Evergreen Butcher and Baker, owned by Emma Schacke and Sean Schacke, sits along Hosea L. Williams on the edge of Kirkwood’s commercial district. The Schackes opened their butcher shop and bakery last September inside a 75-year-old building behind Arden’s Garden in the neighborhood east of Atlanta.
Emma is the baker, while Sean is Evergreen’s butcher.
The name Evergreen came to Emma and Sean during their time working in Maine. Mutually unsatisfied with the idea of trendy food, they seek to provide their neighbors with everyday staples. The couple say their respective crafts are “evergreen” and “constant”, and feel it’s important to keep old world traditions alive.
For Emma, a Toronto native who has worked as a pastry chef and baker in Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, and Amsterdam, she always knew she wanted to some day own a bakery. The duo began to formulate a plan that would showcase the best and most important aspects of their trades.
“I knew bread would be the key to tie it all together,” she says of Evergreen. “Building the shop has been an absolute dream come true, and the most fun part has been collaborating with Sean on our menu, which rotates constantly.”
Since Sean is a whole-animal butcher, Emma says it’s also important for Evergreen to produce little to no waste. The shop offers daily sandwich specials using the breads Emma bakes and meats Sean breaks down each day.
Emma’s love for baking began with buttermilk biscuits. She had never baked anything before moving from Toronto to Atlanta and baking biscuits in home economics class. She watched “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten on the Food Network everyday after school and began to experiment with baking.
At 19, Emma left the University of Georgia to pursue her baking interests at the French Pastry School in Chicago. Emma says she respects the craft, work ethic, and appreciation for history the school instilled in her.
Emma moved back to Atlanta after graduating to work at the St. Regis hotel in Buckhead as a pastry cook and then as a chocolate maker at Cacao Atlanta. Over the last 11 years, she has worked under various talented bakers and pastry chefs. Her resume includes baking at De Bakkerswinkel in Amsterdam, a bread and bagel baker at Scratch Baking Co. in Maine, and a pastry chef at the Farmhouse restaurant in Nashville, Floriole Cafe and Bakery in Chicago, and Atlanta’s One Eared Stag, where she met then sous chef Sean.
However, it was at Chicago’s Pleasant House Bread where Emma says she officially made the switch to baking bread.
“I was never really under the impression that I could fully learn enough about bread baking, especially naturally-leavened bread, unless I truly immersed myself in it,” Emma explains of the transition.
Knowing the sort of commitment it would take to dive fully into the world of bread and sourdough, she took a step back from pastry making.
“I was lucky enough to get my hands in a bit of everything, from wood-fired baking with freshly milled flour to high production bread baking,” she says of her time baking bread professionally for other bakeries.
Now at Evergreen, Emma bakes 70 hearth loaves each day. Look for naturally leavened breads made with whole grains sourced from local mills, like dark nordic rye, whole wheat, country sourdough, olive loaf, and baguettes as well as porridge loaves and caraway deli rye. The pastry case is filled with pain au chocolat, savory danishes and croissants, sausage rolls, chocolate chip cookies, babka, brioche, kouign-amann, and cinnamon buns.
Evergreen’s bakery often sells out.
“I do feel that bread and pastry go hand-in-hand. They both require patience, practice, and technique,” Emma says. “The best part about being a baker is that you’ll never be done learning. The dough teaches me humility and new lessons every day.”
In addition to breads and pastries, Evergreen carries charcuterie, sausages, terrines, deli meats, hot dogs, and burgers, along with ribeye, brisket, and pork loin. The shop offers drip coffee and buttermilk biscuit sandwiches in the morning, and daily sandwich specials during lunch.
Wednesday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
2011 Hosea L. Williams Drive, Atlanta. evergreenbutcherandbaker.com.