On the Rise
H&F Bread Co. has been one of Atlanta’s favorite bread purveyors since 2008. Now in its new West Midtown location, the brainchild of Linton Hopkins (Holeman and Finch; Restaurant Eugene) and Joe Best is expected to expand even more. We got a behind-the-scenes look at this rising empire and chatted with Robert Alexander, executive baker.
Alexander is a familiar face: He joined the team in 2008 as head baker but left after a couple of years to handle the dough at The General Muir. With exciting changes on the horizon at H&F, Alexander has returned for his “dream job.” He explains, “I’m not just baking; I’m also working with business partners and handling research and development.”
H&F started as a neighborhood bakery in a converted Quiznos on the Westside and quickly became a farmers’ market staple. Eight years and two locations later, it now resides in a 50,000-square-foot building. Hamburgers haven’t just made Holeman and Finch famous; they’ve also put H&F bread on the radar of restaurateurs around the country. The biggest growth H&F has seen has been frozen bread sales. While H&F only sells to the Southeast right now, there are plans to sell frozen bread nationally to grocery stores and restaurants. Fun fact: The bakery cranks out 20,000 hamburger buns an hour!
Buns are the bread and butter of H&F’s business, but the bakers turn out 1,400 different products each night. “This variety is something that’s grown out of our attitude of hospitality. When people come to us, we want to serve them what they’re asking for,” says Alexander. This means H&F isn’t baking just one type of hot dog bun; there are also buns with sesame or poppy seeds, and buns of different lengths—you name it. Alexander plans on setting aside 3,500 square feet for an artisanal bakery and enlisting a chef for an adjacent restaurant.
Customers can still find their favorites by visiting the bakery’s retail store. It’s a cozy space whose walls are lined with freshly baked breads, croissants, Danishes and local jams and infused sea salt. You can find H&F’s bread at Whole Foods around town, but there’s something special about stepping into this West Midtown bread wonderland.
H&F Bread Co.
1500 Marietta Blvd.
WHO SERVES H&F BREAD AROUND TOWN:
Empire State South
999 Peachtree St. N.E.
1168 Howell Mill Rd. N.W.
W.H. Stiles Fish Camp
675 Ponce De Leon Ave.
The Shed at Glenwood
475 Bill Kennedy Way S.E.
313 North Highland Ave.
STORIES: Lia Picard