Biscuit shop Howdy ATL is opening across from Zoo Atlanta

Boyd Baker has played a lot of roles over the course of his career, including caterer, event planner, barback, business writer, ad man and manager.

But it wasn’t until the pandemic started that he discovered his true passion: Baking, specifically biscuits.

He started out by helping to create and run the food program at Waller’s Coffee Shop in Decatur, run by his friend Jason Waller.

“While I was doing that, I realized this is kinda my thing,” he said. “I’ve always been around food and always wanted to do something in food, but wasn’t positive how to get there.”

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Credit: Howdy ATL

Credit: Howdy ATL

After about a year at Waller’s, Baker decided to strike out on his own. At the same time, his son, a student at Georgia State University, noticed the space at 753 Cherokee Ave. SE, previously home to Grant Park Coffeehouse, was for rent.

Baker set up a Kickstarter, less to make money than to develop buzz around his business and “to engage the community,” he said (although he did end up surpassing his initial $9,300 by about $7,000). He hopes to open Howdy ATL at the beginning of April.

Baker is in the thick of product development for the menu, including incorporating ideas he crowdsourced on Howdy ATL’s social media accounts.

Biscuits and biscuit sandwiches will be the primary focus, but Howdy ATL will also offer scones, cookies, hand pies, cakes, salads, soups and coffee drinks. He’s also looking to bring more bakers on staff and offer loaves of rustic breads, and plans to offer several gluten-free and vegan options.

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He envisions Howdy ATL as a redux of The Dessert Place, a since-closed spot with locations in Virginia-Highland and Buckhead that served desserts, coffee, beer and wine.

He hopes to sell beer and wine as part of “phase two” of Howdy ATL’s opening and to “bring back the coffeehouse feel from the 60s” with evenings featuring acoustic music, poetry and politics.

“I wanted this to be a meeting place for folks and you actually know your neighbors. I just want to make sure to make the people who live here happy.”

Baker said Howdy ATL will likely be open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. most days and increase to daily hours after the first few weeks.

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