant Foundation. The practice also continues to sponsor individual school events.

Keep it local

Dr. Andrew Kokabi of Brookhaven Family Dentistry got creative to give back.

Another of the practice’s community projects is the Spotlight on Small Business Initiative, a free service that helps promote businesses owned by clients. “Big box stores did well during the COVID-19 lockdown, but small businesses faltered,” Kokabi says. “To help promote them, we produce slideshows that are featured in the office and on our website.” BROOKHAVEN FAMILY DENTISTRY 770.451.0611 • @brookhavenfamilydentistry

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The Stave Room, American Spirit Works

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6/17/22 1:32 PM

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MICHAEL ROGERS Dorsey Alston Realtors’ CEO and president transformed his family’s small business into a real estate juggernaut As told to Amy Meadows


PHOTO: Joann Vitelli

realized something last year: I have been running Dorsey Alston Realtors longer than my dad ever ran it. He owned the company for 14 years, and this is my 22nd year at the helm. It’s crazy for me to think about that as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company. I was 23 years old when my father, E. Paul Rogers Jr., passed away and


left Dorsey Alston Realtors to me and my brothers. He purchased the company from Roy Dorsey, a friend of my grandparents, in 1986. It was a boutique firm of about 25 agents. My father kept the business small, as he also pursued other entrepreneurial opportunities like real estate development, a car dealership and a travel agency. After he passed

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in 2000, I sold controlling interest in all of his ventures except for Dorsey Alston. I saw the company’s strong brand value and knew it had untapped potential. I became chairman, but I didn’t have the necessary licensure to run the business. I hired someone to serve as president and earned my real estate license. I went to business school at Stanford

University in 2006, and after I graduated in 2009, I moved back to Atlanta to become president of Dorsey Alston. Of course, that was the worst time to be involved in real estate. Not only was there a recession, but it also felt like we had peaked as a company. Although we had grown to 45 agents by 2008, it was hard to attract people because we were small. Then something happened. A large company came in and bought our two biggest competitors, and the changes that followed made many agents consider a move. It was the perfect storm for us because we were a private, locally owned company that was doing things “the oldfashioned way,” and that appealed to a number of real estate professionals in the local market. I was in the office every day. I rolled up my sleeves, even helping people plug in their computers under their desks. I recognized that the value of our business was in the agents affiliated with us. We didn’t purchase our own building until 2012, so we didn’t have any fixed assets until then. All of our assets—our people—went home every night and had the choice not to come back. We differentiated ourselves by creating a culture that focused on listening to them. We had a Silicon Valley startup vibe, and our culture became our biggest draw. Today, we have 290 agents. We are ingrained in this community and in this market. We now have offices in East Cobb and Virginia-Highland, but Buckhead remains our flagship office. As our family was driving home the other day, my wife said to our kids, “I hope you appreciate how beautiful our town is.” We have so many wonderful staples here in the Buckhead community. The schools, the restaurants, the retail options, the residential areas, the beautiful tree canopy—it’s all here. I’m on the executive committee of the Buckhead Coalition, and it’s something we always talk about. Buckhead is the complete package. And while real estate is an evolving industry, we’re in a really solid place. Dorsey Alston Realtors is taking a long-term picture of the business and our place here in Buckhead. n DORSEY ALSTON REALTORS • 404.352.2010 • @dorseyalstonrealtors


Fly Away with Me MZ Wallace Medium Metro Tote Deluxe ($275) Incredibly lightweight, this roomy nylon tote is the perfect airport companion. You can stuff it to the brim with snacks, distractions, essentials and more thanks to pockets and compartments galore. Two interior pockets, two exterior pockets and a convenient luggage sleeve are packed into a bag only about 1-by-1 foot in size. A zip-top closure adds a safety factor while a crossbody strap and luggage sleeve give your shoulders a break.

Travel is a fruit of the summer season that many look forward to. Here, we’ve selected a few elevated yet practical summer travel essentials that make getting from point A to point B and back almost as pleasant and pretty as your trip itself. Bon voyage! STORY:

The Packable Rec Jacket ($99) When packing, the name of the game is saving space. This lightweight, packable jacket from Bonobos folds up into its own pocket, making it compact enough to tuck into a carry-on bag. Bonus: Use the stuffed pouch as a makeshift travel pillow. While technically for the guys, the water-resistant outerwear with hood and drawcord waist is a unisex look that could work for just about anyone. Bonobos • 678.215.1617 • • @bonobos

Lauren Finney Harden RIMOWA Essential Cabin 22-inch Wheeled Carry-On ($740)

Bloomingdale’s • 404.495.2800 • @bloomingdales

RIMOWA has been providing globetrotters with chic travel accessories for almost 125 years, and its classic hard-case, wheeled carry-on is no exception. It bills itself as the world’s first polycarbonate suitcase, which is a fancy way of saying it’s durable yet lightweight at just over 7 pounds. A stable yet nimble wheeling system helps make the walk to the gate smooth, and it fits in most overhead compartments. Inside, a flexible divider helps organize your belongings.

Cotopaxi Cubos Del Dia Set of 3 Travel Cubes ($45) One guaranteed way to get more into your suitcase is by using packing cubes. This set of three in 2, 3 and 10 liter sizes from adventure brand Cotopaxi are functional, bright and colorful, adding a little pop of sunshine in your bag. Made from 100% remnant materials, the eco-friendly cubes keep your clothing, shoes and more in order. No two Del Dia sets contain the same colors, so it’s almost as if they’re made custom, just for you.

Nordstrom Phipps Plaza • 404.442.3000 • @nordstrom_phipps

REI • 404.633.6508 • • @rei

Golden Goose Running Sole Sneaker ($575) The Italian footwear brand that took the world by storm is back again with a more durable, athletic sole in its Running Sole Sneaker, ideal for sprinting between gates. A clean white and cream base makes them dressy enough to wear beyond the airport, and a metallic star is a wink to fellow fashion lovers. Pro tip: If you hate laces, swap them out for no-tie ones to make slipping in and out of them at TSA a breeze. Nordstrom Phipps Plaza • 404.442.3000 • @nordstrom_phipps

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TRAVEL NEAR Left: Columbus sits along the banks of the Chattahoochee River.

Above: The historic Springer Opera House opened in 1871 and continues to draw theater crowds.

Cultural Columbus Georgia’s second-largest city is an epicenter of arts


arrived in Columbus, Georgia, on a balmy spring day. My 115mile drive from Buckhead was easy, unexpectedly void of traffic and an ideal start to a night away. Columbus sits along the banks of the Chattahoochee River, and when I dropped my bags at City Mills boutique hotel, I was elated to see riverfront views from my room. Columbus has long been touted as a top spot for watersports and adventure, thanks to the world’s longest urban whitewater course where spectators can pause along the 15-mile RiverWalk park and watch kayakers dart over the rapids. As someone who much prefers indoors to outdoors, however, I came to uncover the unexpected side of Columbus: its flourishing arts and culture scene. The hum of saxophone music floated through the air. I asked my guide, Shelby Guest, if the city pumps music through hidden speakers. She laughed. “That’s actually some of our Joyce and Henry Schwob School of Music students practicing. They’re in the parking deck for the acoustics.” My tour began in the heart of downtown at The Bo Bartlett Center, an art gallery and education incubator located inside Columbus State’s Corn Center for the Visual Arts. Bo Bartlett is a hometown hero. His larger-than-life Americana


City Mills features riverfront views and ample outdoor space for taking them in.

paintings often span 15 to 20 feet and marry dreamlike and realistic subjects. ​​For a suggested $10 donation, visitors can view Bartlett’s and others’ work through the center’s rotating exhibits. Around the corner at The Columbus Museum, I embarked on a guided tour by Director of Curatorial Affairs and Curator of American Art Jonathan Walz. Partially housed in a building that was once the private home of W.C. Bradley, a Coca-Cola shareholder in the early 1900s, the museum spans several galleries and has free admission. Permanent exhibitions feature works by emerging artist Jarrett Key, Michelle Obama portrait artist Amy Sherald and the first black

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STORY: Nicole


woman to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum, Alma Thomas. After my two art museum visits, I became fascinated with what draws such impressive talent to Columbus. “Not being in a major metropolitan area allows people to be creative in a way that’s less filled with pressure,” Walz says. He points out that while larger cities might provide more opportunities, they can stifle creativity. The area is a thriving community for visual and performing arts, both today and historically. Just minutes from The Columbus Museum is the Smith-McCullers House where The Heart is a Lonely Hunter author Carson McCullers grew up and is said to have written portions of her books. A mere 2 miles west is the Ma Rainey home where the influential blues singer spent several years of her life. Both are available for tours. The famed Springer Opera House, now in its 151st year of operation, hosts the second-largest theater audience in the state, right behind Atlanta’s Alliance. Within a threeblock radius of the opera house are seven theaters and concert halls. One of them, the River Center, produces a version of The Nutcracker during the holidays that includes performances by an orchestra, choir and ballet. According to the local convention and visitors bureau, it’s the only production in the state

Visitors can wander through author Carson McCullers' childhood home.

Jarrett Key used his hair to paint this abstract for The Columbus Museum in 2018.

that features all three. I could have enjoyed a number of performances and taken in even more art at privately-owned galleries and studios throughout town. Instead, I left Columbus knowing this trip is not my last. n VISIT COLUMBUS GA • 800.999.1613 • @columbusgeorgia






SIZES 2 T0 24


FRASCARA 23 yrs Experienced HERE in ATLANTA RE/MAX, LLC- All offices independently owned and operated- RE/MAX Center, 1140 Old Peachtree Rd, Suite D Atlanta Ga 30097 - Broker Patrick Finnick- 770.932-1234

404.365.0693 1248A West Paces Ferry Rd Atlanta, GA 30327 Mon.-Sat. 10am-6pm

Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Financial Innovations, LLC. Financial Innovations, LLC is not affiliated with Triad Advisors, LLC.

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CAPTIVATING CAPTIVA Tiny island off Florida’s coast offers super-sized fun


ne of the concerns when taking trips with family or friends is finding a destination that will keep different types of travelers engaged. Having several options in one place makes Captiva Island an ideal choice for an offthe-beaten path experience. This 4-mile strip of land an hour from the Fort Myers, Florida, airport is home to the South Seas Island Resort, a designated wildlife sanctuary and a convenient headquarters for a getaway to the area’s clear, green waters and balmy breezes. Here’s how we meshed the let’sdo itinerary with the let’s-not-doanything agenda: The energetic among us opted for an 8 a.m. yoga class on the resort’s lawn, a swath of open space facing Pine Island Sound where the sun rises just min-

Tradition at the Cabbage Key Inn is to hang a dollar on the dining room wall or ceiling.


utes before the stretching begins. Admittedly, some of us were thinking more about the resort’s buffet breakfast than perfect warrior pose, but those daydreams were fulfilled when we met up with the sleepyheads who joined in for an array of morning delicacies. Then the paths parted: The beach crowd headed to lounge chairs under big umbrellas on the resort’s private beach, while the let’s-go group boarded a motorized catamaran for a tour of the area by sea. Long-time resident boat guides regaled passengers with tales of a 1921 hurricane that wiped out a bridge and created a connection between the inlet and the Gulf of Mexico and pointed out expansive private homes built on spits of land so remote that the only power sources are rooftop solar panels. Playful dolphins and lumbering manatees surfaced to spend a few minutes in the sun. The first destination was a favorite of seafood lovers. Cabbage Key, a 112-acre island accessible only by boat, is home to the Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant. Built in the 1930s by mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart, the house morphed into a destination eatery in the early 1970s, when local fishermen launched the tradition of taping dollar bills to the walls to ensure they’d have the cash to pay for a meal even on a day when they made no money. Today’s visitors follow suit, scrawling their names and dates on legal tender and

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H.M. Cauley

The marina at South Seas Island Resort is also home to a sailing school offering lessons to visitors.

attaching it to available spaces on the screened-in porch that doubles as the main dining area. After a locally sourced meal of oysters, shrimp and stone crab claws paired with the bar’s signature cocktail, a Cabbage Creeper of rum, piña colada mix and coffee liqueur, diners meandered the grounds where a few sea turtles crawled out of the reeds to check out the visitors. More of the natural scenery was on display when the boat stopped at one of the sound’s uninhabited islands for an hour of shell collecting and swimming. But travelers made it back to the resort with plenty of time to check out the three swimming pools and two water slides. Another Captiva day saw the beach goers floating on the calm gulf waters in rented inner tubes.

The energetic crowd opted for jet skis and paddle boards. A beachside taco stand meant a short stroll for a beer and a bite before heading back to the umbrella shade or before hopping on bikes for a quick ride to the resort’s tennis center for an afternoon of pickleball. For travelers of any persuasion, coming together on the beach to watch the sun go down is always a special moment, accompanied by tunes from a local musician who encourages the crowd to toss a shell into the water just as the light disappears. According to local lore, those who do so are guaranteed a return trip to Captiva, to do as much or as little as they like. n SOUTH SEAS ISLAND RESORT • @southseasresort

STAYCATION Left: The exterior of Wylie Hotel faces Ponce de Leon Avenue. Below: Whimsical and colorful decor abounds in the lobby.

Pretty on Ponce


ometimes, Buckhead and Old Fourth Ward seem worlds away. The two neighborhoods are, in fact, a mere 6 miles apart. I arrived at Wylie Hotel on Ponce de Leon Avenue, a stone's throw from Ponce City Market, and was greeted in the lobby by what I can only describe as the modern millennial aesthetic: a pleasant mix of pastels, jewel tones, curved lines and historical references. The lobby is small but inviting, setting the tone for my stay. Wylie Hotel’s specific history is one you could only find in Atlanta, and it’s peppered throughout the building in touches small and large. The 111-room boutique hotel once housed an iteration of MJQ Concourse, a prominent nightclub whose current version is just up the

street, and Mrs. P’s Tea Room, one of Atlanta’s first LGBTQ+-friendly bars with performances by the city’s drag pioneer Diamond Lil, in its basement. It was also once home to an early 20th-century hotel called the Garner-Wallace Hotel, among other things. Almost 100 years of history are touched upon with the name of the current restaurant and bar, Mrs. P’s, and framed artifacts such as old hotel keys, postcards and covers of 1960s’ underground newspaper The Great Speckled Bird sprinkled throughout the guest rooms and hallways. I stayed in a king suite, a delightful two-room space that includes a separate living area. Design elements include curved pink armchairs, board and batten in a dusty blue hue, and whimsical touches

Mrs. P's Tea Room enjoys an intimate bar space as well as a full-service restaurant.


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Wylie Hotel impresses as an escape STORY: Lauren Finney Harden

such as curtain knobs in the shape of a woman’s hand. Some of the hotel’s biggest draws include access to everything around it. Within walking distance is Old Fourth Ward Park, Ponce City Market, the BeltLine, numerous bars and restaurants and Piedmont Park. While the physical positioning of the hotel might entice guests to leave the building, the rooms are worthy of some serious luxuriating, thanks to sumptuous bedding and tons of Instagram-worthy design moments. Downstairs, the intimate Mrs. P’s connects to the street-front patio. Southern classics such as pimento cheese and a fried chicken sandwich sit alongside classic charcuterie platters and burgers. The drink menu is playful and innovative, offering a Mexican Hot Chocolate (tequila, espresso, cocoa and Kahlua

The interiors were designed by Decaturbased Pixel Design Collaborative.

whipped cream) and Cabo San Lucas (tequila, habanero, strawberry, lime). The night I dined, service was a little disjointed due to a large private party on the patio, but I was happy to spend time people watching the eclectic groups. The hotel wants guests to feel like it's a home away from home, and that concept was revealed serendipitously when a television actor (incognito in a face mask) came down asking for a drink during my time at the bar. He apparently had been living at the hotel during the filming of his show. While chatting about his time in Atlanta coming to an end, he said to the bartender, “I’ll miss this place.” n WYLIE HOTEL • 470.437.4400 • @wyliehotel


Love where you live!

