We are proud to launch our Local Legends spotlight this month with our friends at The Mercantile based in Atlanta, Georgia!
We think the term small business is a little misleading. They're not small and typically they are more than a business; they are a passion. As a family owned business (since 1896) we at Royal Cup love the independent business owners who work so hard and provide the stable backbone for our amazing nation.
That being said we are proud to announce our Local Legends monthly feature. This feature will highlight some of the businesses we proudly partner with across the nation to help provide quality tea, coffee and service to their outstanding customers. This month we launch Local Legends by chatting with Janea over at The Mercantile in Atlanta. Read below for more!
Tell us a little about your business:
The Mercantile started in 2008. My business partner is a classically trained chef and I had a restaurant and hospitality background. We wanted to bring the people of our neighborhood a market that felt like a central gathering place in the community. We wanted the central focal point of the market to be freshly prepared foods that could be picked up every day and enjoyed at home with a good bottle of wine. The local foods movement was just getting off the ground in Atlanta at that time and we like to think we were an integral part of that movement by working with a lot of local producers just as they were getting their product into the marketplace. We are still very focused on local, but also round out those offerings with olive oils and cheeses from Europe, affordable wine from all over the world, and tons of freshly prepared foods. We consider ourselves a market/café because we also offer seating where you can meet up with folks and enjoy lunch or grab a quick bite.
What kind of food do you offer?
We make fresh food every day. While we make a lot of soups, roasted chickens and casseroles, we are best known for our sandwiches. We have nearly 15 different sandwiches on the menu at any given time. They are all named after our in-town neighborhoods. Each one of them has something special and unique about them which we do here in house. My favorite is the Edgewood. It has ham, Dijon mustard, swiss cheese, just a touch of butter and our homemade pear preserves. We press it on the Panini grill and it is sooooo delicious!
Atlanta is a fantastic food city! There’s always so much going on. I am a Georgia girl and have spent most of my adult life in the Atlanta area. So, of course, there was no other place for The Mercantile.
What sets your business apart?
Resilience. We have stayed in this game despite all odds. We opened at the worst possible time during a terrible economic crisis. People have actually come into my shop and said, “I didn’t think you guys would make it.” And, here we are. Because we have been so determined to stay in the game, we’ve worked through a lot of challenges, a number of mistakes, and really learned to listen to our guests. If someone has something to share, we do our best to respond. Our attentiveness to guests and our absolute commitment to keeping our food fresh everyday sets us apart for sure.
What Royal Cup products do you carry?
We are proud to brew the Villa Rey products and offer both a dark and medium roast by Royal Cup. We’ve just gotten started with the products and I really think people are going to enjoy it once we get them turned on to the coffee. There’s nothing like a good, fresh cup of coffee with our special Bacon Egg and Cheese sandwich. We make the eggs with fresh cream and chopped herbs!
What's the long term vision for your business?
I would really love to grow our offerings and sales to a point in which we can sustain our operations towards being able to provide better to our employees. I want to have more to offer my employees. If I could position us so that our inventory improved, our sales grew and our operations became more streamlined, I could offer more to my staff in terms of health insurance and full time hours for more people. Taking amazing care of amazing people could only equate to offering even more amazing service and experience. Once we get that happening, who knows where we could go!
If you could give someone a one sentence summary on why they should try The Mercantile what would it be?
We make fresh food every single day. So, if someone comes in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, they are going to get a personal experience and have an opportunity to shop for curated wines and hand-picked local products. We’ve got a great neighborhood feel and love to welcome in new visitors.
Thank you Janea and everyone over at the Mercantile who make Atlanta the special place that it is!
If you'd like to find out more about The Mercantile you can visit their Website, Twitter, and Facebook. If you live or are visiting the Atlanta area be sure to swing by and tell them Royal Cup sent you! 1660 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA. 30307