Highland Bakery replaces Junior’s, finds quick success

Photo by Basheer Tome

Since the fateful summer of 2011, Tech students have been lamenting the loss of one of Tech’s landmarks for over 60 years: Junior’s. Students were sad to see the building emptied, but now the deserted spot near Tech Tower has been filled once again. Over spring break, Highland Bakery opened its doors to the Tech campus, and with it came excitement for starving 8 a.m. students and a sense of nostalgia for its long-gone but never-forgotten predecessor.

Highland Bakery is known nationally and particularly around Atlanta for its creative and mouth-watering culinary compilations. With three bustling locations established in Old Fourth Ward, Buckhead and Midtown, Highland Bakery is recognized for its classic pastries—peanut butter French toast, for one—as well as decorative cakes, southern comfort breakfasts and delectable coffee. Better yet, they mill their own chemical-free grains to ensure an assortment of healthy and organic baked goods.

Highland Bakery is known for its creative and mouth-watering culinary compilations

Tech’s partnership with the bakery began over two decades ago when kiosks opened with an assortment of menu items in the College of Architecture and College of Computing. The popularity of these kiosks convinced the Tech administration and Highland Bakery executives to team up once again, but this time on a larger scale. Thus, Tech’s hottest and most delicious new hangout was created.

In addition to providing students with a healthy and tasty spark to their daily diets, the opening of this new shop on campus will further help the kiosk business.

“By having a centralized location with broader production capabilities, our thought is that we might be able to start offering more diverse and fresher foods at the kiosks across campus,” Rich Steele, senior director of Auxiliary Services, said upon the start of construction last fall. The new location offers a more diverse menu, comparable to the other Atlanta locations.

“We knew that we didn’t want a national brand in that location…We wanted something that had more of the unique Georgia Tech look and feel…and we thought that [Highland Bakery] would provide that,” Steele continued in a statement to the Institute. Tech administrators spent much of last summer sampling the food qualities at a variety of potential Junior’s successors, taking careful precautions to ensure that the faculty, staff and student body would be satisfied with the replacement. With a menu that spans from crabcake benedict to sweet potato pancakes to a double, tall, skinny, half-caff, bald latte, it seems that Highland Bakery has something for everybody.

And even though everything seems better in bulk, one of the best aspects of the bakery is the fact that smaller servings and half-options are available, which lowers prices for broke college students.

One of the best aspects of the bakery is the fact that smaller servings and half-options are available

Finally, the menu options and price points are not the only things that make the dining experience at Highland Bakery memorable and enjoyable: friendly staff, quick service and a particularly amiable atmosphere also help. Another instance of the bakery’s devotion to catering for the student body comes in the development of an online ordering system. In the coming weeks, the possibility to place an order online and pick it up in the store should be available for busy, on-the-go students.

Plus, the new breakfast, brunch and lunch hotspot (open Monday thru Friday from 7:30 am to 4 pm) has sit-down or take-out options, perfect for the occupied student or as a place to relax and catch-up with friends.

Steele added, “Junior’s era was totally different. Its focal point was burgers and fries. Highland Bakery is a great place to go for a snack or just to treat yourself between classes. We hope it will become a strong Tech tradition.”

The way it looks, Highland Bakery is well on its way to accomplishing this goal.