LINKS LAKE AND LIFESTYLE Located 75 miles east of Atlanta, Lake Oconee is the luxury golf, lake and resort lifestyle you have been searching for.

CALL (706) 431-0678








STORY: Giannina



he Louries have

bikes to the pool and playing

27, 26 and 24—Yvette and her

been escaping from

on the tennis courts.

husband, orthopedic surgeon and

Atlanta to Reynolds

“We were set back from the

Braves physician Dr. Gary Lourie,

Lake Oconee for 25

water, so we didn’t have to worry

longed for an abode on the water.

years. In 1998, they purchased a

about the kids going too close,

The plan was not to build a home,

quaint, three-bedroom cottage

and I could just let them go. They

but after failing to find what

near the Great Waters Course

grew up over there,” recalls Yvette

they wanted, they purchased

clubhouse. Their three kids spent

Lourie, an interior designer.

a waterfront lot on a pictur-

weekends and vacations riding


S. Bedford

As their kids got older—now

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esque cove of Lake Oconee.

High ceilings and stunning views make the Louries' outdoor porch the favorite hangout when at the lake.

“ This home represents what our future holds—laid back days, calm nights, beautiful views and our favorite activities.” — Yvette Lourie

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The neutrally elegant living room features a touch of rustic from the mantel sourced from a barn in Alabama, Yvette's home state.

“ I wanted something more homey, quaint and cozy but that still had a nice space.” — Yvette Lourie Situated at the bottom of a descending driveway, the home is set back from the road, but right up against the lake.

Yvette Lourie loves to entertain family and friends in her airy and open main living space.


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Right: The back kitchen is a hidden prep space equipped with all appliances and meaningful decor items. Below: Surrounded by shiplap, the formal dining room is bathed in natural light.

“We literally walked onto this piece of property, and my husband bought it,” Yvette says. Between 2019 and 2020, the Louries designed and built a five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath cedar shake home. The Cape Cod-style exterior was inspired by Gary’s summers spent in the Adirondack Mountains while growing up in Syracuse, New York. The interior exudes more of an elegant, Lowcountry style with shiplap walls and lightly gray-washed wood floors. At 5,000-square-feet, the lake house is a down-size from the Louries’ 10,000-square-foot Sandy Springs residence, but Yvette wanted some-

thing more manageable. “We eventually plan to spend more time here and downsize our home in Atlanta,” she says. “I wanted something more homey, quaint and cozy but that still had a nice space and open floor plan to entertain and cook.” The kitchen is the heart of the home. Centered by a large island ideal for a crowd, it has quartz countertops, Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, and a two-toned custom hood. Avid hosts, the Louries also have a second “back kitchen” with a wet bar, walk-in pantry and Yvette’s office. Featuring rustic tiled floors that “can take a beating” and a

Dr. Gary Lourie's private study is located just down the hall from the master suite.

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HOME The palatial master bathroom is bright, light and airy, and the chandelier pairs with the one in the adjacent master bedroom.

French provincial table, the stylish prep space is more than utilitarian—it’s where Yvette displays family antiques, photos and art. “I love the French provincial table but might change it out to a big island and add refrigeration space,” Yvette says. “Being a mom and future mother-in-law, and having family always at our house, I’m always entertaining.” Yvette’s gatherings come with a view of the lake that can be seen from various angles of the uncluttered main space. Large windows line the dining area that is furnished


in a Bernhardt table and Gabby chairs. Nearby, the open living room offers sofas from Brice Ltd., and a fireplace is flanked by Gabby sideboards. Other unique touches include a reclaimed wood mantel from an Alabama barn, beams painted to match the interior trim color for a clean look and a custom artwork by Atlanta artist George Williams in the stairwell. “I love blue, and this piece gives me some serenity,” Yvette says. “I don’t like busy. I like elegant simplicity. It relaxes me.” The unfussy elegance of the

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home extends into the master on main that is adorned in a dark gray upholstered Bernhardt bed and cowhide rug set below a shiplap ceiling. “The master bedroom overlooks the lake, which was a design choice we made when working on the home plans,” Yvette says. The best view of the water, however, is from the main level’s patio. Furnished in plush seating from Georgia Patio, the alfresco space has a fireplace, television hidden behind rustic cabinet doors and built-in outdoor kitchen. “There’s nothing we love more

than to spend a long day on the golf course or out on the water and then come home, open a bottle of wine, throw a grazing board together and hang out on the patio with our kids and friends long after the sun has gone down,” Yvette says. The downstairs is also a great hangout that belongs mainly to the Louries’ kids. Equipped with a fullsize fridge and marble-topped wet bar, it has a spacious living area that divides the floor into two wings— one for the Louries’ two daughters and the other for their son, plus an extra guest room. The two girls’ rooms are done in light grays, blush and monogrammed linens, while the other rooms feature darker hues of gray and pops of color from artwork. One of the highlights of life on the first level is the ability to walk right out onto a covered patio and down to the water’s edge. “Last year for Memorial Day we had 16 of my kids’ high school friends visiting,” Yvette says. “They slept all over the place.” Bringing loved ones together was the purpose of the Louries’ upgrading their lakefront home. They often celebrate holidays there, and recently, their middle daughter got engaged and had her engagement party at the lake house. Plus, with Reynolds Lake Oconee fewer than two hours from Atlanta, Gary is able to easily travel back and forth while juggling his private practice, conducting research and treating athletes on the Atlanta Braves and at Georgia Tech. When he is in-residence at the lake and needs to work, he retreats to a manly study furnished in a Lexington desk, studded leather armchairs from Stanton Home Furnishings, sports memorabilia and sculptures of hands, a nod to his orthopedic specialty as a hand and upper extremity surgeon. “This home represents what our future holds—laid back days, calm nights, beautiful views and our favorite activities—when Gary’s work is less demanding,” Yvette says. “But even now, it’s an easy retreat for us when we need to get away for 24 hours, or for our kids and friends to join us for a holiday weekend.” n

Various textures, an unfussy chandelier and side tables from Scott Antique Markets exude a refined rustic air in the master bedroom.



Yvette Lourie shares beloved bits of her interior design

1. Stairwell artwork “Just like the water, this piece is relaxing and peaceful, and its simplicity calms your soul.” 2. Family photo wall “These special family images are a reflection of the past 24 years and a vision for the next episode at the lake.” 3. Vintage glass canisters “Because of the history of the doctors in our family, it’s important for us to have pieces that represent our past history. My grandfather was a doctor, and Gary’s brother and dad are doctors.”


2 S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2




Giannina S. Bedford

Dr. Douglas B. Kasow is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon trained in surgery of the spine.


Sleep Matters W

e spend nearly one-third of our life asleep or trying to get to sleep. That’s a long time. To make sure you’re getting the best quality Z's, the environment has to measure up. Here are some tips to get your slumber spot in tip-top shape.

Getting the most out of your Z's

Turn down the heat. Most people sleep better in cooler temperatures and in a room with proper air flow, says Kasow. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 65 degrees. So grab a fan and turn down the thermostat.

Skip the softy. Several studies point to medium-firm mattresses as the best for improving back pain and sleep quality. “I personally use a memory foam pillow for my head and neck as well as a memory foam mattress,” says Piedmont Orthopedics | OrthoAtlanta’s Dr. Douglas B. Kasow, who also suggests avoiding stomach-sleeping that can worsen lower back pain.

Best bedding. The touch and feel of bed linens can have a big impact on snoozing. The fabric and weave of sheets should be to your liking but breathable enough to offer proper ventilation. Sheets should also fit the mattress tightly to avoid wrinkling, but not so tight that they pop off the corners. You may also consider switching out

sheets with the season depending on environmental temperature changes. Flannel for winter, anyone?

Dark-night. “Not having a lot of stimulation, including light, decreases the senses coming in and helps you fall asleep,” Kasow says. The Sleep Foundation suggests putting away electronics, wearing an eye mask and covering up windows. Darkness invites the pineal gland to produce melatonin that promotes sleepiness. Installing dimmers or motion-sensor nightlights can also aid with middle of the night trips to the restroom and avoids a bright overhead light from disrupting your ability to go back to sleep. n

Roll the party outdoors with this sleek, stainless steel mobile bar cart. The Dometic MoBar 550S has a dual-zone refrigerator for up to 39 wine bottles, a barware cabinet and storage drawer and a removable speed rail to organize spirits and mixers. It also includes a serving tray, oak prep board and insulated ice basket designed to chill up to 22 bottles or 32 cans. Summer fun has arrived. Available for $5,999.95 at

DESIGN & REALTY NEWS n This summer, the Atlanta Decorative

Arts Center added two new showrooms: Paris-founded Pierre Frey and lighting and automation shop Simply Wired PRO. In other recent moves, the Scalamandré showroom, which spent 30 years on ADAC’s fourth floor, recently relocated to the first floor, and HA Modern expanded into the adjacent 2,200-square-foot showroom at the end of 2021.

Erica George Dines

Congratulations to Harrison Design for being selected as winners in ADAC’s 2022 Southeast Designers and Architect of the Year Awards. The Atlanta firm won in both the Architect and Contract Design


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categories and was selected from a group of 38 finalists from throughout the Southeast. A full list of finalists and winners is available online. n The School of Fashion at Savan-

nah College of Art and Design is celebrating record scholarship wins. Nineteen students received awards from the 2022 Fashion Scholarship Fund, the most of any university. SCAD Atlanta junior Naecia Dixon was named the 2022 FSF Grand Prize scholarship winner, receiving $25,000. Dixon and three other SCAD Atlanta Fashion students were also selected as recipients

of the 2022 Virgil Abloh “Post Modern” FSF Scholarship, receiving $7,500 each. n Atlanta-based Harry Norman, REALTORS recently announced a new partnership with the High Museum of Art. As an Exhibition Series Sponsor, the firm will help bring national and international exhibitions to the museum, including The Obama Portraits that kicked off the sponsorship when it debuted in January. Harry Norman will also help sponsor other community endeavors, such as the High’s Wine Auction.

Real Estate Market Insider

Calling Atlanta Home


sk me where I want to live in the entire world, and I would say that I am already there. Atlanta is a vibrant city rich in art and culture with a booming economy, charming neighborhoods, and a heaping helping of Southern Expert Contributor, hospitality. This, and much Jenni Bonura more, has earned Atlanta President and CEO, a top-ranking spot in The Harry Norman, REALTORS® Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2022, the only American city to make the list. Businesses have been putting us on the map for some time. Georgia has been recognized as the best state for doing business for 8 consecutive years, and Atlanta has consistently held the #1 or #2 spot for America’s Best Relocation City. It is our winning combination of diversity, climate, and relative affordability that makes Atlanta a top destination to live, work, and play. Brimming with opportunity, Georgia is gaining global interest, and even Royal interest. Recently, Harry Norman, REALTORS® had the privilege of representing the Atlanta real estate market during the 2022 Belgian Economic Mission to the U.S., an event that brought a delegation of over 300 Belgian Business and Government officials to Atlanta, including HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium. Belgian Royalty is not the only high-profile attention Georgia is receiving; our growing car manufacturing industry continues to make headlines bringing record jobs to our state. As the thriving film industry sets up shop, claiming Atlanta as the ‘Hollywood of the South’, spotting industry icons dining at world-class restaurants or shopping designer fashion is a common part of the Atlanta experience. I’m often asked where is the best place to buy a home, and without a doubt, it’s Atlanta. As the leader of a company with a 92-year Atlanta heritage, I know its local love and far-reaching appeal. For those that have yet to experience the wonders of Atlanta, I look forward to welcoming you to your new home.


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Annie Selke Soleil Mirror in Ash ($588) The antique silver finish on this mirror by Annie Selke has an ambiguous quality—and that’s a good thing when you want to mix metals. Categorically silver but with a hint of gold undertones, it’s the perfect metallic piece to bring a room together. The scalloped edge is on-trend, and its medium size makes it workable for any room, such as a powder room, hallway or even a teenager’s bedroom. Peridot • 404.350.0330 • @peridotmarket

Made Goods Thyra Aged Sconce ($1,200) This sconce is peak Art Deco, but it’s timeless enough that it works in any home’s interiors. Made from three stacked semicircles, its aged silver finish will have your guests guessing just how long it's been installed in your home. Graphic and sophisticated, it’s the kind of sconce that never goes out of style. Mathews Furniture + Design • 404.237.8271 • @mathewsatl

Shine On It’s a universally acknowledged truth that a hint of shine in any interior space is a welcome addition. Adding metallics is no longer trendy; it’s practically a design imperative. But today’s metallics go far beyond gold and silver. From polished brass to matte bronze and everything in between, here are some shiny decor items to add interest to your space. STORY:

ENA Swivel Armchair (price upon request) Italian brand Lazzoni’s classic ENA chair is the swivel seat of your dreams. Its curved back almost seems to hug the person sitting in it, creating a comfortable, cozy and stylish embrace. A pair can serve as a vignette seating area, but the two might steal the show from any sofa. If metallic is not your preferred finish, it comes in additional leather options as well. Lazzoni • 404.975.3118 • • @lazzoni

Lauren Finney Harden

Boule Stainless Steel Ice Bucket ($80)

Fancy Beast Metallic Glam Gold Wallpaper (price upon request) Turn the volume up in any space with Schumacher’s Fancy Beast wallpaper, this time in Glam Gold. The pattern, a part of the Cristina Buckley collaboration, features the heritage brand’s distinctive trellis pattern and leopard spots, all on glorious gold. Perfect for entryways, powder rooms and hallways, it’s a conversation starter. Schumacher • 404.261.2742 • • @schumacher1889


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Designer Sasha Adler’s collection for CB2 has whimsy in spades, evidenced by this stainless steel ice bucket. A polished brass squiggle handle mixes metals in a playful way, and it gives you permission to switch up metals in your accompanying barware and tabletop pieces. If you’re a complete-the-set kind of host, there’s also a corresponding cocktail shaker. CB2 Westside Provisions District 404.260.7264 • • @cb2

Real Estate Market Insider

Calling Atlanta Home


sk me where I want to live in the entire world, and I would say that I am already there. Atlanta is a vibrant city rich in art and culture with a booming economy, charming neighborhoods, and a heaping helping of Southern Expert Contributor, hospitality. This, and much Jenni Bonura more, has earned Atlanta President and CEO, a top-ranking spot in The Harry Norman, REALTORS® Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2022, the only American city to make the list. Businesses have been putting us on the map for some time. Georgia has been recognized as the best state for doing business for 8 consecutive years, and Atlanta has consistently held the #1 or #2 spot for America’s Best Relocation City. It is our winning combination of diversity, climate, and relative affordability that makes Atlanta a top destination to live, work, and play. Brimming with opportunity, Georgia is gaining global interest, and even Royal interest. Recently, Harry Norman, REALTORS® had the privilege of representing the Atlanta real estate market during the 2022 Belgian Economic Mission to the U.S., an event that brought a delegation of over 300 Belgian Business and Government officials to Atlanta, including HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium. Belgian Royalty is not the only high-profile attention Georgia is receiving; our growing car manufacturing industry continues to make headlines bringing record jobs to our state. As the thriving film industry sets up shop, claiming Atlanta as the ‘Hollywood of the South’, spotting industry icons dining at world-class restaurants or shopping designer fashion is a common part of the Atlanta experience. I’m often asked where is the best place to buy a home, and without a doubt, it’s Atlanta. As the leader of a company with a 92-year Atlanta heritage, I know its local love and far-reaching appeal. For those that have yet to experience the wonders of Atlanta, I look forward to welcoming you to your new home.




