A taste of Lebanon
Atlanta’s Baklava Shop a surprising success for family of bakers
ATLANTA — Cookies, cinnamon rolls and baklava line the shelves of The Baklava Shop, a charming little bakery tucked away in the curves of Atlanta.
The Baklava Shop is owned by Georgette Prince, a third-generation American of Lebanese descent, and her daughter, Sarah Smith. Georgette said that, being Lebanese, baklava is the dessert everybody in her family grew up eating.
“It’s the main dessert, especially on the holidays,” she said.
Georgette also grew up in a family of bakers. She said her uncle owned a pastry bakery in Lebanon and his brother owned a bread bakery. But Georgette grew up making baklava with her mom, who learned from her mom.
Georgette said she would make baklava at home and bring it to her daughter’s school programs or whenever a treat was needed somewhere.
“After making it out of the house, then people started wanting us to send it to them and people wanted to buy it,” she said.
That’s when the idea to open a baklava shop was planted.
Georgette said the original plan was to lease a commercial baking facility for them to make baklava and then sell online. She said that, as they got ready to open the business nine years ago, people would exclaim, “So, you’re opening a bakery.” That’s how the business expanded to offering more than baklava.
However, baklava remains the bakery’s best-selling treat.
Georgette makes the dessert by layering phyllo dough, butter, and nuts, and topping it off with a homemade, simple syrup.
When the store initially opened, the baklava was made with walnuts. But, after she received special requests, including from people with allergies, Georgette expanded the selection to five kinds of baklava. In addition to walnut, Georgette makes baklava with almonds, cashews, pecans, and pistachios.
A coconut almond baklava is offered in the spring and summer, and a maple pecan baklava is offered in the fall and winter.
Georgette said they make eight to 10 trays of baklava on any given day, with 54 pieces of baklava served from each tray. The bakery also offers an assortment of cookies, fruit and nut bars, cinnamon rolls, breads, and cakes.
Georgette said she comes in at 5 a.m. to begin baking for the day and Sarah and Sarah’s sister, Chrissy Prince, join her in the baking. Although Georgette owns and operates the business with Sarah, Chrissy works in the bakery until about 8 or 8:30 a.m. before heading to her full-time job for the day.
Georgette is glad her daughters work at the bakery. She said they get along well and they often ask each other for their opinions related to the business.
She is also thankful for her customers, many of whom will drive to Atlanta just to get baklava. Georgette said customers have come from as far away as Cheboygan, Midland, and Traverse City.
Never in a million years did Georgette think her shop would become so renowned and successful.
“We thought it would just be this tiny, local bakery,” she said. “We knew we were going to do online sales, because we knew that it would help because this is a small town. But we’ve had awesome local support and we have awesome traffic east and west.”
The Baklava Shop, 12169 State St., Atlanta, is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Their baklava can be purchased at Perch’s IGA in Alpena, Freddie’s Family Market in Atlanta, and at the Pourhouse in Lewiston.
For more information about the baklava shop, visit their website www.thebaklavashop.com.