Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
She's Growing Up So Fast!!!
Aunt jane gave me a couple of her orchids a few months ago. I was very intimidated by these magical potted plants. I've had a few orchids before, but they were never long lived. jane told me that both of these plants had bloomed recently, and it would probably be a while before they bloomed again. She was wrong! Just last week I looked at one of the orchids and saw a flower bud on it. It seemingly appeared overnight! A few day later, I had a fully grown flower! These plants must really like my sunroom!
Monday, May 28, 2007
What is this.....
These are pics I took of my pond today. It's really coming along nicely, although it's been a pain in my ass the past few days. The problems all started on Saturday. The water was so dirty and I realized that I needed more of a filter system to get it clean. I went to Lowe's and bought a filter box that attaches to the pump. I figured that this was the answer to my prayers. I got home and began to install the filter, only to realize that it requires some 1/2" tubing to make the connection from the filter box to the pump-- for some reason, they decided not to mention this on the outside of the box.
She's gotta be related to me!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
- They don't make their own biscuits anymore- they just reheat frozen biscuit "pucks". (I assured them that this wasn't true, and invited them to stop by the Bakery any morning at 5am and watch the biscuit makers as they mix the dough).
- The frozen biscuits are cooked days in advance and reheated each day. (Again, there's no such thing as a frozen biscuit at our stores. All uneaten biscuits are either thrown into the garbage, or turned into dog treats that we freely give out to anyone walking a dog past our restaurant. The trays containing raw biscuits are date stamped, and trashed if they aren't cooked within 24 hours.)
- Ever since the Flying Biscuit "sold out" to Raving Brands, the biscuits keep getting smaller and smaller. (We have one biscuit cutter at each store. The one at Candler Park is 15 years old. Every biscuit has been cut the same exact size since 1992. Some rise higher than others, but that's what happens when you make a handmade item each day. They won't always be exactly the same every day. If you don't like your biscuit, or if you think it's smaller than it was at your last vist- send it back, we'll give you a larger one. If you want cookie cutter biscuits that are always the same size, go to Mrs. Winners and eat the frozen "pucks" that you so detest.)
- Now that the Biscuit is a corporation, the employees have to wear uniforms. (When I started working at the Biscuit, the servers were allowed to wear whatever they chose. After seeing my fill of asscracks and cleavage, I instituted a dress code and it was simple: all employees are required to wear a Flying Biscuit Shirt. I don't think that was too restrictive. I believe that the employees should be identifiable. We have a variety of shirts to chose from, and if they don't like the shirts that we sell, they can bring their own shirts in and I will have a FB logo imprinted on it for free.)
- The original owner of the Biscuit sold out. (Delia Champion is the hardest working person I know. Even though she sold her restaurant to Raving Brands, she is still actively involved in the restaurant. She works an average of 17 hours a day training the new staff, testing recipes, cooking the food and personally answering all customer service issues.)
- The "Biscuit Attitude" will be lost in the franchise stores-- it won't be the same. (The servers, Managers, and cook staff for the first franchise store in Buckead began training at the Candler Park store 5 months prior to their opening. Half of the Candler Park staff have done a shift or two at the new store to help with the transition. The "Biscuit Attitude" is obvious in the Buckhead store, as it will be in any future store.)
- I don't support franchises, or any corporate run business. (Really? You don't go to Kroger, Publix or Whole Food? You never eat at Wendy's or McDonalds? You don't buy Charmin? Kleenex? Band-Aids? Never been to Ruth Chris or Red Lobster? Get over yourself and your idealistic attitude.)
OK-- I'll step off of my soapbox now... it just irks me that so many people hate to see someone succeed. Delia's success has become a personal affront to so many people and I don't understand. Given the opportunity, I'm sure that everyone of the nay-sayers would do the same thing. The Biscuit is her baby-- she's taken care of it through it's infancy-- and now it's graduated. She's a doting mother and she will probably never let go-- but that's what makes it a success.
So, I've learned my lesson-- I'll have to be a little more discreet when I go to yard sales in Candler Park!
Biscuit Review from AJC
By MERIDITH FORD Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 02:44 AM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
WE LIVE IN A WORLD where star chefs such as Todd English and Wolfgang Puck add to their dining dynasties by opening extensions of established restaurants in airports. Where Wal-Mart claims to sell organic food. Where food diva Rachael Ray becomes the spokesperson for Dunkin’ Donuts.