2960 Olympic Industrial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30339

fine art | furniture | accents lighting | fabric S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



How would you describe your style?

Don Easterling: It’s about the client’s style. But there are certain styles we like more than others. We love fun fabrics and color done in an updated way.

Kim Evans


ou might be familiar with furniture, fabric and accessories stalwart Mathews Furniture + Design on West Paces Ferry Road, which has served Atlanta for more than three decades. The business also includes Mathews Design Group, a studio developed by Nina Long and Don Easterling that includes other sought-after interior designers. The pair have been working together for 15 years and complement each other’s skill sets. “We have great chemistry,” says Long, who started out as Easterling’s assistant before becoming his partner. Long calls Easterling “an encyclopedia of furniture” and a master space planner, while she specializes in fabrics and colors. They’ve done projects all over, from Lake Martin, Alabama, to Big Sky, Montana. Almost all of their clients are referrals and repeat business, which speaks highly of the duo’s taste, style and work ethic. Their very customized, high-touch approach keeps a hefty waiting list of clients. The design group works out of the retail store, which the pair loves because they get to see all their designer friends while they work on their own projects. “It’s neat to be able to work with everyone in the industry,” Long says. The store carries more than 200 lines such as Hickory Chair, Alfonso Marina and Chaddock, and Long and Easterling have been working alongside owner Stephen Mathews, buying for the store for the last decade. Here, they discuss their approach.


Nina Long and Don Easterling bring Mathews Design Group to life STORY: Lauren Finney Harden tion from room to room. We find a balance. Not every room needs to have a loud statement.

What are you seeing clients gravitate towards now?

What about antiques?

Nina Long: People are letting us wallpaper their entire dining rooms, whereas it used to be just the powder room. That used to be where you could get away with going a little wild because you could just shut the door, and it wasn’t a commitment. People now want it throughout their house. The flow is important, though; you want to have a transi-

DE: A lot of our clients have antiques or things they’ve found in their travels. We do a lot of houses now where I did the parents’ house years ago, and now, we are doing their kids’ houses, and they have antiques their parents have given them. But there’s definitely such a thing as bad antiques! NL: It's nice to have a mix. Not every-


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thing has to be brand new. Antique accessories like a magnifying glass or English box or oil painting are great ways to incorporate that look. We love working with heirloom pieces. We’re not going to throw it out just to try and sell you more stuff. What’s the biggest design mistake you see people making?

DE: Shopping online. You think you’re getting a deal or something quick, and it ends up being total garbage. The scale always ends up being totally wrong.

Where do you look for inspiration?

NL: Inspiration is everywhere! We feel inspired by our travels as well as our surroundings. I also love looking through Don’s old collections of design magazines. I can eat up stacks and stacks of those! It’s interesting to me that good design really does live on. So much was done in the ’90s and early 2000s that’s still good and relevant today. n MATHEWS FURNITURE + DESIGN • 404.237.8271 • @mathewsatl






Lips Don't Lie Page 46 Beauty lover and entrepreneur Yvette Landin launched Rock Rose Cosmetics with a healing mission. PHOTO:

Sara Hanna

“We can use our lips to spread joy, positivity and optimism”— Yvette Landin S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



The interior of The Taste Boutique was created by Habachy Designs.

In Good Taste T

eresa Caldwell is a multi-hyphenate who has honed her tastemaker status over the years. She’s a celebrity stylist, an interior designer and co-founder of Taste Design, the author of the memoir I Once Was Her and mom to rapper and film star Bow Wow—and that’s all before mentioning that she has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram. Shoppers flocked to boutiques where she shared her style in the past, including the online iteration of The Taste Boutique that she launched in 2012, and NeNe Leakes’ Swagg Boutique in Buckhead that closed in 2020. Now she’s gearing up for an even bigger following with the opening of The Taste Boutique at The Interlock on the westside. The new store is a 1,500-square-foot gem cofounded by Caldwell and her interior design partner, Michael Elliot. The two decided to reincarnate the women’s and men’s apparel, accessories and home gifts boutique this year after finding themselves at a loss when it came to sourcing interesting accessories and gifts in their interior design work. “There was nowhere to get cool gifts in Atlanta. We were always going to New York and Los Angeles to find things. So I said, ‘Let’s just do it,”’ she says. Elliot and Caldwell are both buyers for the store. “I felt like four eyes are better than two,” Caldwell says. Their point of view is looking for unique items you can’t find everywhere else. That includes brands such as Rizzoli, Zadig & Voltaire, Michael Lauren and ESSEutESSE, a shoe brand Caldwell


declares has “the hottest sneakers.” Designed by Michael Habachy of Habachy Designs, the interior is meant to feel zen and grand at once. “The dressing rooms are huge, with beautiful mirrors and drapes and tassels,” Caldwell says. Taste also includes a store-within-a-store. Called Essence of Taste, or E’OT for short, founder Essence Bembry offers urban streetwear and luxurious accoutrements. (Bembry is in the same celebrity sphere as Caldwell, as she is the mother of NBA superstar DeAndré Bembry.) Caldwell intentionally didn’t delineate where one boutique begins and the other ends. “I want people to buy what they like, and you don’t know who you are buying from until you reach the cash register,” she says. This season, look out for bright color trends in canary yellow, electric hot pink, sky blue, lilac and what Caldwell calls “Georgia peach,” a sunny shade. The boutique will have these hues represented in cut-out cocktail dresses, staple light layering pieces such as jackets and light sweaters, and work-ready blouses and wide leg pants. Caldwell also says that hoops are having a comeback, and her preferred jewelry lines are Luv AJ and Sheila Fajl. Also look out for art puzzles, totes emblazoned with “HAVE SOME FUN TODAY” and House of Wise CBD products. Recently, Caldwell closed the store to the public to allow actress Taraji P. Henson to shop, a validating experience for the owner. She says Henson described

J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 • S I M P LY B U C K H E A D

Erick Robinson

Teresa Caldwell reincarnates her signature boutique STORY: Lauren Finney Harden

it as feeling like she was in a hotel lobby. “Her feedback brought me to tears,” Caldwell says. “She was in a dressing room and said, ‘I feel like a princess in here. I want everything in here. I want to come here and just stay.’ It’s everything I wanted customers to feel.” n THE TASTE BOUTIQUE • 404.410.4477 • @thetasteboutique.atl

From top: Teresa Caldwell; this season's colors include sky blue and what Caldwell calls "Georgia peach."


Call now

The Slate Room, 1059 Piedmont Road, Ste D, Atlanta, Georgia 30324 404.414.0550 | | @the_slate_room


KEEP YOUR COOL Strategies to look flawless this summer


f you’ve experienced a summer in Atlanta, you know that the city comes by its “Hotlanta” tourist nickname honestly. While those soaring temperatures make for ideal pool days, heat and humidity can wreak havoc on your carefully crafted hair and makeup. Here, we tap two local pros for tips about how to preserve your look, no matter the weather.

Summer ‘Do Dos Master colorist Shawn Warner of SW The Salon in Buckhead says that some of the biggest summer hair challenges include sun, salt from sweat and ocean water, chlorine and intense humidity. Those hazards can cause your strands to lose shine and vibrancy, and make your color fade. Here are some of Warner’s smart strategies. n Wear a hat. “It

helps keep your color from fading and oxidizing,” he says, particularly if you color or bleach your hair.


STORY: Jennifer Bradley Franklin

n Wet your hair with fresh water.

Heading to the pool or ocean? “Your hair is porous like a sponge. Fill the hair with fresh water, and it will be less likely to absorb the chlorine or salt water,” Warner says. Rinse your hair post-swim and plan to shampoo and deep condition when you’re back indoors. n Leverage the heat. “Slather your hair in your favorite conditioner, then wrap it up under your hat or ball cap for a great opportunity to deep condition in the summer heat,” he says. “You’ll have a great barrier built up for when you jump in the water.” Warner notes that salt water can shorten the life of a keratin smoothing treatment. n Go au naturel. “With the extreme humidity, rethink spending a ton of time on your blow dry,” he says. “Try to play around with some airdried styles or explore working with your natural curl.” n Smooth operator. If you are going to spend time and effort on a blowout during the height

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of summer humidity, Warner recommends using a primer with heat protection such as Milbon Restorative Blowout Primer and a humidity-blocking serum such as Milbon Humidity Blocking Oil. Then, he says, “Try to really smooth and lay down the cuticle of your hair with even tension and angling your blow dryer heat down the hair shaft.”

Best Face Forward Ayan Scott, a makeup artist who has been serving clients at Woo Skincare + Cosmetics’ West Paces Ferry location in Buckhead for five years, is well acquainted with the challenges of keeping a flawless face during the height of summer. Here are some of her best tips and product recommendations. n Primed for success. Scott

maintains that the two must-have items in your summer makeup bag are a foundation primer or an oil-free moisturizer.

n Mattify and refresh. “Translucent

pressed powder or setting powder [is ideal], especially if someone is out all day,” she says. “It helps refresh their makeup and helps it stay in place.” n The eyes have it. Set your eye makeup up for success with Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials, a primer that Scott recommends and comes in five colors to match to your skin tone. It helps give eyeshadow staying power and also color-corrects and brightens your eyes. n Ready, set, go. The final step in Scott’s summer makeup protocol is a setting spray. An ultra-fine hydrating mist helps lock in moisture and keep your look in place. “It also refreshes your makeup,” Scott says, adding that you can spray a bit throughout the day. n

SW THE SALON • 404.428.6848 • @shawnwarnerhair WOO SKINCARE + COSMETICS Multiple locations @wooskincarecosmetics

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S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



Acupuncturist Jennifer Myers incorporates ear seeding into her service for clients who could benefit from the tiny, therapeutic balls.

Planting a Seed

Ear seeding’s therapeutic benefits STORY: Karina Antenucci PHOTOS: Joann Vitelli


Benefits of Seeds

he alternative medicine practice of acupuncture places thin needles on meridians and acupressure points to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. “Our body is connected in all sorts of ways,” says Jennifer Myers, licensed acupuncturist and owner of Core Acupuncture Health + Wellness in Buckhead. The ears are particularly unique in that they represent a microcosm of the entire body. “Each ear provides a mini


in place by tape. There are different styles of ear seeds, including those sporting Swarovski crystals, that all essentially do the same thing. “The seeds I use a lot have a tiny metallic ball that is applied by a small sticker,” says Myers, who has worked with patients for 10 years. Unlike an acupuncture needle that can from time to time feel briefly uncomfortable upon insertion, the application of a seed is totally painless. It’s along the lines of pressing a stick-on earring. Myers typically seeds one ear per visit and alternates between right and left but notes “every acupuncturist has their own style and method of doing things.” Myers doesn’t charge extra for ear seeds; if needed, they come with her needling treatments ($105 for 45-55 minutes after the initial intake visit). However, some practitioners charge between $20-$35 for this add-on.

map of the body through which health can be supported. There are hundreds of points on the ear alone,” Myers says. From lobes to pinna, ears can be needled like the rest of the body, or they can receive ear seeds. Here, we’ll explore what those little healers are.

What Are Ear Seeds? Ear seeds are tiny balls that are gently applied to acupuncture points on the surface of the skin and held

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The seeds provide some subtle and supplemental health support for anything that ails you, from soothing anxiety to lessening pain from an injury. “Most of the time, people don’t notice the benefits it brings until it falls off. For a couple of days, they might have taken everything in stride and felt less stressed driving through traffic. Then when it comes off, they realize how impatient they feel,” Myers says.

When to Get Them In addition to targeting ailments, acupuncture and ear seeding are great preventative wellness tools. “Invest in your health, not just when something’s wrong,” says Myers. “Many people ignore those ‘check-engine-light’ signals that the body sends, and the light gets bigger and brighter and more annoying until it can’t be ignored.”

Short Life Span Ear seeds aren’t meant to stay on your ears for an extended period of time. For cleansing purposes, Myers recommends removing them after four to five days at the most if they haven’t already fallen off on their own.

Is DIYing Safe? It is, but Myers recommends going to an acupuncturist for your first ear seeding for accuracy. “The ear is so small, and all those hundreds of points are so close together that it helps to have a professional pinpoint exactly where the seed should go to address your particular issue.” Otherwise, you could be treating your shoulder when you want to reduce anxiety. n CORE ACUPUNCTURE HEALTH + WELLNESS 770.375.5594 • @coreacupunctureatlanta

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



flow and add natural fullness to your lips. I have a [colorless] lip balm and a [sheer pink] balm called She's the Balm. I also offer a duo-chrome [with two metallics] gloss called Sassy with more shimmer. How long did it take to bring the products to market?

I started working with the lab in October 2020 and launched in September 2021. It was more of a soft launch, and I've been selling ever since, mostly online and in pop-ups, including at Kendra Scott in Buckhead. I've shipped all over the country, so far to 20 states. My dream is to get into Nordstrom. Why do makeup and beauty inspire you?

I was always fascinated by makeup, but I wasn’t allowed to wear it, which I think drew me to it more. I was that kid who was wearing blue eyeliner back in the day. It was something that made me feel good about myself. I don’t want to send the message that makeup is the only thing that makes you feel beautiful, but I think my life experiences made it extremely important for me to help other young women, men, anyone who doesn't think it's possible to create something like this and feel empowered that they can. What life experiences led you to want to help others?

Lips Don’t Lie Yvette Landin created a vibrant lipstick line with a mission STORY: Jennifer Bradley Franklin PHOTO: Sara


akeup has always inspired Yvette Landin, who dreamed of starting a line of her own. The Texas native, who currently serves as a senior advisor for a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that the energy grid stays up and running, decided to make her dream a reality in 2021 with the launch of Rock Rose Cosmetics. Here, the Buckhead resident shares insights into her journey to entrepreneurship and the special message behind every product.



Where did the name Rock Rose come from?

I found the name initially because of a street in my hometown of Austin. Then I found out that it’s also a Mediterranean essential oil that’s been used since biblical times to heal. It is the magic ingredient. What was your purpose in launching this brand?

Lips are powerful mediums, and they can change the world. We can use our lips to spread joy, positivity

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and optimism. If we're going to do that, why not do it with a clean, vegan, cruelty-free product that's made in the United States and infused with CBD and rock rose oil? What’s the scope of your initial product offering?

I worked with a professional makeup artist to help solidify the colors that would work with many skin tones. I have six matte colors and six plumpers that have cayenne pepper and ginger to bring blood

For the past five years, because I took a job [away from my family in Texas], I was going through a lot of emotional pain and trying to figure out why. I signed up for therapy and realized there was some abuse that I experienced as a little girl. I knew I had to heal from that. Around that time, I discovered that rock rose essential oil is known as the healer of the Mediterranean. I knew Rock Rose Cosmetics was meant to be. Do you have a favorite, go-to color from the line?

