Food & Dining

‘Running Down a Dream’ | Hapeville coffee shop celebrates hard-earned ‘Coffeeversary’

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In spite of getting shut down a mere two weeks after its grand opening, JPresso Coffee & Bakery is still in the game.

HAPEVILLE, Ga.If at first you don’t succeed — try, try again.

Sure this maxim sounds great on a motivational poster but for ‘JPresso Coffee & Bakery’ owner, Christine Ahn, it’s more of a personal mantra.

Having just celebrated the official ribbon-cutting for Hapeville’s newest coffee klatch, the event should have earmarked the culmination of a lifelong aspiration for her.

“This is what I wanted to do ever since I was a child,” muses Ahn. 

While JPresso Coffee & Bakery is the third business she has opened in the metro Atlanta area, one in Stockbridge and the other on the Northside in Gwinnett County. The opening of the coffee shop held a level of sentimental importance that harkened back to the days of her childhood. 

Growing up, Ahn’s parents owned and operated a local shopping market just two doors down from where JPresso currently resides. 

With such a fondness for Hapeville deeply-rooted within her mind, Ahn described the moment of the ribbon-cutting ceremony to Vox Pop ATL as ‘a dream come true.’

“It took us nearly two years to open up and then just after two weeks of operation, we had to shut it down,” Ahn laments of the rigorous endeavor to transform the space from an out-of-business cellular store into its current charming & eclectic state.

While she admits the past year has daunting both financially and psychologically for her, she attributes a large part of her tenacity to the diligent and caring support of her clientele, particularly in the Tri-Cities. 

“It was tough but I survived. I’m still here — every day,” affirms Ahn standing in out front of JPresso wearing a smile that mirrors the one she had the day she cut the ribbon.

“I am very grateful. I have the most amazing community here in Tri-Cities, Hapeville, College Park, and East Point. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

JPresso Coffee & Bakery is located on N. Central Ave in Hapeville in the Hapeville Plaza, the same shopping center as neighborhood staple, Sombreros.  

To learn more about JPresso Coffee & Bakery shop, click here

For all the news that’s fit to click? Visit the Vox Pop ATL website and like us on Facebook.

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Community

‘Anything But Garden Variety’ | Legacy business owner in East Point reflects on community, loss, and motherhood

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‘Arden’s Garden’ CEO Leslie Zinn shares her thoughts about the importance of legacy and the recent loss of her mother

EAST POINT, Ga. — “You reap what you sow.”

The origin of this phrase stretches back to Biblical days and if you were on the receiving end of that statement, nine times out of ten, that was not a good thing.  

Vox Pop ATL is honored to share this story with you, the residents of Tri-Cities, of the rare example of a family that will be reaping their just-deserved benefits for many years to come. 

Home-grown right here in metro Atlanta, the family-owned & operated Arden’s Garden has been a pillar in the field of nutrition, health, and wellness for nearly three decades now and has also become a familiar mainstay on Main Street in East Point for roughly two of those decades.

With seventeen retail shops currently and more to come, it doesn’t seem that they have any intentions of going anywhere any time soon.

“That’s how it began — no money, just my Mom making juice, and distributing it to her neighbors,” reminisces Leslie Zinn, CEO of Arden’s Garden.

“People really know that if you put good things inside of your body, you’re boosting your own immune system and you’re fighting your own fight.”

In 2021, terms like ‘organic, green, and vegan’ are as mundane and ubiquitous as the types of products that toss these expressions around like so much confetti.

Having said that, if we were to rewind the clocks back twenty-six years ago, the company that would become synonymous with health and wellness in metropolitan Atlanta, all began with a single mother of two, a newly-purchased juice press — and a dream.

Today, we know that single mother as Arden Zinn, founder, and namesake of the eponymous, Arden’s Garden, the city’s foremost fresh juice manufacturer.

Her dream? To share the benefits of wellness with her family, friends, and community. 

“So, it’s a been 26-yr overnight success. Lots of hard work. Lots of joy” muses Zinn.

