Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Thursday, May 31, 2007


My street got paved today! They just put the final touches on it, and people are already starting to drive on it. I'm fighting the urge to go carve my initials and the date in the asphalt before it hardens!!! That would be so tacky, huh?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

She's Growing Up So Fast!!!

My across-the-street neighbor, the one I've always called "Popsicle" (I don't even know her real name!) learned how to ride a bike last week! She's been riding for a little while, but she has now learned to ride without the training wheels and there's no stopping her now! She rides in her driveway for hours every night, and you've never seen a happier child!

Today I was in my front yard when I heard the familiar "Hey" coming from their front door. I asked her why she wasn't riding her bike. She said that she was tired. I told her that I'd like to get a picture of her on her bike and she answered "I'll be right there!". As promised, she was on her bike in the driveway before I could grab my camera!

Birdwatcher Brian

I've really enjoyed having the pond just outside of my office window. I've seen the most incredible birds visiting the pond over the past few weeks. I've seen the usual robins, cardinal's and blue jays, of course. Recently I saw a bright yellow canary bathing in the pond. I've never seen a canary in the wild before-- I figure it was someone's lost pet. And today-- less than 5 minutes ago- I saw my first hummingbird! It seemed oblivious to both the pond and the hummingbird feeded nearby-- more interested in the bright red flowers on my canna lillies. I'm sure it'll find the feeder eventually.

The Orchid

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.....

... and where did it come from?

I've got the most interesting plant growing in my front yard. I didn't plant it, and it wasn't here the first few years that I lived here. It was probably about 3 years ago when this plant popped up for the first time. I love it, and I would buy a few more of them, if I knew what it was. I know it's a member of the lilly family-- probably a "cousin" of the Easter Lilly. It is a bushy plant that sends up great big, thick stalks. At the top of each stalk there are about 7-9 beautiful white flowers (that look exactl like Easter Lillies). The weight of the flowers always sends the stalk down to the ground. I've started cutting the stalks as soon as they bloom, and bringing the flowers into the house so I can enjoy them for a few days, rather than seeing them rot on the ground. This plant blooms for several months each year.

Does anyone have a clue what kind of plant this is? I'd love to know!

Pond Update

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.

I made a quick trip to the East Point Tru Value hardware store and purchased the required tubing. I got back home and started to assemble the filter. I soon realized that I needed a tubing adaptor in order to hook the tubing to my existing filter-- so back to Lowe's I went. I purchased an adaptor and came back home, only to realize that my pump wasn't compatable with the tubing that connects it to the filter box. I put everything back into my trunk and decided to call it a day. On Sunday, I went back to Lowe's and asked to speak to their pond authority, or anyone that had the vaguest idea of how to assemble a pump/filter. I was connected to a really nice guy that spent a lot of time with me and deterimined that I needed a filter diversion attachment and my problems would be solved. I found the item he suggested and went to check out. I was in line behind a nice guy named Mike and we began talking about ponds. It turns out that he has been working with ponds for years and asked if I found what I needed. I proceeded to unpack everything that I had brought with me and showed him how the diversion attachment would fit onto my pump. he told me that that was totally wrong and that it wouldn't work. I took everything back to the pond aisle and started again from square one. I finally saw a box that was labled "complete pond fountain/filter/pump combo". I purchased this box and took everything else that I'd purchased over the past 2 days back to customer service where I received a refund. Long story short (I know, too late for that!), the filter system is installed and the water is clear at last! I can even see the fish, although I don't see any tadpoles-- hopefully a few of them survived and will show themselves later. The pond population now consists of 5 feeder goldfish and 3 kois (and possible a teensy weensy little tadpole or two!).
I ran into Mike at the gym today and thanked him for all of his help. He told me that he lives in College Park, gave me his business card and told me to call him if I had any more problems or questions. Thank God, there are still nice people out there! I'm sure that I'll be calling Mike soon to give me advice on how to set up the "spitting frog" water spout that I purchased yesterday. The 1/2 inch tubing that fits the filter is too big for the frog-- I have to figure out some sort of adaptor that will transition a 1/2" tube to a 3/8" tube. Too much to think about for now, so I put the frog, the tubing and everything associated with the pond back into my trunk and will worry about this another day.