My everyday colors switch between Ladylike and CEO because they're are neutrals. When I want a bold lip color for work I'll wear Bad-Assy for big meetings. If I’m going out on the town, I'll wear Posh Maintenance, a really bright pink color. n ROCK ROSE COSMETICS • @rockrosecosmetics





Bye-bye Boredom Page 48 From crafting to geography, kid subscription boxes come in a variety of themes.

“I'm not sure who likes the boxes more, our children or me.” — Cinda Boomershine

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Bye-bye Boredom Kid subscription boxes offer activities, clothes and more


he lazy days of summer are approaching the back-toschool rush. It’s time to get your kids’ brain neurons firing again and for you to prep for the start of the academic year. From crafting and cooking kits to educational toys, projects and monthly book and clothing deliveries, kid subscription boxes run the gamut. “We signed up for subscription boxes to keep my son and daughter busy and give me some free time. My son loved the Kiwi Crates, which are educational and fit his engineering, problem-solving personality,” says Brookhaven resident Erin Mosher, a mom of two and realtor with Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty. “The kits are also great gifts to give something out of the ordinary toy wise.” “Instead of spending the time figuring out cute activities and games to do with our kiddos, the box does all that for me, and I get to spend my time having fun with our kids,” says Buckhead native, entrepreneur and mother of two Cinda Boomershine, who subscribes


to YearCheer, a holiday-based box with decorations and activities to celebrate holidays. “The boxes make me look like a fun rock star mama without having to spend any of the time or effort to figure it all out.” Below is a round-up of some other popular services ready to deliver recreation and relief to your door.


Keep the minds of your little ones active with activity-based subscription boxes.

Giannina S. Bedford

play-based science and geography kits delivered monthly. Founded in 2009 by two friends who grew up in multinational households, the boxes are aimed at provoking curiosity, celebrating diverse cultures and highlighting global experiences for ages 3 to 10. Subscriptions begin at $23.95., @littlepassports

KiwiCo These toy and activity subscription boxes span all ages, from the Panda Crate for 0- to 24-month-olds and Kiwi Crate for 5- to 8-yearolds to the Eureka Crate for 12- to 100-year-olds. Founded by an engineer and mother of three, the boxes include products that are developmentally appropriate for each age, from toys to science and art projects all aimed to inspire creative problem solving. Subscriptions start at $18.50 per month., @kiwico_inc

Mix Box Skip the grocery list and have ingredients for “from scratch” desserts delivered to your door, ready to mix up with your kids. Each box is themed around a specific dessert and includes step-by-step instructions and pre-measured ingredients, but no store-bought mixes. You can also access video tutorials for each box via the website. Not a fan of that month’s dessert? You can always swap it out for cinnamon buns. Subscriptions start at $27.95.,

Little Passports


Your kids can conduct experiments or discover a new country through hands-on activities with these

Rockets of Awesome

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Founded by a Manhattan-based

mother of two, this clothes subscription for sizes 0 months to 14 years personalizes clothes to your child’s taste through an introductory style quiz. Print and graphic garments are designed in-house by a team of fashion industry veterans and meant to be mixed and matched in a variety of ways. Approve and swap clothes online before the box ships, keep what your fashionista loves and send back the rest. Cost is based on the items kept, and a discount is offered for purchasing all the box items., @rocketsofawesome

We Craft Box These arts and craft kits created by a mother of three deliver creative projects for two kids, ages 3 to 9. The monthly box comes with a themed story, five coordinating crafts (all materials included) and photo directions. The theme and materials change each month, from outer space and glow in the dark to polar bears and modeling clay. Subscriptions begin at $34.99., @wecraftbox n

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with years of experience can certainly help with positive outcomes.”

hough it’s popular for pet owners to care for a dog or cat, we’d be remiss to ignore Atlanta’s small mammal and exotic pet owners. Thankfully, founders of Dunwoody-based All Creatures Animal Hospital Drs. Karolyn and Michael Akins share the same sentiment. The Atlanta-area’s cats and dogs are welcome at the locally owned clinic, as are guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds, reptiles, hedgehogs, ferrets and beyond. Michael Akins says, “They are all fun to help, but the exotic species push your learning and problem-solving skills every day.” Here, Akins shares his top tips.

Choose a small pet that best fits your lifestyle. Just like how dogs typically require a bit more upkeep than cats, the same goes for small and exotic pets, with some needing more TLC than others. “I have always been a fan of guinea pigs for smaller children (under age 6) since they are sturdy, typically gentle and entertaining. Rabbits are excellent pets for older kids,” says Akins. “Both are great first, small mammals to both enjoy and help teach lessons in responsibility.”

Don’t let ‘cute factor’ override the reality that your exotic or small pet does require different—and sometimes even more—care than your typical cat or dog. “Everyone wants something ‘different’ and yet often do little research on how to care for the animals prior to purchase,” says Akins. “It is also challenging [as a veterinarian] to find information on specific diagnostics or therapeutics for some species. More education on your own and finding a veterinarian

On the flip side, he notes that some breeds of rabbits, especially those with longer hair, can be more high maintenance overall, as can sugar gliders and hedgehogs, which are hard to feed well and handle. For example, rabbit owners will need to clean the cages one to two times per week because urine builds up low in the cage where the animals live. Akins says birds and reptiles are also great pets but are more appropriate for older children (above age 8) since their daily diet, exercise routine and overall maintenance are more rigorous.

Oxbow hay and pelleted feeds for guinea pigs and rabbits. Mazuri is an excellent Purina derivative, which produces specific diets for specific species. I try to stay away from the all-in-one mixes with inappropriate seed content or strange carbohydrate pellet sources, such as dried fruits, seeds and processed or unknown pelleted ingredients, besides actual hay-based pellets, for guinea pigs or rabbits.”

Pay attention to their diets.

Courtesy of All Creatures Animal Hospital

Education before a commitment is key.

STORY: Taylor Heard

Steve Tsang on Unsplash

Expert care tips for petite and exotic pets

Discover how to care for new furry family members like ferrets and hamsters before you buy.

Dr. Michael Akins of All Creatures Animal Hospital.

Every animal, of course, has its own particular needs. Akins says that while ferrets, for example, are carnivores, several pelleted diets can offer them proper nutrition. For rabbits and guinea pigs, or any larger herbivores, he suggests a food pyramid diet such as 75% grass hay (not alfalfa hay, as it can often be too high in calcium and protein); 20% pelleted feeds, if they are not overweight; and 5% fresh vegetables. There are nuances for every creature. Atkins says, “​​I am a big fan of

Don’t skimp on exercise. You may not be able to clip on a leash and take your guinea pig on a walk around the park, but Akins says it’s still important to prioritize “out of the cage” time each day and to provide the appropriate wheel or exercise ball time for smaller mammals such as hamsters, sugar gliders and hedgehogs. n ALL CREATURES ANIMAL HOSPITAL 770.393.3400 • @allcreaturesdunwoody

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Going Back for Seconds Real estate investment property advice


or some, purchasing a second home is a bona fide luxury. It is your very own home away from home that you can visit whenever the mood strikes. But purchasing a property besides your primary residence can also be a smart financial decision for those looking for an investment that you can rent. Just ask Jeremy Norman, founder of Norman & Associates Real Estate Solutions. Norman has worked in real estate for nearly two decades, focusing in recent years on the luxury market. He added Atlanta to his extensive portfolio several years ago by opening an office in Buckhead after finding success in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was named Minority Entrepreneur of the Year and recognized as a Top 40 under 40 entrepreneur. His clients include high-profile names in sports and entertainment, C-suite executives and professionals and families of all sizes. Here, he shares his insights about real estate investment properties and how to take advantage of this growing sector of the market.


STORY: Amy Meadows

Why should I consider purchasing

What do I need to know about

a second home in Atlanta?

financing an investment property?

Atlanta is a top location for the film industry right now, and so many people are coming into the area looking for short-term rentals. They need a home for four or five months, and they have to be close to the city and the airport. Many celebrities bring their families and children with them, and some even have security. So they need a house with space.

First, reach out to your mortgage lender to see how much they would approve for you. With secondary investments, you’re most likely going to be required to put 20% down, so you need to know that up front. You also want to get a good interest rate on that secondary mortgage. The numbers have to make sense. Make sure that whatever your monthly payment is going to be that you’re going to be able to get at least two to three times it rentwise to make it worthwhile.

Are other individuals also looking for short-term rentals?

Atlanta is probably going through one of the biggest booms in its history, especially with all of the major corporations that are moving here. That’s bringing a lot of executives to the area. I always say to them, “There’s nothing wrong with renting for three to six months so you can get to know the area and the school system, and decide where you might want to purchase a home.” It’s a great advantage for them to rent, and it’s an opportunity for you to offer a short-term rental.

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Jeremy Norman recognizes the unique financial opportunity provided by investment properties.

maintenance issues. They handle everything, collect the rent and send you a check.

Should I expect to invest

Who can help me navigate

additional money after I

the process of purchasing

purchase a second home?

an investment property?

The more you upgrade a home, the more you can expect to get in rent. So you’ll want to upgrade any appliances, think about furnishings and look at paint and carpeting. You will get a better return on a fully updated property. You should also consider hiring a property manager who will deal with the tenants and any

Choose a qualified real estate agent who has dealt with investment properties before. They need to understand how to look at homes and the amount of rent owners are getting in particular areas. n NORMAN & ASSOCIATES REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS • 470.223.1981 • @normanliving.atlanta

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Maggie Schreck, PA-C is a highly-skilled and sought-after injector treating patients in the Buckhead location of Truffles Medispa. Maggie is an injector trainer for both Allergan (the makers of Botox Cosmetic, the Juvederm portfolio, and Kybella) and Galderma (the makers of Dysport, the Restylane portfolio, and Sculptra Aesthetic). Maggie is also one of the very few injectors who trains physicians and other practitioners throughout the State of Georgia in the use of Sculptra Aesthetic for both the face and body. With more than fourteen years of injectable experience, Maggie specializes in Non-Surgical Aesthetic Rejuvenation. She is a true artist who loves working with patients to help them achieve their aesthetic

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goals. She is known for her excellent bedside manner, exceptional patient care, and innovative treatments that cannot be found at other practices. Maggie obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Arts from Miami University of Ohio and her Physician Assistant degree from Yale University. In addition to her extensive experience as an injector, Maggie has worked in the field of plastic surgery since 2007 assisting in surgery, preoperative care, and postoperative care. Maggie is a native of upstate New York and lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

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S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



Buckhead Reality TV MTV spotlights local 20-somethings in new show


he creator of “Jersey Shore,” SallyAnn Salsano, debuted a new reality show last month that was filmed right in our backyard. “Buckhead Shore,” which will air on MTV, revolves around nine 20-something friends from Buckhead: Katie Canham, Bethania Locke, Chelsea Prescott, Savannah Gabriel, Parker Lipman, DJ Simmons, Juju Barney and Adamo Giraldo. Viewers will watch their journeys over a “life-changing” Season 1. “We all live pretty lavish lifestyles, and we show that on the show,” says Locke, a first grade after-school teacher with a program that focuses on the social and emotional development of children. “They show us shopping, partying and going out. You also see our history, background and our cultures. You get to see a bunch of different people from different walks of life coming together and somehow having a tight-knit friend group.” “Buckhead Shore” filmed at the cast’s apartments and family homes, favorite hangouts such as Big Sky and Tongue & Groove, and


Lipman’s family farm and house on Lake Burton where the group parties every summer. Though Buckhead obviously doesn’t have a shore, the show title speaks to their significant time at the lake. Many of their luxe perks were furnished by Lipman’s father, Zach McLeroy, founder of fast-food chain Zaxby’s. “That was a huge blessing; it kind of gives some spice to the show,” says Lipman, who works for the family business helping expand it into new markets and proudly sports a necklace with the family crest (a chicken). Lipman isn’t the only one who

J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 • S I M P LY B U C K H E A D

STORY: Vanessa

The Season 1 cast of "Buckhead Shore," which premiered on June 23.

Pascale Rust

comes from a family of privilege. Barney’s father owns iconic gentlemen’s club Magic City, Simmons’ father is in the music industry and has a few Grammys and Locke’s father is a successful businessman. A few of the others haven’t had such an advantaged upbringing, and the episodes reveal them trying to find their footing within the group. “Buckhead is the new LA. Everyone is trying to come here,” says Lipman. “We’re getting a Nobu soon!” says Locke, who is excited to show off her hometown to the world. In true reality TV style, each cast member has their own storyline.

Left: DJ Simmons, Katie Canham and Bethania Locke at Parker Lipman's family house on Lake Burton. Right: Buckhead resident Parker Lipman.

Lipman, “the ladies’ man,” is navigating a love triangle, while Locke ends up as the therapist of this group and is also trying to figure out her purpose. “I carry the weight of a lot of the drama. It’s definitely entertaining,” says Lipman, who isn’t new to the screen. He was a recurring guest as Chase Chrisley’s friend on “Chrisley Knows Best.” When the cast’s personal lives become public this summer, Lipman says, “I’m sure friendships are going to be ripped apart after this because everyone talks about everybody.” Let the drama commence. n, @buckheadshore


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Photo by Bernardo Nogueira for Só Dança.

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Buckhead Centre in Chastain Square 404.303.1501

Virginia-Highland Centre in Amsterdam Walk 404.883.2178

Red-bellied Woodpecker Nesting SuperBlend ®

The Season’s

Best Nutrition

Your Backyard Bird Feeding Experts Wild Birds Unlimited of Atlanta, GA 4279 Roswell Road, Suite 603, Atlanta, GA 30342 404.257.0084

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A bronze sculpture by Mexican sculptor Jorge Marin in front of the Latin American Association.

PUBLIC ART TAKES OFF “Wings of the City” adorn Brookhaven outdoor areas


s one of the metro area’s newest cities, Brookhaven has marked many firsts as it has found its footing. Its latest sign of municipal maturity: adorning several outdoor areas with art. The Brookhaven Arts and Culture Commission was formed in January 2021, and led by Chair Lauren Kiefer, the nine-person committee made bringing art into the city a priority. “It was one of our marching orders to do public art,” says Kiefer, an attorney and long-time arts supporter who also sits on the board of the Alliance Theatre. “It’s an underlying tenet of the city’s master plan.” In its first official act earlier this year, the commission arranged to bring dramatic works by worldrenowned Mexican sculptor Jorge Marin to locations around town.