Can you say sell-out?
I can. And I can define it, too. It happens when someone who already has loads more than he or she could possibly need keeps prostituting themselves for more. And it happens all the time in the food industry.
It didn’t happen with local restaurateur Delia Champion of Flying Biscuit Café. It’s easy for those of us who’ve loved her tattered-and-tatto@oed haven in Candler Park since it opened in 1993 to wonder why last year she sold her concept to Raving Brands (which operates Mama Fu’s, Doc Green’s and Shane’s Rib Shack, among many). Blog boards were cluttered with comments when the news was announced last May, with copious amounts of support and criticism.
BITA HONARVAR / StaffFlying Biscuit owner Delia Champion has been criticized for selling to Raving Brands, which plans to expand to other areas.
And truly, it’s difficult to duplicate a concept like Flying Biscuit. The original location, with it’s grungy take on grits-goes-gourmet, has a very loud personality. Making two (which Champion did with a second location in Midtown) and keeping the corporate clutch at bay is a daunting task; even the Midtown location lacks the inner-city-goes-country charm of the original.
So the idea of turning an eclectic neighborhood restaurant with a broad fan base and a boffo breakfast menu that needs personal, loving touches in the kitchen into a chain is abhorrent to most foodies.
Well, get over it. Champion, like most struggling restaurateurs, saw an opportunity she couldn’t refuse. Most of us would do the same if it meant financial freedom for our families. In a press release, she states “… they [Raving Brands] have the resources and infrastructure to do things I could never do — better opportunities for employees, better food procurement, deep experience in store and real estate development, all of which will be important to our ability to expand the Biscuit in a way that maintains the integrity of the food and the experience.” Champion and Raving Brands are working with each other to replicate the Biscuit in other areas.
Local franchisee John Slocum and Q100 “Bert Show” radio personality Jeff Dauler, operating under Let’s Go Back, LLC, have teamed to put the five franchises in place. The first, located at 3515 Northside Parkway in Atlanta, was set to open May 14.
So while we may be critical of the process, and even critical of the end means, we shouldn’t be critical of Champion — she has a small restaurant in Candler Park we all love.
I hate the thought of the Biscuit showing up on the corner of every new strip mall in Alpharetta. But I don’t think Champion has become the spokesperson for White Lily flour, nor is she staging an opening in Las Vegas. Not yet anyway.
Who’s been to the first Flying Biscuit franchise? Tell me about it.
Permalink Comments (39) Post your comment Categories: Dining
May 16, 2007 9:14 AM Link to this
I live down the street from the original Biscuit. I go there with my family every Friday morning (to the bakery). We mostly go because of the people there. I personally don’t like their style of biscuit, which I find a little too sweet and definitely too dry. I like biscuits soaked in butter….
But, we love Jeffery and Brian and the coffee. And when we do eat in the restaurant we like the various dishes. I really like their hash browns. They do a pretty good job with eggs, too.
And we like the idea they have on Friday nights for dinner and wine, etc.
I think in order for this to work the corporation is going to need to pay very real attention to the staff they hire. What is the Biscuit without all the tattooed, pierced, neon-haired, groovy people who worth there, who are friendly and interested and knowledgeable? And do they exist in enough numbers in the suburbs to staff a franchise?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Time Flies When You're Having Fun...
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
New Life in the Pond
As Seen on TV
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
"A Day of Beauty"
I didn't win the Best Caterer" category of the Sunday Paper's "Best of Atlanta" edition. Thanks to everyone that voted for me, though! I really thought I had a chance of pulling this one off! I'll look at it as a lesson learned though... Creative Loafing's "best of" edition will be coming out in a few months. I have time to prepare a voting bloc in case they have a catering category!
We did walk away with the "Best Biscuit" and the "Best Grits" category, though. I'm not going to complain!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
VIP Party at the New Biscuit!