She's gotta be related to me!

I saw this sign in East Point yesterday! I couldn't believe it!

For those that don't get the irony of this sign-- my alter-ego is named Keisha and my real last name is Burnett. What are the chances that there is someone named Keisha Burnette in my hometown? I wonder if it's the same Keisha that was running for office this time last year? I remember seeing signs everywhere that said "Vote Keisha"- I even took a picture of the sign-- I'll see if I can dig up a copy for the blog.
I've got to meet this Keisha girl! I feel like we were seperated at birth or something!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Biscuit Myths:

I get so tired of the comments-- you can't imagine the things I hear!

I went to a yard sale in Candler Park today. I drove up in my Biscuit car, wearing a T-shirt with the Biscuit logo on it. Suddenly I was surrounded by people telling me that they used to eat at the Biscuit, but now they hate it. I asked them why they hated it-- here are the reasons I was given:

  • 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

Biscuit flying up, not selling out
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


By Jen
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

My Song for the PALS Benefit:

The View

Rosie O'Donnell only has 3 weeks remaining in her contract with ABC's "The View". ABC needs to take a stand against her bullying ways and fire her immediatley. After her conduct on the show this week, it is evident that she should no longer be welcome into our living rooms any longer. Her debate with Elisabeth Hasselbeck was outrageous. She didn't answer any questions and constantly verbally abused Hasselbeck throughout the "warm chatter", opening segment of the program. Hasselbeck was not alowed to defend her point of view; she was barely allowed to speak. I don't know how Hasselbeck was able to sit through the rest of the show.

Hasselbeck has been on the View for several years. Rosie started less than 8 months ago. ABC owes a bit more loyalty to the long time employ. If someone at my workplace treated me the way that Rosie treated Hasselbeck, they would be written up or terminated. The same standards should apply to people that work in the TV industry.

Rosie is a bully. She believes herself to be an authority on EVERYTHING. She looks down her nose at the rest of the world, and uses the "gay label" the way that some minorities use the "race card". She wouldn't even defend her statements because she was afraid that she would be labeled as a "loud, fat, lesbian" by the media. Don't start an argument and then refuse to defend it by using the "gay card" defense.

I believe that Hasselbeck should file a complaint- the same way that I would if I were being abused in my workplace. ABC should follow up on the complaint and either terminate or suspend Rosie.

Rosie used to be funny. I enjoyed her stand-up routines. Now she's all about controversy-- anything to grab the media spotlight. I'm tired of it and hope that she moves on into oblivion soon. Go back to comedy, host the "Price is Right" , get a sitcom. Just don't move on to another talk show that becomes another soapbox. We might care about your opnion if you had a better delivery. But, as of today-- I don't really care what you think about anything.

Cool, huh?

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...

Seven years ago today, I packed all of my belongings and left my spacious intown loft and moved into my East Point bungalow! When I think back to what the house looked like back then (inside and out), I question my sanity! It was an old house that was in desperate need of some TLC. The house had been vacant for a few years. The yard was overgrown- hell, the inside of the house was overgrown as well. Ivy had crept in through a broken window and it was covering the sunroom floor. I felt a little broken down at the time too, and figured that this house needed me as much as I needed it. We made a good pair. As the house began to evolve, so did I. With each project that I completed, I felt a little better about myself. I'll go on the record to say that buying an old house can be great therapy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Success!

