An icon of Atlanta, Henri’s Bakery was founded in 1929 by Henri Fiscus, a chef and native of France. His Southern adaptations of European delicacies became an instant hit and a permanent standard for every item created by the Henri’s bakers today. Henri’s Bakery has been a Buckhead fixture since locating to its current home on Irby Avenue in 1969. Its cheese straws are required eating for exclusive Buckhead cocktail parties, and cakes produced there have graced countless celebrations.During the 1980s, additional locations opened in Sandy Springs and in Midtown near the site of the original Henri’s. In the bakery’s infancy, Henri Fiscus remained true to his baking roots—sandwiches on the in-house bread were added when the baking business was slow. They became incredible popular, Leonard said. The wax-paper wrapped or custom made lunchtime staples are now a mainstay of their menu.
Today, Henri’s continues attracting crowds to an off-the-beaten-path locale in search of its famed sandwiches and desserts.
A familiarity among customers, evident by occasional greetings exchange between friends and neighbors, breeds an atmosphere of exclusivity, a kind of private club that anyone can join. But here, blue-collar laborers are equally at home with generations of Buckhead’s finest families. So what’s the secret to its diverse appeal?
“We have been here for so long and have maintained the same quality,” said Madeline Leonard, the oldest of Fiscus’ four grandchildren. She directs the family operation. “It’s kind of a happening, too. You see people come in here and they meet their friends.”