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Another Biscuit Update
I heard from a little birdie that the Biscuit won two of the Sunday Papers "Best of" awards. I'm sad to report that neither of them were for Best Caterer. I guess there's still a chance, because the source that told me didn't know that there even was a Best Caterer category. But, she felt certain that we didn't win it. There's always next year, and maybe a sliver of a chance for this year. I think the results will be in this Friday's paper-- of course I'll keep you posted. I really wanted this award, but I won't get too down over it if it goes to someone else. It would've been a nice feather in my cap, and God knows that at times like this, I need a feather so badly.
Monday, May 07, 2007
A Media Frenzy!
Saturday, May 05, 2007
"The New Q"...
Poor Little Tomato
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Catering for Kids
Biscuit does the "Bert Show"
Also present was Rich Eldredge (reporter for the AJC's Peach Buzz). Rich wrote the following article that will appear in tomorrow's paper. This was a great PR move-- finally the Biscuit is being talked about in a positive light again, and I think Delia's quotes in the article below really show her motivations for "selling out", and her dedication to ensure that all of the new Biscuits have the same philosophy and feel as the originals.
It was cool to finally meet the cast of the Bert Show! I've listened to them on the radio for every morning for about 5 years! I met them all-- Bert Weiss, Jeff Dauler, Melissa Carter, Jenn Hobby, Jamie Massey, Jessica Dauler and Hoss! I asked if I could have my picture taken with them, and they said yes, but all of a sudden we found out that the conference room that I had set up their breakfast in was double booked and I had to leave quickly to move the food to another room. By the time I returned they were back on the air and busy. Hopefully some of them will be at the Grand Opening party and I'll get a photo-op then.
Bert Show producer joins restaurant venture
By RICHARD L. ELDREDGE Thursday, May 3, 2007, 11:55 AM
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Q100 “Bert Show” producer Jeff Dauler may tense up the next time CBS 46 “Restaurant Report Card” reporter Adam Murphy pays a visit to the popular radio morning show.
On Thursday, Dauler announced on air that he’s entering into a partnership with Raving Brands (the folks who brought you Moe’s Southwest Grill, Mama Fu’s and Planet Smoothie Cafe) to open five new metro-area franchises of the Flying Biscuit Cafe.
Dauler is going into the restaurant business with Raving Brands and investors, including pal and Longhorn Steakhouse and Ted’s Montana Grill co-founder George McKerrow, Jr. and Slocum’s namesake John Slocum.
“[My wife] Jessica and I have established roots here, and this is a way for us expand on that,” Dauler explained. While the formerly nomadic radio personality is signed to remain with “The Bert Show” through the end of 2009, the Daulers wanted to cement another business venture here.
Dauler indicated that the deal had been in the works since February.
The next Flying Biscuit Cafe location is due to open May 15 at the West Paces Plaza shopping center at West Paces Ferry Road and I-75.
The eatery concept emphasizing a healthier and more whole foods and whole grains-centered approach to breakfast dishes was created by founder Delia Champion 15 years ago in Candler Park. A second location is now based in Midtown at Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street.
Champion was on hand (with a small mountain of biscuits, eggs, turkey bacon and potatoes) for the announcement.
“I’m starting to get a little old,” Champion cracked to Buzz off air. “I didn’t want the Biscuit to go away. Every neighborhood deserves a great restaurant. For years, I’ve been approached by people who either wanted to buy the Biscuit or expand it. Raving Brands were the first people who understood completely what the restaurant stands for and who didn’t want to change a thing.”
In addition to overseeing her two current locations, Champion is also spending this month training the West Paces location’s staff.
“We’ve always had a reputation for hiring a staff that might not fit in elsewhere,” she explained. “I’m terribly proud of that. I’m here to ensure that a corporate culture does not over ride the Flying Biscuit culture.”
Naturally, Dauler’s radio co-workers only had one remaining question for the budding restaurateur about the eateries that routinely attract busloads of waiting customers each weekend for brunch.
Asked co-host Jenn Hobby: “Does this mean we can now by-pass those lines?!”
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Customer Service/ Salesmanship
Cigars are in order!
I'm a Daddy! While watering the "crop" tonight, I found my first little tomato! I was tempted to pluck it and fry up the world's smallest fried green tomato, but it's so small-- smaller than a cherry tomato. If I'm patient, it'll grow big enough to make a meal out of, so I'll just have to wait. The okra, squash and peppers are looking good, too. I have several blooms on the pepper plants, so it's only a matter of time til I can make salsa!