I've spent a lot of sleepless nights, dreading this day. I was scheduled to do a catering job for Sprint-- 300 people. The food had to be ready and out the door by 6am. I never thought I could pull it off. Thanks to my catering "dream team" (Clifford & Ana), we got everything ready on time and even arrived at the location early! I spoke to the coordinator of the event afterwards and she said that she was very impressed with our service, and booked us to cater a Sprint golf tournament in August!
I had two other catering jobs today, too. The catering sales were out the roof! As of 4pm, catering sales for the day were higher than the restaurant sales for breakfast and lunch combined. I don't think that's ever happened before! I can't wait to see the numbers tomorrow to see if I beat the restaurant sales for the entire day. That would really be impressive-- and very timely, since my annual review is coming up in a couple of weeks!

Monday, May 21, 2007

New Life in the Pond

The first residents of my pond community moved in yesterday. I bought 5 goldfish from Petsmart. These aren't fancy goldfish, or even koi. They are feeder goldfish that costs 29 cents each. My plan was to buy a few fish to make sure that the water was safe before spending a lot of money on nice fish. Since these goldfish's only purpose in life was to be fed to larger fish, I figured it wouldn't be a great loss if I found them belly up this morning. To my surprise, all of the fish survived and a few of them even surfaced when I went out to feed them tonight. If these continue to survive (and possibly thrive!), I'll go ahead and invest in some larger fish soon.

I received notice today that the tadpoles I won on EBay are enroute and should arrive tomorrow! I wonder what stage they will be in? The ad didn't say. I'm really excited about the tadpoles coming- it's so cool to watch them turn from fish to frog. Hmmm... I just thought about it-- what do tadpoles eat? I wonder if they'll eat goldfish flakes? I'd better do a little research on the net before they arrive.

As Seen on TV

I've been catering breakfast to the CWTV studio every Friday for about a year now. There are about 20 cast and crew members on the "Autoscoop" show, and I provide them breakfast each week, in exchange for a mention in their closing credits. Sometimes they even drink out of Flying Biscuit coffee cups on the air, and once in a while they mention the restaurant. Although I've had this arrangement with them for a while now, I've never had the opportunity to see the show until this week (I finally remembered to Tivo it!). I puased the tape and snapped this photo. I think I will get in touch with the Produver this week and ask her to change the credit to say "Catering Provided by...". instead of "Food Provided by". Lots of people are loyal diners of the Biscuit, but they don't know that we cater... I like to get that "catering" word out there as much as possible. Speaking of catering-- it's time to take that Tylenol PM and try to get to sleep before 6:30pm-- I have a huge job for Sprint in the morning that requires me getting to work by 2am to make 300 biscuits before the prep team arrives. Good night!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Water Restrictions

Water restrictions allow me to only water my gardens/lawn from midnight til 10:00am, every other day. That would be great if I worked the graveyard shift! I understand the need for water restrictions, I really do! But I see things from a different point of view, I guess. First of all the watering times do not match my schedule. I go to be by 8pm most nights. I get up at 3:30am, and I leave the house by 4:00am. When am I supposed to run the sprinkler?

I live alone. I work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I shower at the gym at least 4 days a week. I might do two loads of laundry a week, and I run the dishwasher one or two times a month! I don't use much water. However, right next door is a family of 5. They all take showers daily (I hope!), they probably do at least one load of laundry a day, and they probably run the dishwasher at least once a day. They probably use at least 5 times the water that I use (maybe more), yet we have the same restriction.

It isn't fair, but I guess it's true that life isn't fair, huh? I'd love to see the water restriction guiedelines changed-- each house should be allowed a certain number of gallons of water per day. Once that limit is reached, the water should be turned off and restored the following day! That'll never happen, but it's nice to dream, huh?

I will follow the rules, but if my petunias die in the process, I'm going to be really pissed!

Monday, May 14, 2007

"A Day of Beauty"

Today was Salon Red's "4th Annual Day of Beauty". What a totally awesome experience! Normally the Salon is closed on Monday's, but once a year they open on a Monday for a good cause. On this day, all of the clients are mentally handicapped, school-age kids-- they get to come to the Salon and pick any of the services that they would like to experience. They get massages, haircuts, perms, dye jobs, waxing, facials, manicures, pedicures, etc.-- anything they want. And it's totally free for the kids! The manager of Salon Red, Gloria, organizes the entire event and she spends months collecting donations to make the day even more magical for the kids. We partnered with Salon Red and donated the food, other businesses donated lots of items that were put into goody bags for the kids to take home with them. They even had clowns and tents in the parking lot to make the day even more magical!

