One way of dealing with stress is to imagine one's happy place. Alon's Bakery and Market is one of those places for many Atlantans. The shop recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
From the sound of Ella Fitzgerald often heard over the store's stereo to the tantalizing food on display, Alon's has become a mainstay in the Morningside neighborhood.
Owner and executive chef Alon Balsham opened his doors in 1992, as an economic recession was hitting other businesses hard. The Israeli immigrant only noticed that he was able to buy bakery equipment very cheap. He credits that and his work ethic of putting in 20-hour days with helping him to thrive in the early days.
"I’m an overachiever in my nature," Balsham told "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes, "So I was the only person in the kitchen. I had a girl in the front, I was the one in the back, and I figured I could do it all."
Balsham calls Alon's staying power "humbling."
"I can't thank enough the neighborhood that supported me," he said. "I'm the type of chef that that's what I thrive for, is to have the recognition and appreciation of customers."
Alon's celebrated their 25th anniversary on May 7.