“Wings of the City,” which launched last month, is one of the artist’s premier collections of nine bronze sculptures that have been touring the U.S., most recently in Raleigh and Greenville. Marin’s other figurative, contemporary works have been feted around the globe. Born in 1963 in Uruapan, Mexico, Marin studied graphic design and fine art restoration. His work has been featured in more than 320 group and solo exhibitions and gradually transitioned beyond galleries and museums to become part of the urban landscape in streets and squares around the world. Marin’s work came to the attention of Kiefer’s commission from the Mexican consulate, also located in Brookhaven. “They showed us this opportunity and asked if we wanted it,” she

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H.M. Cauley


Erik Meadows

says. “It was an honor to be asked to present these works. A lot of people on the commission have strong arts backgrounds, and we all recognized and appreciated the sheer artistry of these sculptures.” The largest of the works is 11 feet high and 10 feet wide; the smallest is just 4 feet tall. Most feature creatures with giant wings ready to take flight. One is prominently placed outside the Mexican consulate on Chantilly Drive; others are on display at Blackburn Park, Oglethorpe University, the Peachtree Creek Greenway and Northeast Plaza and the Latin American Association, both on Buford Highway. “Several factors went into placing them,” says Kiefer. “Part of it was how easy it was to put the sculptures in place. Others were how visible they would be from the road

and how protected they would be. We didn’t want to put them in a flood plain.” The “Wings” will remain in place until spring 2023. During that time, a variety of educational programs and interactive workshops will be offered around the city to correlate to the artist and his work. Meanwhile, the commission is already planning for its next project. “We are so excited and very honored to show off the artistry of these works and the gifts the city of Brookhaven has to offer,” says Kiefer. “But we’re already working on the next two or three things. We have a backlog of projects we need to address, and though they won’t all be of this magnitude, you’ll soon start seeing more and more art in the city.” n

Photography by Brandon Amato



(470) 819-4841

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Thrilling Stories Kimberly Belle pens her eighth novel set in Atlanta


uckhead author Kimberly Belle is one of those “never give up on your dream” success stories. “For a long time I had this secret dream of writing a book one day. I thought I maybe had a story to tell, maybe two? It turns out I’m about to start book number nine!” says Belle, who is now a USA Today and internationally bestselling author. Although Belle has always enjoyed writing, she began her career working in nonprofit fundraising. When the recession hit in 2008 and she subsequently lost her job, she decided it was a good time to get serious about her writing passion. Belle started writing that year, and her first book, “The Last Breath,” came out in 2014. All of her novels are domestic thrillers, a genre of psychological suspense that focuses on interpersonal relationships. “These are the kinds of books I love to write but also love to read,” Belle says.


Her eighth novel will be published this November. Titled “The Personal Assistant,” the book explores the dark side of the digital world when a mommy-blogger’s assistant goes missing. We sat down with Belle to discuss her career and writing process. How has your previous career

STORY: Hailey Hudson PHOTO: Sara

The setting makes it easy because I know all the landmarks. I know all the fun places. I know how long it takes to drive from Vinings to Midtown in rush hour. Both “My Darling Husband” and “The Personal Assistant” are set in Brookhaven, Capital City Club specifically. In “The Marriage Lie,” I talked about the BeltLine.

helped you as a writer?

First of all, my education helped me. At Agnes Scott, I studied psychology, which is something I use every time I crawl into a character's head. Then I worked in fundraising on staff at the Dutch office of Habitat for Humanity and for YWCA Atlanta and consulted for many others. I helped with the marketing department, writing the fundraising newsletters and scripts for promotional videos. So writing has always been a thing I really loved. Why are many of your books set in Atlanta?

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How do you balance the writing and business sides of your job?

If I can get 1,000-1,500 words in a day, that’s a good writing day for me. And then I tackle social media, emails, the marketing, all the other parts of being a writer. It’s definitely two jobs in one, at least. What has been your most exciting accomplishment so far?

What’s your writing process like?

I hammer out a very detailed outline. Sometimes it can be 20-30 pages. I think through every single chapter, every single scene, all the moving parts and pieces. Once I have the outline, then I really start writing. That is an everyday thing. I try to touch my manuscript every day because I have found that if I put it down just for the weekend, then it takes me forever on Monday to get back into it. I’ve [written a book] in as quickly as four months; sometimes it’s taken me more like 10.

My sixth book, “Stranger in the Lake,” won me Georgia Author of the Year for mystery and thriller in 2021, which was super exciting. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

I have a huge gypsy soul and love to travel. So that is the top of my list. My husband and I spend a lot of our time in Holland, where half my family lives. That, and working out, getting out of my writing chair. n KIMBERLY BELLE • @kimberlysbelle



Denise K. James

Celebrate the end of summer break this August at Brook Run Park.



f the kids are feeling gloomy about summer’s end, quell their blue moods with Dunwoody’s Back-to-School Bash, part of the Groovin’ on the Green concert series. Program Recreation Supervisor Rachel Waldron says this year’s event is the biggest to date, with five concerts at Brook Run Park, each 6-9 p.m. The Bash on Aug. 13 features live music from the Josh Gilbert Band, local food vendors such as the Atlanta Pizza Truck, giveaways and a new Atlanta Sport and Social Club tailgate area with adult beverages and lawn games. To make the event extra-special for kids, highlights will include face painters, balloon artists and giveaways of items such as beach balls, sunglasses and sweet treats. Families can either bring dinner in a cooler or order from vendors. Band frontman Josh Gilbert says he’s looking forward to returning to Dunwoody’s concert series for the third year. The self-described working musician and former choir boy lives with his family in Chattanooga. “My songwriting influences include U2, Coldplay and Muse,” he says, “but we play a number of classic covers from The Allman Brothers Band and CCR, too.” Gilbert enjoys watching kids of all ages have fun.

“I remember a couple of cool moments [from prior concerts] with a lot of children dancing in front of the stage. And one kid threw a frisbee at me last year while I was performing, and I caught it and threw it back. That was memorable.” n

Kid-friendly highlights include face painters, balloon artists, cold treats and giveaways.

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Denise K. James

Get a Taste of Atlanta

Food That Rocks showcases local flavor

The 21st annual Taste of Atlanta is made up of four mini-festivals this year, highlighting different parts of the city and what makes them flavorful. On Aug. 19 and 20, Food That Rocks, located at City Springs in Sandy Springs, will offer ticket-holders unlimited bites from local restaurants including The Select, il Giallo, Kid Cashew/Wood Fire Grill, Chef Rob’s Caribbean Cafe and more, plus samples of libations and live musical entertainment. Chefs, bakers, brewers, sommeliers and mixologists will be on hand for live demonstrations at this 21-and-up event. "Enjoy mouthwatering tastes from the community's best restaurants,” says Taste of Atlanta Founder Dale DeSena. “Good food equals good mood!” Though the setup of the festival is different this year, the goal for Taste of Atlanta is unchanged: to give back to the culinary community and support local restaurants while connecting patrons to their next unforgettable meal. Two local nonprofits designed to assist food service workers and families with food insecurity, Giving Kitchen and Second Helpings Atlanta, will benefit from the event. Tickets are $95 per person and include both days of the event. Simply Buckhead is a media sponsor. n


Sing along to “These are Days” and other popular songs from this multi-platinum alternative band. Lawn admission is free, and reserved tables range from $60 to $90. • @foodthatrocksatl

Find the Next Masterpiece U.S. artists congregate at Piedmont Park Arts Festival from all over the United States, the two-day festival on Aug. 20 and 21 in Midtown features numerous kinds of media to peruse and purchase, from

Photos: K. Tauches

If your walls could talk, they would tell you to buy something at this year’s Piedmont Park Arts Festival. With approximately 250 artists and crafters

painting and photography to glass, wood and metal. The event is presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces and supports the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s upkeep of the park. “We are very grateful for the ongoing support from the community, artists, vendors and festival-goers year after year,” says Festival Founder Randall Fox. Besides art for purchase, the festival offers live music, artists’ demonstrations, a myriad of food options, beverages and play areas for the kids. Bring the whole family—the dog included. Admission is free. n • @artlanta


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Artist Sharon Weiss will teach a plein air sketch class from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Bring a chair, sketchpad, graphite pencil, watercolor pencil, ink pen or watercolor set. Weiss will teach composition, light, color and pattern in the presence of natural beauty to ages 14 and up. $40 for members, $50 for nonmembers.


Celebrate Labor Day with this sizzlin’ summer race supporting cystic fibrosis research. Ideal for runners of any level, the race will follow Peachtree Road from Chamblee through Brookhaven to Buckhead.






Atlanta has no lack of successful individuals. In fact, the city draws top talent from across industries, from entrepreneurs and entertainers to educators and philanthropists. Buckhead and the surrounding areas are hotspots for all-stars. Each year, we profile a few of these enterprising locals for our annual Rising Stars issue, and this year’s group of seven are as impressive as ever. Read on for the inside scoop on their accomplishments and the backstories that detail the challenges and triumphs they’ve experienced along the way.


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“ We’re building an empire.” — Marcy Sperry

“ I feel like we’re just scratching the surface.” — Robert Stewart



Expressing creativity through music, modeling and more STORY: Amy Meadows


ight years ago, Bria Black moved from her hometown of Orlando to Atlanta. She relocated by herself and didn’t know anyone in the city, but she felt compelled to take that leap of faith. “Historically, Atlanta has an amazing music scene. So many incredible artists and musicians haveª

come out of Atlanta, especially in the R&B, hip hop and soul genres,” says Black, who discovered her passion for singing and songwriting at 18. “So many artists have flourished here, and I wanted to be able to grab hold of some of that magic. Atlanta was calling my name.” In August, Black will join that

“ Singing and songwriting are my passion.”

impressive roster of Atlanta-based artists when she releases her first five-song EP entitled “No One Dies Alone,” which will be available on all major streaming platforms and accompanied by several YouTube music videos. In addition to writing the songs for the album, she worked with renowned guitarist and producer Go! Ricky Go! (aka Ricky Fontaine). The result is a raw and emotional collection of songs focused on self-reflection and relationships that she hopes speaks to listeners. “My songs are personal

but, at the same time, abstract. It’s all about being honest with how you’re feeling,” she says. “I like to be honest and vulnerable in my music so people can relate.” While Black spent nearly a decade building relationships across Atlanta’s recording industry, she also found additional creative outlets, such as doing movie trailer vocal recordings for Pitch Hammer Music and performing with local band Lilac Wine. She pursued simultaneous career opportunities, namely as a model and as the service manager for both Atlas and The Garden Room at Buckhead’s St. Regis Atlanta. The 6-foot tall 28-year-old was discovered five years ago while working at a French cafe in Atlanta and has since appeared in British Vogue and Italian Vogue; she also worked with celebrated photographer Laretta Houston. For her more recent work in the hospitality industry, she leans into her family’s experience in the restaurant business, as they owned several eateries including a sub shop, and revels in the chance to provide visitors with exceptional experiences at St. Regis’ restaurants. No matter which role she is in at any given moment, she accepts it as an opportunity to explore her artistic abilities. “I’ve always been a creative person,” Black says. “My first medium was drawing and painting. From there I went to writing and then singing. I dabbled in acting and photography. Modeling allows you to get outside of yourself as you capture the photographer’s vision. The St. Regis is so magical, and the experiences I get to provide to people every day I go to work are just fantastic. And, of course, singing and songwriting are my passion.” For Black, the dream of becoming a Grammy Award-winning artist has come into focus as her singing and songwriting have blossomed. It is a goal that will remain at the top of her list until she achieves it. “You have to dedicate your time to figuring yourself out— to figuring out your dreams and aspirations,” she says. “You have to know that nothing is ever too big to grab ahold of.” n BRIA BLACK • @briablack


obert Stewart leads by example. The Fusion Academy Buckhead head of school models how he wants faculty to teach: one to one, with individualized goals that build on strengths and emphasize love and motivation. “Everybody’s not the same,” Stewart says. “How I structure my meetings is the same way I want them to structure their classroom.” His mentor-mentee relationship with teachers sets an example that teachers emulate to build up students, says Karen Craven, the head of strategic communication for the 67-campus Fusion Education Group. Stewart, 36, joined Fusion in November 2020, a year and a half after the private school came to Georgia to serve sixth- to 12th-graders who struggle in traditional classrooms, need schedule flexibility, seek remediation or require other accommodations. The school had about 10 students. Enrollment reached 65 this spring, close to the Fusion goal of 75, although the number varies because full- and part-time students are admitted year-round. The 12 graduating seniors, double the class of 2021, will attend universities such as North Carolina, Oglethorpe and SCAD. An Augusta native and graduate of Savannah State, Stewart first taught in Henry County’s public schools in 2008 while preparing for the MCAT and medical school, but he fell in love with teaching, following in the footsteps of three aunts. Instead of being a doctor, he has taught about 30 students who have become doctors, he says. Similarly, after he earned Teacher of the Year recognition in 2012-13 for helping the Atlanta Public Schools Coan Middle School achieve district-best gains in test scores, he moved into administration to influence up to 300 students a year instead of 30. He spent more than three years as an assistant principal at Miles Elementary School and was one of three finalists for the APS Assistant Principal of the Year in 2019-20. But after ensuring the school could handle remote learning, he felt an itch for new challenges. “I’m kind of a three-year guy,” Stewart says. “I always say after three years, ‘OK, should I stay here? Should I move up? Do they still need me?’”

“ I'm very targeted with my coaching. I personalize everything.”

ROBERT STEWART Fusion leader merges educational individualization and community STORY: Michael Jacobs He decided the answer was no for APS. But when he read the Fusion job description to his wife, physician Morgan Dawkins Stewart, she said, “Oh, my God, that’s you.” The job goes beyond “education, education, education” to business, marketing, social media, community building and more, Stewart says. The academy’s embrace of nontraditional students was part of the

appeal for Stewart, whose 13-yearold son is on the autism spectrum. Stewart looks for teachers who share backgrounds with students who are diverse in experiences and interests as well as gender, race and ethnicity. He also wants them to be humble. “Perfectionism is not good here,” he says. “You have to know how to fail, take feedback, be resilient and thrive.”

As he completes two years at Fusion while working on a doctoral dissertation on leadership and employee engagement through West Virginia University, Stewart says he doesn’t feel the three-year itch. “That three-year plan, I do check, no matter what, but I don’t see myself going anywhere else,” he says. “This is the dream job. I feel like we’re just scratching the surface.” n FUSION ACADEMY BUCKHEAD • 678.335.2382 @fusionacademy_buckhead

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aria Opeaye is a true Renaissance woman. At 41, this single Buckhead resident is a self-published author of eight books, shoe designer and owner of a coffee brand. She also recently started a firm that specializes in mediation and arbitration cases. According to Opeaye, she is the first African American female to own a professional soccer team and the second to be a FIFA soccer agent with the United States Soccer Federation. Oh, and in 2021, Opeaye started her own sports agency, Neoteric Sports & Entertainment. Born in New Orleans, Opeaye was raised in Atlanta. After earning three associate degrees, she moved to California in 2016 to attend The Colleges of Law but moved back to Buckhead in 2018 to be closer to her family. She planned to finish her last semester of law school virtually but instead decided to focus on her other businesses and earning a mediation and arbitration certification to launch her own firm, Opeaye & Associates. She also represents nine soccer players, seven of whom are signed to professional leagues. In March, she inked her own name as an owner of the Memphis Americans professional men and women’s soccer club, becoming a part of the National Indoor Soccer League. Although not an athlete herself, Opeaye says she’s always loved sports. “I did my research and thought soccer was a great area because there are not many females, let alone African American females, in that industry,” she says. “I’m glad to be able to give people opportunities to play and speak up for women on the team. In the next couple of years, I would love to own other teams in that league and beyond.” Opeaye has been building entrepreneurial ventures for years. She paid for her law school classes through an upscale custom novelties business she started in 2014 and later launched online retailers London Marie Coffee and M’Opeaye Shoes. As the mother of 23- and 13-yearold daughters, Opeaye hopes to inspire the next generation of women to pursue their dreams, even if it’s via an unconventional route. “For law school, I went the nontraditional way, completing 90 [credit]


“I show them better than I can tell them.”