I took my prep "Guru" Ana with me to witness this. I know she gets burned out by doing so much of the catering prep and I wanted her to see the benefits of her efforts, so that the next time we have a big food donation she will look at it from a different point of view (not that she's ever negative about her job, I just wanted to give her a new perspective). Ana and I walked through the salon and I took pictures- I spotted Gloria's sister, Kim, sitting in a chair with tin foil all over her head. She told me "I'm gonna be a BLONDE!". Another girl posed for me by my car and showed off her new bright red nail polish on the way to get her foil removed to reveal her new blonde streaks! The kids were so appreciative and so happy to be pampered and doted over.

On days like this, I really love my job. I'm happy that I'm in a position that allows me to help pull events like this off. Kudos to Gloria and the staff of Salon Red. They worked their butts off and I'm sure that none of the kids will ever forget the Day of Beauty that they experienced today.

It's Official....

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

Daily Recap---

I woke up to some great news today-- I checked my bank balance to make sure that my paycheck was direct deposited, and it was. The cool part was that it was for a lot more than usual! I was expecting it to be a little higher because I was being paid the car wrap payment. What I didn't realize was that since I am now considered a corporate partner, the car wrap payment is twice what I expected! What a great way to start the day!
I got to work at 6am and catered a breakfast for the GA State crew, this time in a private home near Lenox Mall. Afterwards, I met my brother Joel at LA Fitness (Northlake). We had a good workout, then we got our cars washed, and then headed to Kroger's to do some shopping for tomorrow's Mother's Day lunch. I'm cooking Salmon / Sole Mimosa (braids of the two fish, served on a bed of rice, topped with a creamy white wine sauce and sprinkled with grated egg yolks). I'll be cooking for all of the extended family for the first time, so I hope it turns out okay.
After Kroger's I did a quick run to Restaurant Depot for some much needed catering supplies, and then to Lowe's for a hanging basket to give Mom tomorrow (along with an olive bowl that she had her eye on a couple of weeks ago at the Inman Park Festival- I bought it when she wasn't looking).
When I finally got home and unloaded my car, I decided it would be a good time to catch up on the shows that I'd Tivo'd this week. No such luck. The catering hotline began to ring...and ring.. and ring. I took 17 calls and wrote up 7 orders for the next couple of weeks- totalling just shy of $5000. I finally turned the phone off at 3pm, wrote up the orders, sent invoices and called it a day. The rest of the day is MINE! I can finally do all of the things that I've wanted to do all week-- laundry, vacuuming, dishes, etc. What a life I've carved out for myself, huh?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

VIP Party at the New Biscuit!

Tonight was the VIP Party, and it went off without a hitch! We had a great turn out! Of course my favorite times of the night were the times that I got to talk to Jessica Dauler, who I found out reads my Blog! (Hi Jessica!) This was my second time to meet Jessica and I was just as impressed with her tonight as I was when I met her last week at the radio station. What a class act, and genuinely nice lady. And I'm not just saying that because I know that she's reading this!

Other notables at the party were Karen Greer and Ted Hall, anchors from WXIA, 11Alive. They stayed for a good while, and seemed to enjoy the party. I also got to meet Food Reporter Adam Murphy for the first time. He was nothing like I expected! I've heard him on the radio for years now, and I always pictured him as a "Clark Howard type". I couldn't have been more wrong. He's a young, good looking guy.

