view of downtown Atlanta, Ga - Centennial Olympic Park (small business blog)

Small Business Spotlight: 4 Innovative SMBs in Atlanta

As the social hub of the south, Atlanta is an eclectic melting pot of cultures, values, and walks of life. The mish-mosh of unique backgrounds is reflected in our food, our entertainment, and even our small business sector.

Atlanta has embraced the artisan movement with open arms and created a home for some of the coolest merchants this side of the Mason-Dixon.  Here are 4 small businesses that fill a need, step outside the boundaries of creativity, and empower ideas as big as our peaches:


Small Business #1: Naughty Soda

Can of Naughty Soda

When people think soda in the south, only one brand name comes to mind. The brewers behind Naughty Soda brewery had big shoes to fill but they also had a secret weapon; booze.

Come take a self-guided tour of the brewery and feast on seasonal flavors like Sun Tea (think alcoholic Arnold Palmer), Cinnamon Shine which tastes like a year-round Christmas miracle, Toasted Marshmallow to cue up a spiked version of summer camp nostalgia, and Strawberry Lemon soda for those trademarked humid Hotlanta nights.

With tasting and tours on Thursdays, Friday, and Saturday; the Naughty Soda Brewery is an A-town way to unwind on the weekends.


Small Business #2: The Shave: Barbershop 

Inside the Shave Barbershop in Atlanta, GA

We’ve all heard the phrase, “what’s old is new again” and truer words have never been spoken when it comes to The Shave.

This Atlanta barbershop, located in the hip Virginia Highlands neighborhood, operates like a traditional barbershop with many modern twists. No appointments like the good ol’ days, but online waiting lists keep them current. The cuts…clean and simple, but the add-on services like facial massages and beard oil are a millennial staple.

This shop is always bustling with local characters and celebrities waiting to get a straight razor shave or hot towel. Also known as the “not your Grandfather’s barbershop”, this VaHi vendor pays homage to the past while embracing the future of a timeless trade. Pro tip: don’t forget to ask for your complimentary shoulder massage!


Small Business #3: Banner Butter

Banner Butter on wood prep station with bread

“Local small batch butter” is another one of those millennial phrases gracing our modern-day vocabularies, but boy I’m glad that it did.

Atlanta’s own “Banner Butter” utilizes cream from local Georgia cows as a base for some of the freshest and most flavorful butter in the market. The range of flavors range from “garlic and parsley”, to “caramelized onion”, and even “cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.” The small batch butter is ripened for several hours which allows good bacteria to form and churned in super small batches. This is a healthier, more sustainable, and tastier process! These Atlanta artisans are reigniting an old-school trade in a new school way.

Butter is back baby!


Small Business #4: High Road Ice Cream & Sorbet

High Road ice cream ready for consumption

Another local artisan that is the cream of the crop (no pun intended) in the dessert game is Marietta’s High Road Ice Cream & Sorbet.

This ain’t your mama’s ice cream.

High Road is made by chefs and for chefs (and now the public too!) Chefs would utilize the superstars behind the scoopers to create unique flavors for their own dessert menus. All of the ingredients, from chocolate chips to caramel swirls are homemade, high end, and highly addictive. Grab a spoon and dig into some of the best sellers like: Matcha Ice Cream, Aztec Chocolate Ice Cream, and my personal favorite, Dulce De Leche. While High Road is available in some local grocers, you have to check out the tasting room, which is truly reminiscent of a modern day Willy Wonka. Spend your Saturday afternoon on a real sugar high!

While High Road is available in some local grocers, you have to check out the tasting room, which is truly reminiscent of a modern-day Willy Wonka. Spend your Saturday afternoon on a real sugar high!

References made to companies in this post are not meant to convey endorsement of Rubicon by those companies in any way.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive Rubicon news and blog content directly in your inbox.