Meat & Bread: Sean and Emma Schacke open Evergreen Butcher + Baker in Kirkwood

Emma and Sean Schacke (Photos by Lydia Mayfield)

Sean Schacke is an equal opportunity butcher. He believes in leaving no cut behind when pulling out a forequarter of beef or a whole hog from the shiny new walk-in cooler of his dreams at Evergreen in Kirkwood. He is a nose to tail champion of locally raised protein, on  a campaign for dark meat, celebrating all that poultry has to offer our palate. “No waste, high yield,” promises Sean.

He pulls out his favorite knife, a menacing looking western style chef knife made in Athens, GA at Bloodroots Blades. The bolster of the knife is made from a resined Jittery Joe’s coffee bag, another of Sean’s all-time Athens favorites. The knife was fitted to his hand and made to his specifications by the artisans in his hometown.

Across the kitchen, Evergreen’s co-owner and baker, Emma Schacke, smiles. She got Sean the gift certificate for that knife a few years ago when the idea of opening their own butcher baker business was still percolating.

She is working on individual apple cakes, her Dutch grandmother’s recipe. A huge bowl of peeled and cubed apples from Mercier Orchards sits nearby and a certain butcher can’t keep his fork to himself.

Together, Sean and Emma opened Evergreen Butcher + Baker at 2011 Hosea L. Williams Drive, just a block east of the Intown neighborhood’s hub, strengthening the appeal of this quiet community.

“We want to be a gathering place for neighbors and we are so excited that everyone has embraced us,  welcomed us so warmly helped make our first month successful,” says Emma who brings an apron-full of experience from bakeries in Nashville, Chicago, Portland (ME) and Amsterdam. She was executive pastry chef at One Eared Stag (where they met – Sean was sous chef) with stints at the St. Regis Hotel and Cacao chocolate here in Atlanta. “We want regulars to know they can count on finding good meat and good bread here- the staples home for centuries. We think it’s important being a part of a walkable community.”

Customers lined up out the door on weekends (they are open Thursday – Sunday), buying out every last breakfast sandwich, pastry, loaf of bread and cookie two hours after the doors opened. Sean’s pastrami, along with egg, cheddar cheese on Emma’s buttermilk biscuits made quite an impression. “It will likely be our signature breakfast sandwich, though I’m making bagels for this weekend,” says Emma.  They will make everything that goes between two slices:  from pickles and jam to bottling their own Worcestershire sauce and making buttermilk for the biscuits.

Sean and Emma completely renovated the  2,000 square-foot space, which sat empty for 35 years. They built a flat upstairs, making the commute for their 3:30 AM start a little easier. They scouted eBay and invested in the ultimate tools of the trade to make a butcher and baker jump for joy. Sean’s baby is a buffalo chopper, a beast of a machine that chops or emulsifies food by rotating it in a bowl under spinning blades. It minces, chops, shreds, slices, grinds and crumbles. He intends to produce 100 pounds of sausage each week in a few different varieties including fresh and smoked. Emma designed the space for giant rolling bins of flour to fit neatly under her work counter and added a kegerator, because why not?

Their pride and joy is the gleaming Sveba Dahlen oven, one of the few large appliances they bought new. Emma can bake 34 loaves per deck. “All my breads have a sourdough start, naturally leavened and made with high quality grains that have not been processed, so they are good for your body.”

This month, Emma will be making muscadine danish, at least three different kinds of pie and baskets full of gorgeous bread and cookies. “Each day I have four or five varieties of bread which change weekly. Opening weekend we sold 40 loaves each day and 250 total pastries These numbers will gradually be increasing as I now have two part-time pastry/prep cooks to help,” says Emma.

Evergreen will be making Thanksgiving dinners to go with Georgia-bred turkeys.

“We wouldn’t rather be doing anything else,” says Sean. “To make our own rules and more importantly, our own menu is so great.”

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