We had a tent set up outside in the parking lot, and Delia had me park my car (the Biscuit Mobile) in front of the tent. We realized that no one was standing under the tent and thought that music might bring them out. So... I cranked up my radio (alternating between the only CD I had with me- 80's music... and Q100, of course!). Delia got the idea that she wanted to have our photo taken in my car. We found the photographer and went out to the car. Before I knew it, my car was filled with most of the current Biscuit owners (Delia Champion, Jeff Dauler, John Slocum), two of our PR associates (Elizabeth and Kempten, from Green Apple), and a few other people. Most of them were piled into the backseat of my convertible, and I was in the driver's seat- of course! I can't wait to see these pictures! They should be pretty cool! I'll post them here as soon as I get them from the photographer.

Overall, it was a fun night, and I think I heard that we had over 400 people in attendance.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Another Biscuit Update

I had dinner tonight at the new Biscuit! They've really done a great job with the decorations, etc. I wish I could've taken pictures of the inside, but it was jam-packed at dinner time! Good for them- I think it's going to be a hugely successful restaurant. It has that feeling. The serving staff are mostly young, hip and diverse. The cooks did an excellent job with keeping up with the orders. I even saw Delia working on the line to help them get the food out quickly.
On a side note, I suffered a kitchen injury yesterday. I won't go into the details, but will tell you that I feel as though I may have broken or fractured a rib. In situations like this, I always advise the employee to fill out an incident report and go to the clinic for a check-up. Did I follow my own advice? Of course not, I whined and complained a lot, but I finished off a 12 hour shift and returned the next day to do an 18 hour shift. I woke up this morning in a lot of pain, but it wasn't unbearable. I'll give it a couple of days to see if it gets better- it could be just a deep bruise. With the VIP party Thursday night, and a full catering schedule over the next 7 days, I don't have time to be sick or injured at this point.

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.
The next entry should show pics from the VIP party Thursday night. It should be cool-- a big tent in the parking lot, valet parking and servers with trays passing out appetizers. Sounds fancy- I can't wait!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Media Frenzy!

All of a sudden, the Biscuit is everywhere!
This week alone, I have found articles about us in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Spin Magazine, Southern Voice and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

"The New Q"...

We got to participate in Heritage Food USA & Slow Food Atlanta's "The New Q" at Studioplex today. The theme of the event was "A Twist on Old School BBQ". It was an honor for us to participate amongst such prestigious Atlanta Restaurants (Shaun's, Woodfire Grill, Repast, Food 101, etc.). We served BBQ turkey over a biscuit, topped with homemade coleslaw. Everyone loved our food, and several people returned time and time again for refills. We were a hit!

It's always fun to do these kinds of events. We get to talk to so many people- some are long time customers. They give us a lot of feedback, mostly positive, sometimes they tell us things about the restaurant that we didn't know. One of the first to visit our booth this morning told me that he used to eat at our place all the time, but he had stopped when we heard that we had been bought out. As I plated up his food, I got to explain that nothing had changed-- I introduced him to the founder of the restaurant, Delia, and assured him that she was still very "hands-on" and nothing had changed. He later returned and told me that he had been won over , and he will return soon. Just changing that one customer's opinion made the entire day worthwhile.

We also get to meet a lot of people that have never heard of the Biscuit. I love talking to them too, and sharing my enthusiasm. I don't know how many, if any, of these people ever actually try out the restaurant later, but at least they walk away with the impression that we are nice people and our food is great. That's about all you can hope for!

Poor Little Tomato

My neighbor's dog ransacked my front yard last night. I caught it messing with my pond and chased it out of the yard. In the melee, several of the rocks were knocked into the pond, and my beloved tomato plant was crushed. I found my little tomato in the front yard this morning and brought it in. It's sitting on my desk as a reminder to keep an eye out for that dog, and it's owner. I don't want to make a big deal out of it- the plant only cost $1.99 originally, but it's the principal of the thing. I was planning on planting all of the annuals this week, but now I'm wondering if i should? This dog gets lose at least 3 times a day, and it makes a b-line to my yard every time. I'm sure that whatever I plant will be destroyed. I've talked to the dog's owner about this several times and he always assures me that it won't happen again. However, an hour later I'll find the dog in my yard again. The next time that I see the dog running freely again, I will call animal control and make a report.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Jeff's Announcement!

