Linton Hopkins and crew to open food market in 2011


Here’s something to dream on until next year: Linton and Gina Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House are planning to open a progressive, multifaceted food market in April 2011.

The team has already decided on a name: Drovers, a reference to those (as Merriam-Webster says) who drive cattle or sheep. Hopkins, who has not yet secured the space but is actively looking along the Peachtree Road corridor in Buckhead, envisions customers walking into a working kitchen—something along the lines of Eatzi’s but not as large and, frankly, with better, more consistent food.

Breakfast (with pastries from the Hopkins’s H&F Bakery, of course) and lunch will be served, and at least one dinner option will be available nightly. There will also be prepared foods, including house-made charcuterie, sausages, and maybe even freshly made cheese. The overarching goal is to eliminate as much waste as possible, so the market kitchen will also be tied closely with the restaurants, preparing portables such as condiments, terrines, and pâtés (which will also be for sale in the store, of course). A farm stand aspect of the market will change daily, depending on which vegetables are being used in the restaurants. Hopkins is also planning to teach classes on food preservation, which may include at-home canning kits that offer, say, a flat of locally grown strawberries as part of the instruction.

“This market requires more thoughtful planning than anything we’ve done,” says Hopkins. To that end, he’s hired Kirsten Hindes to execute the plan. Hindes has a wealth of relevant experience—among other companies, she worked in Whole Foods management for six years. Hindes and Gina Hopkins have already researched markets in San Francisco and New York for ideas.

I’ll share more details as they develop.