MARIA OPEAYE Serial entrepreneur and soccer agent blazes new trails units in undergrad and transferring,” she says. “I didn't want the school debt.” Opeaye credits her stubbornness and drive with helping her reach goals. She’s inspired by role models such as Maggie Ntim, the first black female soccer agent; NFL sports agent Nicole Lynn; and her mentor, retired judge Gino Brogdon Sr. of the Atlanta firm Henning Mediation & Arbitration Service, where she earned

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her mediation and arbitration certification in 2021. While there have been challenges along her path, she says the good has outweighed the bad. “My parents will say, ‘Maria is so hard-headed,’” Opeaye says. “I’m so grateful that I didn’t listen to people when they said not to do something or ‘don’t go that route.’ It all worked for me.” Working in the male-dominated sports industry also hasn’t been easy.

STORY: Giannina

S. Bedford

“People will try you because you’re a female. They will try to give you the short end of the stick or think you’re not as serious about your craft or your career as others,” she says. “When they do, I stay laser-focused and let them know that I’m serious about my business. I show them better than I can tell them.” n NEOTERIC SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT 678.753.8152 •

SALIM MEKHMOUKH A man-on-the-go invented the energy drink he wanted


hile visiting Algeria, his birth country, in 2019, Salim Mekhmoukh discovered an energy drink at a beverage warehouse he visited with his cousin. He thought it was interesting and tasted good, and was determined to bring it to the United States, despite not having any food and beverage experience. “I'm a visual person,” he says. “I looked at it, and then it just clicked in my head. Something told me to pursue this.” He tried to bring it to market in the U.S.—he had experience running a distribution company— but a series of obstacles prevented him from importing the drink. It got Mekhmoukh thinking: Why couldn’t he design and create the energy drink he wanted here? “This is the best country in the world to create something,” says the Buckhead resident, who spent a large portion of his childhood in East Cobb. Then the pandemic hit, and Mekhmoukh was forced to put his international distribution business on hold. With nothing else to occupy his time, he decided to pursue making an energy drink that had everything he wanted in one can: hydration, nutrition, electrolytes and the lesser-known antioxidant astaxanthin, a pigment made from microalgae. He teamed up with his longtime family friend and business partner, Hicham Azhari, one of the restaurateurs behind F&H Food Trading Group responsible for hits such as Little Alley Steak Buckhead, to form MADO, the first-to-market energy drink of its kind. (Azhari is also a partner in Mekhmoukh’s distribution company.) The two spent many hours huddled together during the pandemic’s early days, figuring the business out. “We were in the kitchen, around the island, with a bunch of papers,” Mekhmoukh recalls. “We started drawing logos, looking for names for days and days. Four hours here, six hours there. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. I had nothing to lose.” The key powerhouse ingredient in MADO is astaxanthin, which has a deep red pigment. (It’s also the reason your lobster and shrimp

turn red when you cook them, and how flamingos get their coloring.) Astaxanthin is noted to have anti-inflammatory properties, so much so that NASA is testing growing it in space to see if it can be used during extended missions to help alleviate inflammation. “Astaxanthin can help improve your exercise performance, increase stamina, reduce inflammation and improve endurance,” says Me-


Lauren Finney Harden

khmoukh. “It’s been linked to healthier skin and to better heart health. It’s a very powerful antioxidant. MADO is loaded with vitamins like C, B3, B6 and B12, plus electrolytes.” Add in natural caffeine and a makeup that includes zero sugar, zero calories and only 10 carbs, and you’ve got a clean energy drink ready to take the country by storm. Officially launched in May, it’s available in five flavors such as orange

“We put our blood, sweat and tears into it.”

cream and coconut lime. As for the name? MADO sounds like “motto”—which is intentional, as motto was the original name, but the pair had a hard time trademarking it. Mekhmoukh’s motto is important to him, and it’s a simple one. He says, “My motto—or now MADO—is to always work hard so you can play hard.” n MADO • • @drinkmado

SHIRLEY ANNE SMITH A dedicated nonprofit professional is on a mission

STORY: Amy Meadows


ccording to Shirley Anne Smith, she is—and forever will be—a Girl Scout. “When I was in the second grade, I joined a Girl Scout troop in Puerto Rico,” she says. “What always stuck with me was the Girl Scout mission, which is to use your resources wisely and make the world a better place. I would say that has driven everything in my professional life.” Smith has enjoyed a prolific career in the nonprofit sector, working in leadership roles for such organizations as the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and LaAmistad, Inc., an organization that prepares Latino students and families for success through academic and life enrichment programs. In 2016, she became the founding executive director of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation which brings together individuals, businesses and civic groups to assist Atlanta’s firefighters. “When I began at LaAmistad in Buckhead, we had several families who experienced an apartment fire. I lived across the street from that complex. My job was right next to it. Seeing how those firefighters helped those families, how quickly they responded, created this interest in me to figure out how I could support Atlanta’s firefighters,” Smith says. Personally compelled to give back to the firefighters from Buckhead Station 21, she began looking for ways to get involved. She unexpectedly discovered the listing for the executive director role with the Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation. “I was meant to serve in this capacity, especially when you see the different points of connection that went into bringing me here,” says Smith, who notes that, years ago, on the night she met her husband, they posed for a picture with a group of friends—in front of Station 21. “I hold onto that picture for dear life because it was one of those moments,” she says. “It reminds me that I was always meant to be here.” In her position with AFRF, Smith develops and implements community-based programs that are designed to provide the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department with essential equip-


“I was always meant to be here.” ment and training and to help grow and enhance its workforce. “When the firefighters have needs, we are the first responder to those first responders,” Smith says. “For me, it’s like having an opportunity to be a firefighter without going through the training. I get to do work that’s urgent and requires us to be immediate and responsive to the needs of those firefighters.” Smith’s commitment to her work and the community has earned her a host of accolades, including the

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Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 award and a place in the 2020 class of Outstanding Atlanta that recognizes young professionals who distinguish themselves in their careers and service to the community. The latter led her to be named as Outstanding Atlanta’s first Latina president for the coming year. “I think representation matters. There are very few women in leadership in nonprofits. There are even fewer Latina fundraisers. In my role, I get to serve in that dual capacity

as a woman in leadership and a female fundraiser. It’s amazing to be part of that change for nonprofits,” Smith says. Smith encourages others to find a sense of commitment to help elevate the communities in which they live. “Make the decision to give back and live, in some way, the Girl Scout mission of making the world a better place.” n THE ATLANTA FIRE RESCUE FOUNDATION 404.538.7112 • • @atlfire



ompetition is nothing new for Ted Kalb, from football fields and bond-trading floors to Iraq battlefields, but winning means something different now that his woodworking hobby has led him to vie for a slice of Atlanta’s luxury housing market. “I’m like a kid in a candy store every day when I come to work,” says Kalb, 46, who in January bought Douglasville-based Smallwood Custom and Commercial Cabinets, now Southern Oak Woodwork. The Atlanta native took up woodworking while living in Memphis. When his family moved back to Sandy Springs in 2013, he turned part of the basement into a fully outfitted woodshop. Having stared at a computer screen all day, he would head for the shop after wife Michelle, daughter Kinley, now 14, and son Hudson, 11, went to bed and “make sawdust” to relieve stress. He developed a side business as friends asked him to build tables, bookcases and cornhole boards and connected him with designers. Last year he met Andy Smallwood, who was looking to sell his cabinet business. Kalb had left bond sales in 2019 for a small stake in commercial painting company Goodman Decorating, and he was ready for the next step. “I was hooked,” he says about seeing Smallwood’s shop. “You’re not supposed to lead with your heart in those types of situations, but it was a perfect marriage of my entrepreneurial dream and something that I truly love.” Half of the 17-year-old business serves commercial clients by building such items as counters, display cases and clothing racks for stores and hotels. Kalb is more excited by the residential side, where he sees great growth potential in homes worth $1 million to $5 million in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, and the lakes and mountains. Southern Oak provides kitchen and bathroom cabinets, closet shelving, and built-in bookcases. A complete package, sometimes with custom furniture, costs $100,000 to $250,000, he says. His 17 employees match market-leading competitors’ quality at better prices because of lower overhead, Kalb says. He’s investing in mar-

TED KALB Iraq vet builds a new career in luxury wood keting, including a new website and social media presence, and promising a better customer experience with more responsive communication. Meeting delivery deadlines is key, so he applies military discipline. Kalb played linebacker at Presbyterian College and joined teammates in ROTC. He enjoyed the training and liked that the Army helped with college expenses. He was commissioned as an officer after graduation in 1998 and deployed to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Division in 2003, his last year in the Army. Kalb had a largely positive expe-

STORY: Michael Jacobs

rience in a Kurdish area and says, “There is no better organization that’ll give you a crash course in leadership and responsibilities than being in any of the armed services.” Organization and sales are his focuses, but he has bigger dreams. He wants to hire a few designers and open a showroom near Atlanta to provide the start-to-finish, whiteglove experience high-end customers expect, then target homes worth $3 million to $10 million. He hopes Southern Oak grows to be a premier design company across the Southeast and expands beyond wood-

“I can’t say that I haven’t been tired a few days and frustrated a few days.”

work, perhaps into renovations. Kalb has a problem, though: He isn’t spending much time in the woodshop, and he hasn’t figured out how best to relax from his competitive dreams now that his hobby has become his business. “It’s either coaching my son,” who plays sports at Chastain Park, “or trying to get my daughter away from her phone to go have dinner with me every once in a while.” n SOUTHERN OAK WOODWORK 678.742.8190 • @southern_oak_woodwork



o Marcy Sperry, it’s not about the song, the invention or even the idea. The intellectual property attorney says her job is really about protecting people’s dreams, whether it’s to be a rock star or a business owner. “I call myself the intellectual enforcer,” says the Peachtree Hills resident. “I am passionate about protecting my clients’ products, trademarks and copyrights.” Sperry was introduced to the world of intellectual property when she left her native Detroit in 2002 for Atlanta’s warmer climate and Emory’s law school, where

MARCY SPERRY Buckhead attorney builds an empire around protecting intellectual property STORY: H.M. Cauley she outshone her peers with top marks in copyright law because she found the intricacies of protecting the creative works of companies, individuals and artists fascinating. After banking litigation experience at King & Spalding, one of the state’s most elite firms, she shifted to working on trademarks for the Atlanta office of Womble Bond Dickinson. The move also led

to Sperry’s discovering she was “a natural born rainmaker.” “They sent me out to conferences, meetings and events because I was good at closing the deal,” she says. “They don’t teach you about bringing in business when you’re in law school, but I loved that part. I soon was asking why I wasn’t doing it for myself and developing my own brand.” After working a year at a bou-

“We’re building an empire because we can offer unique, personalized services.”

tique firm while she ironed out the kinks of managing her own business, Sperry took a leap of faith in 2017 and launched Vivid IP. Today, the Buckhead-based, eight-woman firm specializes in trademarks, copyrights, patents and any form of intellectual property. “I’m very proud of being women-led, and it’s been my intention to support women and minorities,” Sperry says. “My goal is to grow to a 10- to 15-person firm over the next 10 years.” The firm is also growing with the city’s burgeoning entertainment industry, taking on artists, producers and production companies from the Marvel movies as well as clients in the fashion, hospitality and technology industries. “We now get major referrals from existing clients, other attorneys and companies that know we’ve developed a name for vigorously protecting our clients’ intellectual property," she says. The “vigorous” element is possible because, as the boss, Sperry says she can make calls bigger firms can’t or won’t. And the word applies to her crew as well. “I believe in hiring only those who have an entrepreneurial spirit and the moxie to go after clients. One of my core values is true grit.” That spirit has inspired Sperry to launch Invincible Ink, a onestop shop for clients who want to brand or rebrand without using multiple agencies. Sperry says it’s a game-changer since no one else in the industry is offering the combination of deep background research and naming/creative legal protection under one roof. While Sperry is prepping for Ink’s August launch, she’s also busy raising three sons, ages 9, 12 and 15, who share her love of sports and travel. She plays tennis at Brookhaven’s Blackburn Tennis Center, goes bowling almost every week, loves to get away to St. Thomas and recently rediscovered her love of skiing, a sport she hadn’t tried since college. “I am very high energy,” she says. “I have to find outlets for it.” n VIVID IP • 404.474.1600 • @vividiplaw


J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 • S I M P LY B U C K H E A D


STARS Meet some of our area’s best and brightest, who are distinguishing themselves in their fields.



scan here


to be one our team’s featured vendors!

Each office is independently owned and manage

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2









V ita


T 76


Jennifer Bradley Franklin



here’s something al-

ven’s Valenza over the years

za’s bar for a nightcap. The

luring about the Ital-

since it opened in 2007, a trio

friendly bartender chatted

ian way of life—and

of recent visits cemented its

through some options, and I

of dining. It’s marked

place on my short list of local

ended up with a glass of new-

by unhurried meals enjoyed

feel-good spots. It all started

to-me Fernet Branca Menta,

with family and friends, made

when a friend and I wandered

an inky digestif packed with

with ingredients grown nearby

over after a meal at another

bitter herbs and peppermint.

and crafted with care.

Dresden-adjacent eatery. We

As I watched patrons meander

Though I’ve enjoyed the

weren’t quite finished with our

out after a satisfying meal,

convivial environs and solid,

marathon catch-up session, so

it reminded me to put the

flavorful dishes at Brookha-

we found ourselves at Valen-

eatery back on my radar.

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Spaghettini tossed with San Marzano tomato and red wine sauce, tender pork, veal and beef meatballs, gooey mozzarella and fresh basil is beautiful in its simplicity.

Valenza brings Italy closer to home with gracious hospitality and simple, flavorful dishes.

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2


REVIEW A steaming bowl of mussels, accented with white wine, roasted garlic, tomatoes, herbs and Sambuca is a hearty start to a meal.

A few weeks later, my husband and I were worn out from a marathon work week, so I made an early Friday dinner reservation. We arrived just as the restaurant was filling up, and it was heart-warming to watch couples settling in for intimate meals and big friend groups having lively conversations. Our meal kicked off with the cozze appetizer, a steaming, fragrant bowl of meaty mussels perfumed with roasted garlic, fennel, Sambuca, tomatoes and white wine, and served with grilled ciabatta. Just as I was deciding on the next menu pick, owner Michel Arnette was making his rounds, the cadre of neighborhood regulars greeting him making it evident that he knew the lion’s share of the dining room. He shared that his favorite comfort dish is the capellini, the spindly pasta layered with a simple yet satisfying sauce of fresh heirloom tomatoes, basil and parmesan. “It reminds me of my time studying abroad in Italy,” he says, noting that while he was a student, such flavorful (and affordable) meals were staples. We decided to indulge in his other favorites: the spaghettini topped with fist-sized meatballs made of tender veal, pork and beef; a tart sauce of San Marzano tomatoes and red wine; and mezze maniche. The latter means “short sleeves,” as they’re about half the length of rigatoni noodles. Valenza’s decadent version comes tossed with a silky ragu made of tender pork shoulder, Umbrian lentils, white wine and roasted red peppers, topped with crunchy breadcrumbs with a touch of heat from chili oil. I watched with amusement as a large table of friends passed their dishes for others in their group to taste, unable to pick a favorite but content to enjoy them all and each other’s company. It was the kind of simple, comforting meal that soothes the body and mind. Shortly thereafter, I visited for

Let the well-dressed Caesar salad and generous platter of fresh-baked bread with whipped ricotta and herbed EVOO transport you.