“Starting a business, and raising children on your own. It’s an enormous amount of work. But, I look back on it now and I think one of the reasons my Mom was successful, is she didn’t care about the money — she only cared about wellness.”

Long before terms like ‘health and wellness’ comprised the core tenets of Arden’s business model, they were the very backbone of her own personal mantra on living. 

Decades before those familiar, colorful, all-natural juice bottles began lining the shelves of popular local supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Publix and Kroger, Arden would use her daughter, Leslie, and son, Edward, back when they were adolescents, to test out flavor formulas — much to their chagrin.

Some of those concoctions would eventually go onto become to the irresistible flavors that we now know and love. Zinn, a lifelong health enthusiast, was diligently committed to ensuring that her children didn’t develop bad eating habits, even during the times when the family was struggling financially.

As matriarch, Arden Zinn, nutrition and wellness were not just convenient catchphrases used to convince her children to eat their vegetables. Furthermore, when it came down to how nutrition played its part in the business, Zinn saw it as, her daughter, Leslie put it ’her mission in life.’

“The Tri-Cities area is hungry for healthy places to eat,” stresses Leslie. “My mother was a people person, and now her legacy continues in her absence. I can’t be more grateful, that it’s right here in East Point.” 

Sadly, Arden Zinn passed away last November due to complications with Parkinson’s disease. She is survived by her children, Leslie and Edward, her five grandchildren, and the legacy born out of her passion for health, wellness, and community.

To learn more about Arden’s Garden, you can visit their headquarters located at 3113 Main Street, East Point, GA 30344 or visit their website for information about their other metro Atlanta locations.

For all the news that’s fit to click? Visit the Vox Pop ATL website and subscribe for news updates on Facebook.

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Food & Dining

‘Not Your Average Ghoul’ | Local baker leans-into dark & offbeat personality to craft ‘one-of-a-kind’ creations.

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‘Ghoul Next Door’ owner, Ana Arriga found her goth aesthetic didn’t quite mesh with local bakeries — and that suits her just fine.

EAST POINT, Ga. – If we were to rewind our thoughts just over a year ago, back in February of the Year-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, it’d be safe to say that there was still plenty of optimism in the air. 

Then along came COVID-19 like your least favorite relative dropping by for an unexpected visit — with a U-Haul truck. 

Allow me to introduce, Ana Arriga, or as she is better known to her neighbors and clientele — The Ghoul Next Door.

For those unfamiliar with this delightfully unique baker, don’t be surprised to find items on her website with such tongue-in-cheek references as; Peanut Butter Massacre, Cult Classic, Camp Crystal Lake, and more. 

Think ‘Beetlejuice’ meets ‘Betty Crocker,’ and you’ll get something of a hint of what’s waiting in store for you and your tastebuds. 

The recent Florida transplant relocated from Orlando last February to move closer to her elder brother, and for a fresh start.

Having been a baker steadily for nearly a decade in Florida, Arriga was interested in exploring the market up here for a new bakery to call ‘home.’

Much to her chagrin, however, she soon discovered that the pandemic was not the only thing standing in her way. 

“All those no’s, basically pushed me towards (this),” Arriga recounts to Vox Pop ATL in the back room of local bakery, Kupcakerie

“Y’know what? I’m gonna do it on my own, and see what happens.”

Arriga attests that in spite of those setbacks, she never questioned her talent or her value as a baker. She lovingly attributes her confidence to her family who never tried to get her to conform to social norms as a child, and let her be (as she states on her website) a ‘weirdo.’

“Just don’t say ‘no’ to yourself,” encourages Arriga. ‘Have confidence in what you can do, and take all those no’s that you received from other people, and use it to your advantage. Because it’s totally worked out for me.” 

While Arriga primarily does business for Ghoul Next Door Bakeshop through online orders, she has been known ‘pop-up’ at local markets in and around the metro Atlanta area.

For more information about Ghoul Next Door Bakeshop, click here.  

For all the news that’s fit to click? Visit the Vox Pop ATL website and like us on Facebook.

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