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|Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand deliciously simple|
|by Ryan Watkins|
|June 08, 2012 00:00|
Delia Champion burst onto the Atlanta food scene in 1993 when she opened the first Flying Biscuit in Candler Park. For the next 13 years, she owned and operated one of Atlanta’s most trendy breakfast joints while expanding to new locations across the city, like Midtown’s Flying Biscuit at 10th and Piedmont.
Champion, a lesbian, sold her stake in the Flying Biscuit to a franchise company in 2006, but worked behind-the-scenes with the restaurant’s new ownership and new franchises for three years as a consultant.
In 2011, Champion was called back to the restaurant world.
“I’ve been making chicken sausage for years,” Champion said. “When I sold the Flying Biscuit, I kept my sausage business. I’m just going to do something with my chicken sausage. It is my second career, after all.”
Opening a restaurant is never an easy venture, but Champion said that her experiences with the Flying Biscuit helped when she decided to open Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand.
“When I first opened the Flying Biscuit in Candler Park, I had to borrow money from anyone who would lend me money. Emily Saliers from the Indigo Girls was an investor. I had the pressure to make sure I paid everyone back. I didn’t really know how I was going to do it. This time, I was able to do it on my own,” she said.
Champion employees some 15 workers at her chicken sausage stand, a far cry from the 80 that she managed while at the Flying Biscuit. Employees, Champion said, are the reason she’s been successful.
“That’s why I get to come to work everyday, my employees are successful,” she said. “That’s it in a nutshell. People in the restaurant industry who don’t realize that aren’t too successful.”
For the menu, Champion said that she wanted to keep things simple and fresh.
The sausage, whether a patty or link, is the focus of all the menu items, Champion said.
“The menu has about 15 things on it. We’re just trying to do something that’s fun and high quality. Everything is made in house from scratch.”
On the weekends, Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand is open 24 hours.
“I’m right down the road from McDonald’s on Moreland Ave. When I opened it, I just thought, ‘If I could get one person from McDonald’s every day to eat with me instead,’” she said.
Champion and her partner, Wendy, have been together some 17 years, after first meeting while Champion owned the Flying Biscuit. Her partner is a graphic artist and helped concept the restaurant’s look and feel, Champion said.
“She did all the graphics here,” Champion noted.
Top photo: Delia Champion focuses on simple foods made from scratch, like this Meatball Grinder, all centered around her homemade chicken sausage. (Courtesy photo)
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