Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristin Allin.
Kristin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We (Billy and Kristin), are both from the south and spent several years in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving back to Atlanta in 2007. The time in the Bay Area was transformative as the food scene was so unlike that in the south. Billy changed careers from finance and attended Culinary School in San Francisco and then worked at famed Chez Panisse in Berkeley. This experience formed the basis for their our first restaurant, Cakes & Ale, which opened in Decatur, Georgia in 2008. This was the beginning of the trend for restaurants to serve great food while taking the atmosphere and service to a more casual level.
Cakes & Ale was one of a handful of Atlanta restaurants that baked all breads and desserts in-house. This was driven through our desire to have the best and freshest baked goods without preservatives and stabilizers. Over the years, this leads us to envision a bakery that supplied the restaurant but also served the community, farmers markets and other like-minded restaurants and coffee shops. In 2015, we took over a bakery space and opened Proof Bakeshop.
Our third concept, Bread & Butterfly, opened in 2016. Bread & Butterfly is an all-day concept where the neighborhood and surrounding businesses can come for breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as coffee and libations. Bread & Butterfly is a cafe such as is seen in Paris and a lovely spot for food and conversation. When we visited NY and other cities, we really enjoyed this type of casual cafe that served food all day. We wanted this in Atlanta so this drove our decision to open Bread & Butterfly. Because we want to stay intimately involved in our businesses, we don’t plan to open anything else!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The biggest struggle is balancing family with the time it takes to run a successful restaurant. Closely second to this is finding and retaining the best employees at a time when the restaurant workforce is stretched thin. We have always worked to pay good wages and in 2017 started a health care program to take care of our employees.
We are currently working to promote our people in-house so that Billy can oversee more of the operation instead of doing the bulk of the preparation daily. This takes a lot of time and training so the cooks can keep the quality at the level Billy demands.
Please tell us about Bread & Butterfly.
We are most proud of our food and our commitment to running a business that is true to our principles and to our employees and guests. Across all of our businesses, we specialize in great products, local and regional sourcing and making products without fillers and stabilizers. For example, our bakeshop (Proof) uses all butter and no shortening or fillers. This is not a common practice due to the expense, but we have incredible pride in our baked goods and want them to have the best ingredients.
Another example is our business moved from plastic to paper straws last year. Again, the cost is higher but removing the plastic straws is better for the environment. We also use products such as organic milk and eggs for all food and drinks.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Billy’s favorite memories are dinners with his New York-based family members. The women would cook the meal as a day-long affair and taught him the recipes during these gatherings. This is where his family spaghetti recipe comes from, which Cakes & Ale serves each year around the holidays for Sunday Supper.
All of our restaurants have recipes from the chef’s family members, which adds to the personality of each space. Carey Bell, the manager at Proof, makes items from her family’s bakeshop that she remembers from her childhood. Remi, the Executive Chef of Bread & Butterfly, cooks from his heritage growing up in the Loire Valley of France.
- Address: 290 Elizabeth St Suite F
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
- Website: www.bread-and-butterfly.com
- Phone: 678-515-4536
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @bread_and_butterfly