Jam A Lam, an underground breakfast delivery service, has taken Atlanta by storm this month. The two women behind it, Kandis Owens and Nicole Macey, put together a bacon/egg/cheese/honey butter sandwich on a peppery biscuit and sell it to the masses, one email at a time. Here's how it works: place an order before 10 p.m. the night before you want a weekday morning delivery (between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.), then simply open your door when the Jam A Lam team comes a-knocking before work to hand over one (or okay, a few) of their $3 sandwiches. For those who prefer breakfast after a night out on the town, the team also sets up show outside of clubs like El Bar on the weekends. Follow Jam A Lam on Twitter to find out where they'll be, and do read on for the interview.
How did you come up with the idea?
NM: We just kind of thought about the regular businessperson and how they never get any breakfast delivered. There's always lunch and dinner, but never any breakfast, and that needs to be the most convenient thing because you're always in such a hurry in the morning. So we thought we could offer something that would be really convenient for the working people, and that's how we came up with the breakfast delivery idea. When we started it, this was the most popular item on the menu— we actually had other items, but this got the best reviews and was what most people ordered, so we decided to just stick with it.
And then we thought late night, when people come out of the clubs, we'd set up a Twitter account so that people could find where we are at different club spots— you're always hungry, you always want breakfast food, you want something on your way home.
KO: We go to The Majestic a lot, but you don't want to eat there all the time. It's a little pricey and can be kind of far. We thought having one sandwich that's substantial at a good price was a good idea.
What's in the sandwich?
NM: It's a breakfast sandwich. The egg is soft, the bacon is a little bit crispy, the biscuit is soft and a little peppery, you get a little bit of gooeyness from the cheddar cheese, and there's a honey butter sauce that's on the top and in the middle of the layers. The hash browns are the crispy factor of the biscuit. It's a crisp, thin layer, almost burnt, so that when you bite it you get that texture.
You have a catering business as well. How did that get started?
NM: I cook a lot, and I'm always the one that people ask to cook for the holidays and birthday parties. Kandis is really good with business and the financial aspects— we met working as waitresses, and with the help of our families who told us that we should go ahead and do it, we decided to try it out. We had our first event in August.
How long have you been doing the breakfast service? Would you consider expanding the menu again?
NM: We started October 1. I don't know if we'll change the menu, because this biscuit is really like all of our heart and soul wrapped up into one sandwich. You can get it without bacon if you don't eat bacon, and it's still good.
KO: I think it's good to have one signature item and being really good at that.
How have people been finding out about y'all so far?
KO: We put flyers up around our neighborhood at first, and a lot of people found us through those. We also have the Twitter account.
So how does it work, exactly?
NM: We take orders for delivery Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., but the orders have to be emailed in by 10 p.m. the night before. We deliver five miles in each direction from Frederica Street in Poncey-Highlands— we go to Virginia Highland, Old Fourth Ward, Monroe, maybe even Piedmont. And for larger orders, we'll consider going farther, like to the offices in Buckhead. It's three dollars a biscuit, and there's no minimum if it's within 5 miles, but there is a $1.50 delivery charge per order.
On weekend nights, we'll make up a certain number of the biscuits and stay at one spot until they're gone. You have to follow us on Twitter to find out where we'll be. It'll be a local spot, somewhere where they don't serve food. We're going to El Bar this weekend. We may eventually expand to doing delivery on the weekends, but we want to see what the demand is first. The biscuits are made every morning from scratch. We get up at the crack of dawn, and then when it's club time, we get up at the crack of night.
KO: It sobers people up, and you know a lot of people walk to the bars, and they want something convenient on the way home. We'll also have hot chocolate and bottled water, and we may start doing coffee in the morning.
What are your plans for the future?
KO: Food trucks.
NM: We're thinking about doing not just one food truck, but maybe a couple under the same umbrella.
KO: As soon as Atlanta gets their laws together!
NM: Yeah, that's when we'll try to tap in, but right now we're just going to do this underground thing and see what happens.
Why do you think Atlanta needs something like this?
NM: Atlanta is very diverse, and the one thing that they love is breakfast. If you're out in Atlanta, and you're out at night, it's just the convenience factor. It's like, "I don't want to drive anywhere, okay here they are around our favorite little spots in the city ready to feed drunk people." And for the morning delivery, people don't get up in the morning to make breakfast. They're grabbing coffee and they're leaving, or they have to go buy something that's expensive and doesn't taste all that great. They'd love to be getting ready and then someone knocks on their door with food. It's kind of like a personal chef delivering homemade, fresh food.
KO: Even offices get catered-in bagels and stuff like that— the same things over and over. It's good for them to have the option of getting something different.