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an early dinner with friends who declared Valenza one of their favorite restaurants around town. Our spot on the shaded patio was balmy but pleasant, the air fragrant from a tiered garden of herbs growing nearby. One of my companions, an Italian wine aficionado, ordered a bottle of Antinori’s Il Bruciato Super Tuscan. The complex, juicy blend of Cabernet, Syrah and merlot whet our appetites for the meal to come. Who can resist fresh-baked bread? It’s one of the singular pleasures of travel in Italy, and often I’ve found myself led by my nose to delightful bakeries based on scent alone. Valenza’s kitchen does a handsome job with the simple, rustic pane starter. Rosemary focaccia and sourdough come piled high on a board, tucked around dishes of creamy whipped ricotta and herbed olive oil. I’m a sucker for expertly done octopus, and this version is flawless. The Mediterranean cephalopod is grilled to a perfectly tender-crisp texture, served atop wedges of panelle (Sicilian chickpea fritters that have a texture similar to crispy polenta), dressed with verdant mint, Castelvetrano olives, pine nuts and pea shoots, and drizzled with mildly spicy aleppo pepper oil. It’s as pretty as it is delicious. A classic Caesar salad (or Cesare—the Italian spelling on Valenza’s menu) is a thing of beauty. This version comes with the requisite crisp romaine leaves, parmesan and anchovy filets, while the addition of fresh mint grown in the on-site garden gives it a touch of extra interest. Continuing the mare theme of the evening, the salmone was an obvious choice. A filet of steelhead salmon is wood-grilled, and garden-forward accompaniments such as artichoke, white beans, oven-dried tomato and tangy olive pesto make it the ideal blend of hearty and healthy. Sated though we were, who could resist the cioccolato? The play of textures—luxurious chocolate pudding, crunchy toasted hazelnuts and sea salt flecks, creamy caramel gelato and light-as-air whipped cream—adds to the dessert’s inter-

The salmon entree is as pretty and colorful as it is flavorful, with artichokes, white beans and tangy olive pesto.

est. The drizzle of earthy extravirgin olive oil reinforces the connection to Italy. Three visits over the course of a season do not a regular make. However, those individual visits added up to much more: They cemented Valenza’s place in my regular rotation as one that brings my beloved Italy closer to home. n

Don't skip dessert. The just-sweet-enough cioccolato pudding comes drizzled with EVOO and flecked with sea salt, topped with caramel gelato and whipped cream.

Valenza 404.969.3233 • • @valenza_restaurant Prices: antipasti: $8-$24; primi: $20-$28; secondi: $24-$44; sides: $10; desserts: $10. Recommended: Pane, mussels, octopus, Caesar salad, spaghettini, mezze maniche, salmon, cioccolato. Bottom line: This neighborhood eatery embraces the Italian ideals of gracious service, locally grown ingredients, complex wine and simple, flavorful dishes.

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2


Eric Sun???


Above: Juniper Cafe's signature Thunder Punch complements the food menu with Asian flavors including dragon fruit. Right: Yao Atlanta's sangria-like punch is both a drink and a snack.

PUNCH IT UP Reclaim your cocktail hour


his summer, spend less time mixing up cocktails and more time relaxing and having a drink with friends. Whether mixing things up in a punch bowl or combining ingredients in a pitcher a day beforehand, make-ahead drinks are easy prep for a get-together or for having a drink from the fridge whenever the mood strikes. Making a perfect punch is all about striking a balance of flavors. One need only remember a simple rhyme from Barbados to hit all the notes: “one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, four of weak.” The sour is achieved through citrus or shrubs, sweetness with syrups and liqueurs, weakness comes by way of soda water or tea, and the strength is your spirit. When savory and refreshing meet floral and fruity, you get a drink meant for a hot summer day. Juniper Cafe’s signature cocktail, Thunder Punch, is “a play on the fact that it is very ‘punch’-like with fresh fruit and flowers, and the fact that thunder is always exciting,” says Beverage Director Carl Van Tyle. He stirs together lime juice, Pink Lady apple, red dragon fruit, St. Germaine, vodka, hibiscus tea and saffron.


STORY: Angela


"There are a lot of nuances to this beverage. The main ingredient, Nikka Coffey Vodka, is arguably the best vodka coming out of Japan,” Van Tyle says. “I combine dragon fruit with fresh squeezed Pink Lady apples to add orchard fruit notes without adding sweetness.” He then makes hibiscus tea to bring out the florality of hibiscus as well as color and natural acidity. “I wanted to provide the guest with the opportunity to experience some really classic Asian flavors, like dragon fruit, hibiscus and saffron, with the approachability of the vodka and the apples. You should experience a light, floral and fruit-forward, but not sweet, drink,” he says. Sangria, with bite-sized pieces of fruit along with boozy punch, is both a drink and a snack. Yao Atlanta stirs up a summer version that is as vibrant as their Chinese-Thai food. SangriYAO combines white wine, DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps, Triple Sec, pineapple juice and lime. A glass comes filled with sliced strawberries and a sprig of rosemary to stir and release aromas. New to Atlanta, Postino wine cafe’s brunch cocktails are easy enough to stir one up at home.

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Beverage Director Brent Karlicek’s advice for keeping things cool is to first fill a freeze-proof bowl with water and freeze overnight. The staff often describes the Sure Shot as “rosé our way.”

strawberries and tarragon make it not only refreshing, but garden fresh.

Arya Spritz INGREDIENTS 8 oz. vodka 8 oz. strawberry & tarragon syrup 4 oz. dry vermouth 2 bottles sparkling white wine Strawberries and tarragon for garnish INSTRUCTIONS Mix ingredients in a punch bowl. Add ice. Top with wine and stir gently. Garnish with freshly sliced strawberries and tarragon.

Sure Shot

STRAWBERRY & TARRAGON SYRUP INGREDIENTS 2 cups water 2 cups sliced strawberries 1/2 cup fresh tarragon 2 cups sugar

INGREDIENTS 25.4 oz. Cocchi Rosa Aperitivo 25.4 oz. sparkling rosé 6 oz. grapefruit juice 12 oz. sparkling water Grapefruit wheel, one per serving

INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients and bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes. Strain and allow it to cool. n

INSTRUCTIONS Add ice to the bowl. Add ingredients. Garnish each serving with a grapefruit wheel.

JUNIPER CAFE • 470.427.3057 • @juniper_cafe

At Brookwood Hills neighborhood tavern The Usual, Beverage Director Matthew Gibbons created a summer stunner. A base syrup made with

POSTINO • @positinowinecafe THE USUAL • 404.343.1541 • @theusualatl YAO ATLANTA • 770.557.0353 • @yao_atl

Now Re-Open at Phipps Plaza! Join us for Lunch, Sunday Brunch & Dinner! For reservations call 404.844.4810 or visit 3500 PEACHTREE ROAD NE, ATLANTA, GA 30326

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



Culinary News & Notes


Claire Ruhlin

Pop Stars Some top popsicle purveyors share recipes to help you to keep cool this summer

Brookhaven Farmers Market Executive Director Christy Murray shares her summer market tips.

Local Flavor

King of Pops’ Banana Puddin’ Pops You’ll find King of Pops’ creative flavors in stores and mobile carts across town, but you can make their sweet treat at home for yourself (or a crowd) with this decadent recipe.

Embrace fresh, local provisions this summer with these farmers market tips


t wouldn’t be summer in Atlanta without farmers markets. Here, Brookhaven Farmers Market Executive Director Christy Murray shares how to get the most out of your next visit. What are your tips for navigating farmers markets in general? If you are new to the market, take your time with each vendor and don't be afraid to sample products. Arrive early to experience the full selection of what vendors have to offer before they sell out. If you are a regular, pre-order from your favorite vendors because you know they will get busy and may sell out early.

What should people bring? Reusable shopping bags and a water bottle. The market provides a limited supply of bags and fresh, cool water weekly. Is there a piece of farmers market etiquette you can share? Be respectful of your fellow patrons and have patience. If you drive to the market, be sure to park without blocking another customer and follow any parking signs. While shopping, if you see a long line, take a nice stroll, stop and listen to the music, and circle back. If you opt to stand in line, do so while trying your best not to block a vendor's booth or to disrupt

INGREDIENTS Makes 16 3-ounce pops

the flow of other patrons. What’s in season this summer that we should make sure to have on our shopping list? Peaches from the Georgia Peach Truck representing Dickey Farms and Watsonia Farms, as well as Georgia Proud Provisions representing Pearson Farm; tomatoes from Double B Farm, Circle M Farm and Cornucopia Farms; honey from Hometown Honey in celebration of National Honey Bee Day at the end of August. n BROOKHAVEN FARMERS MARKET @brookhavenfarmersmarket

FOOD NEWS French fare. Stop by for a menu

the Aramore condo complex on

highlighting local ingredients,

Peachtree, the restaurant specializes in

as well as a drink from in-house

tsukemen or “dipping ramen” and makes

cocktail lounge Peacock Alley

its own noodles in-house.

or tea service at Solarium, which was previously an open-air patio.

n A new Chicken Salad Chick

is now open in the Perimeter Marketplace shopping center at

n A new location of Okiboru

4706 Ashwood Parkway in Dunwoody.

Tsukemen and Ramen, following

In addition to its fast-casual menu,

1 quart whole milk ½ cup heavy cream 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed (keep seeds and pod) 1 ½ cup organic evaporated cane juice 8 ripe bananas, 4 whole and 4 sliced crosswise about 1-inch thick 32 bite-size vanilla wafers INSTRUCTIONS In a saucepan on low heat, mix milk, cream, vanilla (both scraped seeds and pod) and cane juice until warm. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove the vanilla pod. Pour the liquid into a blender. Add 4 bananas and blend until smooth. Place two slices of banana and two vanilla wafers each into popsicle molds. Then pour the milk mixture into the mold. Place one popsicle stick in each mold, submerging it halfway. Freeze for at least 8 hours. KING OF POPS • • @kingofpops

Chloe’s Pops Poptail Pairings Made from wholesome vegan and gluten-free ingredients, Chloe’s Pops, available locally at Publix, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Kroger, can be enjoyed on their own or turned into a “poptail” for a sweet, party-ready refreshment. INSTRUCTIONS Place your favorite Chloe’s Pop in a glass—pop down, stick up. Fill the glass halfway with the alcohol or bubbly of your choice. Substitute sparkling cider or lemonade for a mocktail.

its original outpost in Sandy Springs,

the restaurant also offers full-service

new restaurant, Brassica, is now

is now open in Buckhead. Located

catering and Quick Chick to-go options.

PAIRING IDEAS Chloe’s Strawberry Pop with prosecco or rosé Chloe’s Lime Pop or Mango Pop with tequila Chloe’s Raspberry Pop with prosecco or gin

open, serving Southern-influenced

in the former Karma Farm space at

CHLOE'S POPS • • @chloesfruit

Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead’s


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S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



FUN FACT On busy weekends, The Frosty Caboose can go through 60 tubs of ice cream.

The Conductor

Pam Kachmar celebrates 13 years steering The Frosty Caboose


fter more than 20 years in human resources and account management, Pam Kachmar lost her job and decided to work with her brother, Gary Gilmer, a builder in Chamblee. The pair wanted to do something cool for the town, whose motto is “A City on the Right Track.” He had noticed people watching the trains that drove through the area. “We thought getting a caboose would be fun and cute,” Kachmar says. That was 2008. The next year, the construction industry took a hit, and while Gilmer focused on his building business, Kachmar focused on opening The Frosty Caboose, an old-fashioned ice cream shop in a stationary train caboose overlooking the tracks. Thirteen years later, the business is thriving. With Gilmer no longer involved, Kachmar focuses on all aspects of operation, including sales, sourcing, hiring, scheduling and, of course, scooping.


“I still eat the ice cream a lot. My favorite is mint chip or anything with coffee. Also, black cherry,” she says. Here, she gives us the scoop on what it’s like to run an ice cream shop by the rails. How did you learn about


ice cream before having their first baby the next day. A lot of people had their first date here and then came back for engagement pictures. We’ve had a lot of first birthdays. All these people have grown up with us. When they move away, we are a destination when they come back to visit.

the ice cream business?

We went for a four-day, intensive seminar put on by the National Ice Cream Retailers Association to learn how to market ice cream, price it and make your own. My brother knew about Greenwood Ice Cream because they sell to restaurants. He knew people were familiar with it. We figured, “Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s utilize theirs.” We still use Greenwood [also based in Chamblee] today.

Cookies and cream, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. We feature cotton candy explosion, key lime pie, lemon custard, peach and mango in the spring and summer. They sell quickly. We have more than 30 flavors between non-dairy, diabetic friendly, yogurt, sorbet, sherbet and traditional ice cream.

from $3.25 for one scoop to $3.75. Now that there’s so much more traffic through the area with more people living there, the business has grown. Weekends during the spring and summer have lines down the ramp all day!

Traditional always outlasts fads. We plan spirit nights, participate in Good Neighbor Day at DeKalb Peachtree Airport, host 40th birthday parties and graduation events, cater business outings and more. During COVID, we became everyone’s happy place because we’re outside. Given the current labor shortage, how do you attract ice cream scoopers?

How has The Frosty Caboose changed over the years?

owning The Frosty Caboose?

We tried grilled cheese sandwiches and soups for a couple of winters, but that never took off. We’ve added featured sundaes, shakes and hot dogs. We had to go up in price

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PHOTO: Joann Vitelli

How do you stay relevant? What are the most popular flavors?

What do you like most about

I like that it is something fun for the community. Their feedback is what keeps us going. It’s their happy place. I’ve seen people dance here and have

Carly Cooper

At least 10 a year are first jobs. It’s neat to give people the opportunity to learn. A lot start in high school and come back in college. n THE FROSTY CABOOSE • 770.451.4556 • @frosty_caboose

Who says there’s an age limit on living your best life?

Lenbrook has long been Atlanta’s favorite intown community for engaged senior living. And now, with the addition of new amenities and expanded living options, there truly has never been a better time to join us. Because there’s no limit on living your best life here.

Call 404-531-2011 today to Experience the Lenbrook Difference.

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



A sampling of great eats in and around Buckhead

Treat yourself to the chocolate hazelnut torte at Rumi's Kitchen to finish the meal with a sweet, rich flourish.

The veggie pizza—replete with broccolini, peppers, eggplant and 'shrooms at Varasano's­is a gift to veggie lovers everywhere.


J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 • S I M P LY B U C K H E A D

The Alden's Chicken Katsu (Japanese fried chicken) is brined in lemon and ginger, panko-crusted and finished with sesame and shiso.

