by Zoe Aron
New York City may be known as the country’s capital of cultural and financial enterprise, but it’s no longer the go-to spot for businesses looking to open their first East Coast location. Atlanta is now luring companies interested in expanding their brand.
Bubbleology started in London as a café that sells their signature bubble tea, made of red, white or green tea mixed with flavored fruit or milk and natural tapioca balls (known to many as “boba” or “pearls”). With various locations across the world, most notably at the TopShop store on Oxford Street in London, Bubbleology is now entering American soil by opening its first café here in Atlanta. The first location is open at Lenox Square with a second one at the Mall of Georgia and more scheduled to open early this year.
2. Dancing Goats Coffee Bar
Founded in 1986 in Olympia, Washington, the Dancing Goats Coffee Bar (operated by Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters) expanded to the Atlanta area to bring their unique coffees and beverages to this side of the country. The first Atlanta location, located in Decatur, opened in 2007 and has become a staple in the community. With the more recent location open at Ponce City Market and the announced opening of a third location in Midtown, you’ll soon be able to get your Dancing Goats fix all across the city.
Old Fourth Ward
650 North Ave. NE
419 W Ponce De Leon
3. Les Copains
Although carried by Saks Fifth Avenue and other department stores, Les Copains opened their first United States brick-and-mortar location in Buckhead. New York and Los Angeles are already established fashion capitals of our country, yet as CEO Francesco Leone was quoted saying in Women’s Wear Daily, Buckhead “is a very sophisticated shopping area, and when we’d been approached by the developer... we found an attractive opportunity. We felt it was a good starting point.” By setting up shop in the developing fashion headquarters of Atlanta alongside Brunello Cucinelli, Jimmy Choo, Hermès, Helmut Lang and more, the luxury Italian brand known for its knitwear is putting itself in an advantageous position for their future U.S. endeavors.
The Shops Buckhead Atlanta
3035 Peachtree Rd.
4. Planet Blue
Buckhead has one of the highest numbers of upscale boutiques in the country — rivaled only by other elite locales like, say, Beverly Hills — one of the main reasons Planet Blue (with most stores located in Los Angeles) probably decided to open their first East Coast location in the great city of Atlanta, in addition to the fact that they had a strong online following from this area.This store carries bohemian and “Cali-cool” items ranging from clothing and accessories to athletic-wear to swimwear. Atlanta was also the first Southern store on their expansion list, with boutiques scheduled to open soon in Miami and Houston.
262 Buckhead Ave. NE
With locations only in California, Washington and Oregon, Rejuvenation entered the East Coast market last year with its first location in Atlanta’s Ponce City Market. Founded in 1977 in Portland, the lighting, furniture, hardware and home accessory store prides itself on being both “American-crafted and heritage-inspired.” Ponce City Market, site of the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, is the perfect first East Coast locale for Rejuvenation as its rich cultural and historical undertones match the vibe of the furniture.
Ponce City Market
675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE
6. Sprouts Farmers Market
In this day and age, it isn’t hard to find a grocery store full of organic and healthy options. But it is hard to find one that is affordable and won’t cost you an arm and a leg upon checkout. Sprouts Farmers Market started in Arizona in 2002 and since then has opened nearly 200 grocery stores in the Western and Midwestern states. Choosing Atlanta as the first East Coast area to expand to in 2014, Sprouts Farmers Market now has eight locations open in the greater Atlanta area. As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Donna Egan, a spokeswoman for Sprouts Farmers Market explained that the Atlanta area was similar to the areas in which Sprouts had previously been successful, in part largely due to its “well-educated [people], lots of families and above-average consumer spending.”