The picture from yesterday's visit to Q100!
Click on the link below for a link to hear the audio clip of the live, on-air announcement!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Catering for Kids

There's a group of 60 teens visiting colleges in and around Atlanta this week. I've had the pleasure of providing their breakfast each morning. I also got to cater their supper tonight. They were having a pool party at the hotel and I served hotdogs, hamburgers, potatoe salad, chips and drinks-- poolside!

Biscuit does the "Bert Show"

It was announced today that Jeff Dauler (Producer/ Co-host of Q100's "The Bert Show") bought into the Flying Biscuit franchise and he, along with his partners, are planning on opening multiple locations in the Atlanta area over the next two years. The first of his Biscuits will open next week on the corner of Northside Drive and West Paces Ferry. I was lucky enough to be in the studio with Jeff and the entire Bert Show crew this morning when the annoucement was made live on-air.
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

OK, it's time for me to gripe about the lack of retail customer service again. I know that some day I will be asked to lecture ad-nauseum on this subject, because I seem to be obsessed.. so excuse me while I pull out my soap box and step up onto it....

Here's how it all happened: my lawnmower died last week. Please don't send flowers, as there is a chance that it might revive again one day. This lawnmower was an early gift from Dolly & Beverly. It arrived in the middle of June 2004 as a half-year birthday present. Over the past 3 years, it's been very dependable. But last week's journey through the 3' high grass in the backyard was more than it could take. I hit a tree stump and the blade flew off of the mower. it's probably repairable, but cheaper to replace since the entire housing of the blade was pretty much destroyed. So, I headed to Lowe's to price new lawnmowers. I found a cute little riding mower- 7 speeds and a cup holder! Just what I've always wanted. I thought about it a few days, and talked it over with Joel to make sure I wasn't spending foolishly. We agreed that if it'd make my life easier and if I could afford it, I should go for it. However, he'd seen the same more at Home Depot for $100 less.

So, here's the part about customer nonservice. On Monday, I went to the home Depot on Ponce de Leon Ave. I only saw 2 riding mowers on display and they were both in the $2000 range. I went to the Customer Service desk and explained that I was interested in buying a riding mower, but wanted to know if they had any other models to choose from. The lady at the counter simply said "No" and went back to what she was doing without giving me a second glance. My lesson to Home Depot: if someone comes in and expresses interest in shelling out big money on an item that you don't have in stock, offer another item or offer to call another store, or check to see if you expect the item to be delivered soon. Don't just say "No", and let the customer walk out the door empty-handed.

Next stop-- Lowe's on Camp Creek. They still had the mower that I had scoped out earlier in the week. I went to the Customer Service counter and asked who I needed to talk to about buying the riding mower. I was directed to the Outside Gardening Dept (are there really people that garden inside?). The OGD was a ghost town. I waited about 20 minutes before I finally stumbled across a man that told me that he worked in the dept, but he was busy doing something else and would be with me in a while. I asked if there was someone else that could help me, but I was informed that he was the only associate in the OGD at the time. So I waited. Finally he was able to help me and he asked if I would like to have the mower delivered and I said yes, on Tuesday if possible. He assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. As he was scheduling delivery, he made a frowny face and then told me that it couldn't be delivered until the following weekend. I explained that I lived less than 4 miles from the store and asked him to check again. He came back with the same answer. I responded with "Never mind, I'll buy a riding mower from another store". His response was "OK". Once again, a customer came into a store with a pocketful of money, willing to spend the money, but left empty-handed.

Since the buying of the riding mower had become so stressful, I decided to buy a regular self-propelled push mower-- one that I could load into the car by myself. I went to the Home Depot on Cascade Road and did just that. I saved a lot of money, but I didn't get what I wanted. I like the new mower, but it doesn't make my life an easier. It only has one speed, and no cup holder. But, it cuts grass and I guess that's the real main purpose in buying a lawnmower, anyway.

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!