Famous Toastery: Ready for Breakfast?
Apr 01, 2017 08:30AM
● By Jason Huddle
Famous Toastery: Ready for Breakfast?
Americans love breakfast; it might even border on obsession with the uptick in bacon concoctions and consumption, and the introduction of non-traditional foods to the breakfast menu.
Breakfast has been touted as the most important meal of the day since a 1917 edition of Good Health published the information in an article. Ironically, Harvey Kellogg – yes, those Kelloggs – took that declaration and ran with it. Decades of medical studies and marketing campaigns later, it’s a personal choice.
In the 19 century, breakfast was made up of whatever got you ready for a day of work: leftovers from the night before, cheese, pie. According to mentalfloss.com, “There wasn’t much in the way of convention with regards to food or etiquette. Dinner, in the middle of the day, was the main meal, while earlier breakfast and later supper were purely utilitarian.”
Our Industrial Revolution, however, saw less physical labor and more factory-type jobs. Making no adjustments to how they ate, Americans suffered from dyspepsia...yes, indigestion. Opinions and medical sanitariums came out of the woodwork. One “prescription” was whole grain.
“Unsurprisingly, this radical lifestyle failed to find widespread popularity,” mentalfloss.com says. “But the benefits of whole wheat – both moral and bodily – had become ingrained in the public consciousness, which made it prime for capitalizing on.”
In 2015, the average person consumed 361 breakfasts, an increase of 11 per person from 2010. This according to marketing firm, NPD Group, that also predicts breakfast consumption will rise by another 5 percent by the end of 2019. True, this stems partially from population growth, and fast food restaurants offering breakfast items all day also play a role.
Drive-thrus aren’t the only places offering breakfast all day, however. Look at Cracker Barrel, Denny’s and IHOP. Now another has been added in Cabarrus County.
In 2005, best friends Brian Burchill and Robert Maynard opened a cafe´ in Huntersville.
Katie Heath is managing partner of the Concord Famous Toastery. “We originally started as Toast Cafe´ in a tiny, little house in Huntersville – now Cafe 100. It was a non-chain breakfast restaurant that used fresh, whole food. When they opened up a Toast in Davidson, it was my favorite brunch spot. I was sitting in there eating with my best friend one morning and saw a sign that said, ‘If you want to own a Toast…’ My friend happens to be a loan officer. I made a phone call and everything went from there,” she says. “As a company, they’re really supportive.”
There were already Toast Cafe´s in other states, so the name change. The Concord restaurant, located on Concord Mills Boulevard near Derita Road, opened its doors in December of 2015.
“What we have is unique. We do a team service here, so ‘every server is your server,’ ” Heath says.
Indeed, no one server is assigned to a table. The idea is meant to allow you to ask whomever is
closest when you need assistance. The servers work as a team.
What also makes Famous Toastery unique is that patrons can order breakfast or lunch any time of the day: Concord’s operating hours are 7:00am to 3:00pm. Heath tells of a customer that orders off the dessert menu at 8:30 in the morning.
“Breakfast can be a healthy comfort meal – an oxymoron, I know – but you can combine the two. The homemade breakfast is what we work toward,” Heath says. “It’s a fast-paced environment with high energy, a lot of guest focus.
Comfort food, while often associated with high-cholesterol, stick-to-your-ribs recipes, is also something that comforts the soul. It might be an apple pie or chicken noodle soup that harken back to Grandma’s kitchen.
Famous Toastery’s interior also reflects Delete repeated word. "We’re not fine dining, but somewhere in between,” Heath says. “Our latest store just opened a month and a half ago at Exit 23. That was a kind of homecoming for the owners. As we speak, one is opening up in Philadelphia. Two weeks after that, one is opening in Cary.”
So, what keeps customers coming back? “We do an oyster scramble on the weekends; you can’t find them elsewhere,” Heath shares. “Gluten-free is a huge part of our menu. We have an avocado omelet…at least one person per table orders one. Our stone-ground grits are delicious; we use them for our shrimp & grits. We serve great coffee, too – a fresh-ground bold Italian.”
Soon, you can order your raspberry-stuffed French toast, corned beef hash, Cali Benny (poached eggs, avocado, tomato, English muffin and Hollandaise) and your favorite drink on the patio. Check the restaurant’s web site for news on when it will open.
Heath says, “As we continue to grow we’re becoming a chain, but every store has its own personality and still feels like a mom & pop.”
Story by: Kim Cassell
Photography by: Michael A. Anderson Photography