Five Questions With… Janea Boyles

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“The first installment of “”Five Questions With…”” for 2009 is here.


Today we’re getting to know Janea Boyles, the President of The Mercantile, a fantastic specialty grocery store in Candler Park. It’s the type of shop that every neighborhood needs, a friendly place where you can stock up on organic produce, a great variety of artisan cheeses, and gourmet prepared foods. It rocks, the people that work there rock, and neighborhoods that support local, independently owned and operated businesses rock as well.

Without further ado, Janea’s five questions:

Q. Last meal in Atlanta. Where are you going and what are you eating?

Well, most days, I’m at The Mercantile working so, I don’t get out much. When I do get out, I love the fish and chips at The Porter and the best Chinese take out is Pyng Ho on Clairmont. And, Jon, thanks to you, I am now a huge fan of the hummus at Zaya! That is some good stuff!

Q. Favorite neighborhood?

I’m torn. Atlanta, as you know , is full of amazing neighborhoods. I often think it is hard to get to know Atlanta unless you’ve lived here long enough to know how and when to zip around without encountering traffic. Once you get your shifty migration patterns down, Atlanta truly is a great city on the rise. Living in Kirkwood is great because it is ultra convenient to all of the interstates, downtown, Little 5 and Decatur. Also, I love spending my time at Gathering Grounds coffee shop in Kirkwood or working in our tiny little yard. But, these days, I’m doing the entrepreneurial dream thing and so I’m always working. Working on the cusp of Candler Park and Lake Claire is a blessing because all of our neighbors are such good people. We’ve made so many friends in the neighborhood and gotten involved with the great schools, churches and community events in that area. I really feel welcomed by the people of what I have now coined the Inman Park-Candler Park-Lake Claire corridor. That area, to me, defines intown Atlanta living best.

Q. Hidden Atlanta gem that everyone needs to experience at least once?

Restaurant Eugene is absolutely the finest food I ever had the opportunity to work around. I spent four years working at this restaurant with the finest staff in the city. I am still amazed at how many people still do not know about this Atlanta treasure! I miss working there and I think everyone should venture into Buckhead at least once to try it. Chef Linton Hopkins and Gina Hopkins were a huge inspiration to Samantha and I when we started forming the idea of The Mercantile.

Q. Three Men and A Baby question. You can leave either Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson, or Tom Selleck in charge of your business for one day. Who’s your choice, and why?

It has been so long since I’ve even thought about this movie. I can only remember how the women in my family all had a crush on the very handsome Tom Selleck. So, I guess I‘d have to bring him into The Mercantile, put a cute girly apron on him, implore him to make cream puffs and wait to see how many men from Midtown and women from my hometown stampede my shop!

Q. Best Atlanta celebrity sighting?

I waited on Jane Fonda once. Despite being standoffish, she was very dignified. In conversation with her dinner guests, I overheard her refer to herself as an “old fart.” I would never have associated that term with such a progressive woman. My favorite part about her was watching her drive herself away in a tiny Prius!


Ed. Note: Millions of jazzercizers can’t be wrong. Jane, you’re not an old fart!

Q. Bonus Round: Why is The Mercantile awesome?

The Mercantile is a dream come true! It is so great to go to work every day and tackle each challenge with all you’ve got. It’s not always easy, certainly not fun every day, but it is very gratifying to be working and giving something back to the community through a business. I like to think the most incredible thing we have to offer at The Mercantile is the food. Every day, Chef Samantha and her culinary team prepare soups from scratch, local rotisserie chickens, seasonal meals and artisan sandwiches for our guests to take away and enjoy in the comforts of their home. Not only that, each staff member at The Mercantile displays unparalleled dedication to our guests. Our goal is for someone to walk in the door at The Mercantile as though they are walking into a second home. Once they get in and are made to feel comfortable, we have the rare opportunity to share our passion for amazing food, local items, and specialty treats from all around. I hope you’ll be back in for a visit soon. We’re having a chocolate tasting on February 7, so you better plan to come on down and get your wife something nice!


The Mercantile is located at 1660 Dekalb Avenue. Do check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Visit The Merantile online, here, or their blog, here.


Relive the Jane Fonda Workout, here.

Check out this four bedroom in Janea’s beloved Kirkwood. It’s a lot of house for the money… and it also comes with a terrace level in-law suite that you can rent out. Click here for more info.


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