BY: Wendell

Brock, Rebecca Cha, Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Angela Hansberger, Hope S. Philbrick


Sara Hanna





Chamblee’s popularity as a residential

After nearly three decades, Jalisco remains a

Co-owner Jim Graddy tells us he learned the

Occasionally, sitting at Treehouse feels more

and dining destination seems to be on

giddy, guilty pleasure trip through a tunnel of

art of the pit on his granddaddy’s pig farm

like a cookout. Neighbors and regulars have

the rise, and Chef Jared Hucks is here to

cheese. This Tex-Mex institution at Peachtree

in Manchester, Georgia. Graddy remembers

been coming here for the familiar comfort

make sure diners eat like royalty. Winning

Battle is better than an El Paso taco kit, but

cooking whole hogs all night long over hot

food and laid-back atmosphere for more

starters include a homemade bread plate

not exactly a showcase of the sophisticated

coals, and when we tear into his pulled-pork

than 20 years. Brunch is a big deal, with

with prosciutto butter and cheddar pimento

techniques and ingredients of the Mexican

sandwich—a delicious pile of pink, smoke-tinged

a large menu and generous portions of

cheese, silky sweet potato bisque and

larder. Without apology, Jalisco is what it is,

meat between two thick slabs of white bread—

favorites such as the Georgia pecan waffle

sashimi quality seared scallops. For mains,

a place with consistently good, standard-

we believe him. Graddy has proudly transported

and Southern-style eggs Benedict covered

go with the cold smoked salmon, Moroccan-

issue burritos, enchiladas, fajitas and even

his family’s traditions to his casual Southern

with sausage gravy. It’s all about the patio

spiced shrimp and grits or the hickory

a Hamburguesa Mexicana. (It’s topped with

’cue counter. Man, is the food good. The fresh-

here, and dogs are welcome guests. The chef

smoked Brasstown coulotte steak. Desserts

nacho cheese.) This is not a place where the

tasting coleslaw (with just a little mayo) and

works to enliven old favorites with as much

are deliciously unique. If you’ve got belly room

kitchen thrives on change and creativity. For

excellent new potato salad are just the things

attention to the all-American fried chicken

to spare, be sure to witness the chef’s gastro-

the most part, the menu is the same as it has

to cut the richness of the succulent pork. Some

sandwich as the New York strip au poivre. He

theatrics with the banana bread pudding

been since Jalisco opened in 1978.

other tasty go-withs are fried okra, long-cooked

also curates a mighty fine list of craft beers.

service. Our favorite was the lunar chocolate,

Lunch specials: $5-$9 • Entrees: $9-$13

collards, mac and cheese and Brunswick stew.

Brunch: $8-$10 • Appetizers: $3-$13

which the chef calls his “dessert moonscape.”


We’re sated. We’re sauce-splashed. We need a

Burgers and sandwiches: $7-$10 • Large

moist towelette and a nap.

plates: $17-$22 •

Smaller dishes: $11-$21 • Larger dishes: $23$45 • Desserts: $9-$15 • Chef’s tasting menu:


seven courses/$95 •

Atlanta chef Kevin Rathbun’s only Buckhead

Entrees: $8-$24 •


restaurant feels custom-tailored for the


For over a decade, highest accolades have


community. A contemporary nocturnal

Treat your tastebuds to as many dishes as

been lavished upon Varasano’s for its

Chef Suzanne Vizethann offers thoughtfully

cubbyhole where small plates rule, wine

possible at Rumi’s Kitchen Sandy Springs,

Neapolitan-style pizzas, and with good reason.

handcrafted food in a room as pure and

flows and the air bristles with excitement, the

whether you sit in the spacious dining room

Owner Jeff Varasano has made it his life’s

simple as its namesake drink. Southern

fashionable “steakbar” concept finds Rathbun

with its bubbling water feature or order

work to bring Atlantans pies on par with (or

classics are the foundation of this Roswell

and chef de cuisine Jessica Gamble fusing

to-go. The menu is packed with powerful

even better than) pizza in Italy. Classics such

Road breakfast-and-lunch spot, and you

two venerable concepts: meat and Italian.

culinary rhythms and rhymes. Falafel stuns

as margherita di bufala and Nana’s showcase

can’t go wrong with the Brunswick stew,

Here, nearly everything speaks with a perky

with crisp-tender chickpea balls, pickled

his mastery of the basics—slow-cooked San

chicken salad, pimento cheese or the fried

Mediterranean lilt: amari-kissed cocktails,

veggies, tangy tabbouleh and savory tahini

Marzano tomato sauce, imported cheeses,

chicken biscuit with pepper jelly and pickles.

steak doused with espresso sauce, heavenly

sauce. Mirza ghasemi (smoked eggplant with

herbs and his incomparable crust. Varasano’s

Vizethann’s love of sweet confections really

olive-oil cake with almond brittle and citrus

tomato and garlic) presents strong notes

also features a selection of antipasti (divine

shines at weekend brunch, when folks line

cream. Hidden touches, like the speakeasy-

without hiding the scrumptious plant flavors.

meatballs), simple salads and solid pastas of

up in front of the inviting bright-blue cottage

style bar behind the kitchen and a patio that

Chicken barg infuses a juicy wedge with

farfalle with shrimp in lemon cream sauce

for the likes of toasted blueberry coffee

feels like a sunken garden, make us want to

exotic flavors thanks to the saffron marinade.

and penne alla vodka with chicken.

cake and poppy-seed pancakes with

continue to explore this romantic spot.

Pair it with Shirin polo, fluffy rice dotted with

Antipasti: $5.95 - $14.95

strawberries and lemon curd.

Antipasti: $6-$19 • Pasta: $12-$16

orange zest, red barberry, pistachio, almond

Pastas: $16.95 - $18.95 • Pizza: $15.95 -

Breakfast dishes: $8-$13 • Salads

Entrees: $18-$68 •

and rosewater—a divine mix of flavors and

$20.95 ($1.50 - $5.00 for additional toppings)

textures. Lamb hummusiya tops hummus with

Desserts: $3.95 - $8.95 •

and sandwiches: $8.25-$11.50


lamb sausage for a pleasing contrast of spicy

A meal at Little Alley is an escape, an

heat and cool umami. Dukkah roasted carrots



immersive experience no matter where

play nutty-spicy notes against tangy-sweet

The minute you hear Persian foodie

Meals at Ecco in Buckhead have the

you find yourself seated. Settle in and

yogurt cheese. Good luck choosing a favorite.

buzzwords such as mirza ghasemi, hummus

elegance and spontaneity of a spin around

indulge in the daily rotating selection of

Starters: $8-15 • Salads: $8-12

and kabob, your mouth starts watering. If

the dance floor, thanks to the hyper-seasonal

ultra-fresh raw oysters served with

Mains: $18-45 • Sides: $4-10

you’re smart, you’ll head directly to Zafron in

approach to the menu. The kitchen shines in

a trio of house-made sauces and an

Desserts: $10 •

Sandy Springs. Once seated, a beaming server

creative interpretations of European cuisine

appetizer of brûléed bone marrow that’s

with dishes such as Spanish octopus with

so rich it could double as butter for


from the wood-burning oven. That extra-mile

Castelvetrano olives, grilled pork tenderloin

grilled bread. The main event is an array

Chef Taka Moriuchi learned from perhaps

hospitality spills over into all areas, especially

with beet top risotto, and tortellini stuffed

of prime Angus cuts, both wet- and

the most famously finicky and cult-inspiring

the food: world-class lamb kabob, fire-roasted

with butternut squash and mascarpone.

dry-aged from 28 to 60 days, so guests

Japanese chef Atlanta has ever known:

salmon and the “Zafron special” made with

Perennial favorites such as fried goat cheese

can choose their steak’s flavor intensity,

Sotohiro Kosugi, owner of Buckhead’s legendary

chile, mango and eggplant. Plenty of classic

with honey and cracked black pepper and

cut and tenderness. If you’re really going

(but now shuttered) Soto Japanese Restaurant.

small plates and rice dishes are joined with

the Allora flatbread (with its San Marzano

for broke, make it a surf-and-turf with

Today, Moriuchi holds court at his own sushi

a few East-meets-West treats such as spicy

tomato sauce, still bubbling mozzarella,

the addition of a flash-fried Maine lobster

bar, where his impeccably fresh fish and hot

Zafron chicken wings and tiramisu.

hot sopressata and pepperoni) don’t fail to

tail with drawn butter. Whether you’re out

and cold appetizers compare to the best

Starters and salads: $5- $9 • Wraps

impress. Paired with expert service, a nicely

for a special occasion, a business meeting

Japanese food in town. The only difference: His

(lunch only): $12 • Entrees: $12-$32

curated wine list and an atmosphere that’s

to close a big deal or a “just because” meal,

prices won’t shipwreck your budget. Among

Sides and rice: $3-$7 • Desserts: $5-$7

at once sleek and cozy, this Phipps Plaza-

this is a carnivore’s paradise, with aged

our faves, the UPS roll is a delicious nod to the

adjacent eatery warrants a visit. Bottom line:

prime beef, ultra-fresh seafood and hearty

Atlanta-based Big Brown fleet, and the black

If you find something you crave, visit soon

sides served with gracious, professional

cod and okra tempura are packages you’ll be

to get it before it’s gone.

service in a luxe atmosphere.

happy to see arrive at your table.

Small plates: $9-$18 • Flatbreads: $15-$21

Starters: $16.95-$27.95 • Steaks: $51.95-

Appetizers: $6-$20 • Nigiri: $2.50-$11

Pasta and mains: $19-$36 • Sides: $7-$12

$139.95 • Sides: $11-12 • Desserts: $12-14

Sushi rolls: $4.50-$19.50

Desserts: $6-$9 •

will bring a complimentary sabzi plate and pita

Note: Prices and menu items may have changed since original publication.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Visit to read all of our restaurant reviews!

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2


CHARITABLE Chad Ehlers and Katelynn Ducharme



Oana Giraldo, Yolanda Gamel, Trish Dalton, Shauna Nelson

TAR-94’s Jenn Hobby welcomed 475 guests to the “A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes” luncheon in May at Flourish in Buckhead benefiting CURE Childhood Cancer. The event honored 250 mothers of children diagnosed with, lost to or surviving cancer who have demonstrated strength and courage as they guide their families through the health care crisis. Along with a silent auction and entertainment by musician Steve Fee, the hero moms participated in a raffle that gave five of them delivered, gourmet meals from Instead of Flowers. All moms took home gifts donated from Erin Gray Design, InspireDesigns Jewelry, Pura Vida and more. Supported by presenting sponsor Delta Airlines and media sponsor Simply Buckhead, ticket sales, sponsorships and the silent auction raised nearly $375,000 earmarked for research into childhood cancers.

Lauren Rasmussen, Michele Brostrom, Christina Patrick, Joanne Hayes

Kristin Connor and Jenn Hobby

Kathy Shepherd, Tom Glavine, Tim Shepherd, Chris Glavine

Yolanda Perdue, Yolanda Gamel, Amanda Prince

Jamie Brewer, Nour Kelly, Dee Klerk, Maggie Zielinska, Amanda Prince

Becky Smith, Lauren King, Brittany Gore, Elizabeth Beverly, Amber Smith, Kim Dollar, Beth Vickers

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



Here, There, Everywhere Whether at college, at the beach, here on Peachtree Street or anywhere in the world, you can use any ATM at no charge and with no limit on the number of transactions. Now that’s convenience.

3880 Roswell Road | Atlanta, GA 30342 (404) 231-4100 w w w. G e o r g i a P r i m a r y B a n k . c o m * Georgia Primary Bank refunds ATM fees from all ATMs worldwide for our debit card holders. A Georgia Primary Bank checking account is required for this offer.


J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 • S I M P LY B U C K H E A D


nsoro Founder Darrell Mays with honorees Kwanza Jones and Vince Burkett

Executive Director Monica Petoja (fifth from left) with nsoro graduates


Jim Hickey, Vince Burkett, Sally Burkett, Kenny Rayborn, Kirstin Rayborn

STORY: H.M. Cauley


Lovette Russell, Michael Russell

Former Mayor Kesha Lance-Bottoms and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens

or the 16th year, supporters and friends of the nsoro Educational Foundation gathered to show how much they care about the nonprofit that supports education for those aging out of foster care. The annual Starfish Ball, held at The St. Regis Atlanta, featured a festive evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing for the 380 attendees. Honored guests Kwanza Jones, co-founder and CEO of the philanthropic grant and investment organization Supercharged, and Managing Director of Vista Equity Partners and philanthropist Vince Burkett both received Frabel starfishes. Dr. Tiffany Rand of Polish Dental Center was presented with a crystal award from Tiffany & Co. for her in-kind services to nsoro scholars, several of whom gave keynote speeches. The evening’s fundraising total topped $2.2 million, thanks to the support of sponsors, patrons, auction items, including a five-course dinner for 10 with Mayor Andre Dickens, and Simply Buckhead’s exclusive media sponsorship.

Tanya Bryson, Peabo Bryson, Joanne Hayes, Sonny Hayes

Rosalind Brewer, Vicki Palmer, Audra Pittman, Lovette Russell

Monica Pantoja, Christopher Stewart, Makeda Stewart

Kwanza Jones (second from left) with nsoro graduates

S I M P LY B U C K H E A D • J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2



STELLAR BEGINNINGS Budding musician and working model Bria Black felt right at home around the Buckhead Theatre stage during our Rising Stars cover shoot. PHOTO: Sara Hanna


J U LY/A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 • S I M P LY B U C K H E A D


With its remarkable panoramic views, comfortable and luxurious finishes, Manna Mountain Lodge is a next-level mountain retreat that is sure to bring your friends, family, or corporate colleagues together in a wealth of memories.



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*Kids only giveaway


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The Best of Luxury Outdoor Living, Family, and Community in Cashiers, North Carolina Currently under construction on a streamfront home site in exclusive Lonesome Valley, this 5BR/5.5BA home will feature a guest home above the two-car garage. The open floor plan boasts stunning hardwood floors, high ceilings, and a masonry fireplace; it flows seamlessly to the expansive outdoor spaces that include a dining porch, a screened porch with a stone fireplace, two open decks, and much more.

MLS# 99054 & MLS# 98500 | Offered for $4,995,000

LONESOME VALLEY is a private gated community just outside of Cashiers, NC offering extensive hiking trails, fly fishing, lake activities, a fitness facility with heated outdoor pool, tennis, and rock climbing, as well as priority access and pricing at Canyon Kitchen and Canyon Spa, both located at the entrance to the community. PROUDLY OFFERED BY BOTH

GRACE BATTLE & JONATHAN HOUGH Grace: 470.602.9693 | Jonathan: 704.202.4161

JUDY MICHAUD & MITZI RAUERS Judy: 828.371.0731 | Mitzi: 404.218.9123 |

16 Old Cashiers Square, Cashiers, NC 28717

488 Main St, Highlands, NC 28741

© 2022 BHHS Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. ® Equal Housing Opportunity.

MLS# 98918 | THE WOODCREST | $4,995,000

MLS# TBD | THE RIDGECREST | $4,600,000

These homes are the first homes in a new community to be built on the corner of 1st and Oak streets in Highlands, NC by Sanctuary Developers. JIM WEINBERG, Creative Director for Sanctuary Developers as well as founder and principal of JIM WEINBERG LIFESTYLES, has put his award-winning touch on these homes; they will exude the best of mountain modern design, embrace the mountain lifestyle, and the desire for upscale living. The homes being planned for Sanctuary on First epitomize the developers’ goal of making sure that the homeowner feels cocooned, protected, and pampered in their own home. Contact us today to learn more about this exceptional development.

THE MICHAUD/RAUERS GROUP JUDY MICHAUD: (828) 371-0730 | MITZI RAUERS: (404) 218-9123 TOM GOLDACKER: (828) 200-9045 | JOHN MUIR: (404) 245-7027 488 Main St, Highlands, NC | 2334 Cashiers Rd, Highlands, NC 196 Burns St, Cashiers, NC © 2022 BHHS Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. ® Equal Housing Opportunity.





HIGHLANDS, CASHIERS, AND LAKE TOXAWAY, NORTH CAROLINA 828.526.1717 | © 2022 BHHS Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. ® Equal Housing Opportunity.