Atlanta Bread Co. owners, Ron and Marianne Murray, have accomplished something that's not an easy feat, especially in the restaurant business. The couple are celebrating their 10th year in business.
But Ron Murray is quick to say it was the support of the Peachtree Corners community that made it happen.
"We built the business," acknowledged Murray, "but it was with the help of a lot of wonderful people who live in the community."
Located in The Forum shopping center, The Murrays opened their business on Sept. 5, 2002. Ron Murray admitted there had been a lot of ups and downs, especially in the summer of 2008 when gas prices spiked and people began losing their jobs.
But it's part of doing business says Murray who maintains that operating his franchise business "is still the best job I ever had."
For many local residents, The Atlanta Bread Co. is the place to go to see their friends and enjoy a meal and conversation. "We're like the 'Cheers' of Peachtree Corners," said Murray referring to the TV series that ran from 1982 to 1993. Murray says he often sees Peachtree Corners neighbors meeting at the restaurant on a regular basis.
Murray says not much has changed over the years except he has noticed his customers are asking for healthier foods.
Both Ron and Marianne spend the majority of their days working in the restaurant. They've got a staff of 20 full and part time employees, Marianne manages the catering side of the business and Ron handles the bookkeeping and also works in the restaurant.
"We're hands-on when it comes to the restaurant," said Ron. And he said he wouldn't have it any other way.
"The best part of the business," he said, "is getting to meet a lot of wonderful people who live, work and shop in Peachtree Corners.
Ron and Gay Shook, Peachtree Corners residents, have known the Murrays almost since they first opened the doors to the restaurant.
"Ron and Marianne Murray have been stalwart and generous supporters of our Peachtree Corners community for a very long time," said Gay Shook.
"Ron's work on the board of the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association helped bring about the establishment of the Peachtree Corners Business Association," added Shook. "Our heartiest congratulations to them and their staff for our wonderful Atlanta Bread Company!"
Ron Murray maintains that staying in the restaurant business is more than knowing how to make sandwiches, "it's running a business and hiring the right people," he said.
And the Murrays are looking forward to another decade of operating their business. "We're going to be in this thing for another 10 years," said Ron Murray who added that he's just signed a new lease and renewed his franchise agreement.
"We have really appreciated the support that we've received from the community," he added.