Alon’s Bakery & Market In Atlanta Celebrates 30 Years Of Business

Opened in 1992

Alon Balshan opened the first Alon’s Bakery & Market in Virginia Highland located in Atlanta, GA in 1992. This year marks the 30th year anniversary of the bakery, which has expanded into two more locations: Dunwoody and Buckhead.

Although Balshan can get tired at times from the constant hard work, he said that’s what makes a successful business.

“Failure is not an option. If I need to fight I will fight. We fought really hard to make it work.”

Alon Balshan
Alon’s Bakery & Market.
Alon’s Bakery & Market. (Picture by Stacey Mollenthiel/Carvd N Stone)

Alon’s offers handmade pastries, fresh-baked bread, and gourmet sandwiches.

According to past coverage, Alon’s serves 3,000 loaves of bread a day at its stores and distributes to 50 wholesale clients in the Atlanta area.

Meet the Owner

61-year-old Balshan is an Israel native whose had a love for baking and cooking since a child. After serving in the Israeli military, he began to pursue his goal of operating his own bakery by attending Tadmor Culinary School in Israel. He worked his way through European bakeries and hotels until about the age of 25 before getting a one-way ticket to migrate to the U.S. to move to New York City with only $500 dollars in his pocket and a backpack.

He came into the country as a professionally trained chef with a focus on pastries. He eventually found himself in Atlanta and within six years, he opened the first Alon’s location that has become an Atlanta food staple.

“[It’s about] our ability to really be persistent,” he said.

Renovations and Multiple Locations

Balshon took $10,000 he saved up, his credit cards, along with some money from his father Maurice, and got a 1,300-square-foot space for the first location. Before then, Balshan worked as a pastry chef at Engelman’s Bakery, a wholesale bakery making old-world bread and pastries. He then moved on to work at Murphy’s in Virginia Highland as a pastry chef.

According to a Facebook post, the first Alon’s location was four times smaller than it is today.

Balshan expanded the original location in 2000 for the first time, and in 2004, due to success. The bakery expanded its offering by opening a market that has a gourmet selection of freshly prepared deli items including soups, sandwiches, salads, breads, artisan cheeses, and wines.

In February 2008, Balshan opened his second location in Dunwoody, which is over 11,000 square feet. According to the bakery’s site, Alon’s in Dunwoody offers the same items as the first location, but on a larger scale that includes a dining experience with a beer and wine bar, a wood-burning oven for artisan style pizza, along with more catering offerings.

The third location in Buckhead opened on September 20, 2021. The 5,300-square-foot space replaced the former Twist restaurant in Phipps Plaza. The space includes an oven to the right of the entrance to allow customers to view bread being poofed and then displayed. There’s also a 1,600-square-foot patio.

Even though the pandemic was one of the hardest times of Balshan’s career, he said the fight continues.

“I had to let things fall apart,” said Balshan. “Now is the time to recover.”

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top