Rising Star Restaurateur Todd Ginsberg, Shelley Sweet, and Jennifer & Ben Johnson of The General Muir - Biography

Atlanta, GA

January 2018

Ben and Jennifer Johnson, Todd Ginsberg, and Shelley Sweet have six-going-on-seven restaurants, a wholesale bakery. and dozens of awards and honors between them, and they’re nowhere close to being done. 

The Johnsons, husband and wife and former attorneys, embarked on a second career in hospitality with the 2004 opening of breakfast-all-day West Egg. Sweet left behind a graphic design business to join the team at West Egg the year it opened. She then took on operational roles with Concentrics Restaurants and at Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South before rejoining the Johnsons’ breakfast joint in 2012 and becoming a partner in 2014. 

Ginsberg grew up in New Jersey and graduated from the Culinary Institute of American before embarking on a career in ambitious kitchens: The Ritz-Carlton’s The Dining Room in Atlanta; Madison’s in Highlands, North Carolina; Lucas Carton in Paris; and Alain Ducasse in New York. Returning to Atlanta, he worked for Concentrics Restaurants and served as executive chef of Bocado from its inception. 

When the Johnsons and Sweet decided to expand their reach, they tapped Ginsberg as chef-partner. The team debuted The General Muir in 2013, focusing on deli favorites and cuisine of the Jewish diaspora. TGM Bread followed (somebody had to make rye for all that pastrami). With the opening of Krog Street Market, they launched fast-casual Fred’s Meat & Bread for classic sandwiches and Yalla for fresh Middle Eastern fare. The group opened its own micro food hall, The Canteen in 2017, with a second Fred’s and Yalla, along with TGM Bagel and Square Bar. Up next: Wood’s Chapel, a 5,200 square foot temple of barbecue. 

For their winning work, Ginsberg was named a 2014 and 2015 James Beard semifinalist for “Best Chef, Southeast.” The partners received the honor of “Restauranteurs of the Year” from the Georgia Restaurant Association, and their properties have been named on Best Restaurants lists in Atlanta Magazine, Bon Appétit, Creative Loafing, Eater Atlanta, and GQ