About Us

Botanic is created around a love for people. We’ve gathered a team of talented individuals who bring their passion into every detail to make unforgettable experiences.

Our Story

Our Team


meet us

King & Stacy


Meet the visionaries behind Botanic! As owner of Blooming Colors & Crepe Myrtle Cafe, a former Auburn staple, King has extensive knowledge in horticulture and talented design skills, making him the ultimate resource for our garden services and the expert on applying sustainable practices to every inch of Botanic. King is shaping the property into a beautiful, botanical haven right in the middle of town, and we can’t wait to see what he brings to life next!

Stacy’s experience of founding and franchising Chicken Salad Chick has sparked her desire to design and build again! Her passion to deliver unique environments, incredible cuisine & memorable experiences will be found throughout the Botanic campus and within the talented & heartfelt team she has assembled. Every nook and cranny has been designed with the end result in mind—to make every guest feel special, valued and loved.

In 2019, the couple had dreams of combining their passions along with all life’s experiences into one amazing place. When Covid struck it turned that dream into a mission. They discovered that now, more than ever, people seek to grow relationships in person, share experiences together, and reconnect to nature. King & Stacy made a point to ensure everything on Botanic’s campus was irreplaceable by technology. All aspects of Botanic will be expressed through nature or by the hands of a caring individual. The couple also share a love for unique and handmade art. Their support of local artists & makers captures a snapshot of the community in every hand-selected item at Botanic.

—We’re proud of the sentiment they have achieved and are excited to share it with everyone!


Lauren Leon

Director of Finance & Administration

As our Director of Finance and Administration, Lauren is the powerhouse of Botanic. Before coming on board, Lauren worked for our owner, Stacy, as controller of Chicken Salad Chick, headquartered here in Auburn. Lauren has been with Botanic since early construction and remodeling, when her office only had three walls—where the Bourbon Bar is now!  Lauren is a perfectionist in her role, making sure we mind our P’s & Q’s and that our I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed.  With up to 200 employees, no task is simple, but she manages it all with a graceful grit. In a bespoke business with no straight lines, she somehow maintains order, staying humble and easy-going.

For Lauren, Botanic is also a place for her children to grow up. She remembers the first time her two kids came to Botanic, they played for 3 hours non-stop! We love having Lauren and her multitalented family around! Her daughter, Emily, painted faces during the Fall festival, and her husband Eduardo, a singer/songwriter, has played at the Patio Bar. When the Garden restaurant is complete, Lauren wants to simply drink a beer by the firepits on Cypress point while her kids feed the ducks and her husband plays a set!

Madelyn Thomas

Executive Assistant

Madelyn can make anything and everything happen. Her dedication and creativity have propelled us toward the finish line, and we have so much to thank her for! We love her go-with-the-flow attitude and heart for service. Her love language is hosting events for friends and family, and even doggy birthday parties! When she’s not at work, Madelyn is busy being a pet-mom to her Great Dane, Moe, and her cat, Stevie. She also loves to travel and always comes back with the best ideas for Botanic!

Botanic reminds Madelyn of the people she loves, especially her late Aunt Linda, who made everything look beautiful and everyone feel welcome. Today, Madelyn’s favorite spot at Botanic is the Grain Bin which is being transformed into a private dining room.

Madelyn can’t wait to meet all our guests and make them feel at home at Botanic!

Angela Scott

Event Coordinator

Angela is psyched to bring the vision that started Botanic to life with each event. Her witty, outgoing personality makes it impossible for us to hold her favorite football team against her—we roll our eyes when she says “roll tide,” but she’s still a keeper. Angela is determined to perfect every detail and loves the reward of a successful event after months of planning.

Angela’s favorite spot of Botanic is the Garden Shoppe where she finds inspiration in all the beautiful décor & novelties. She is excited to share Botanic with her nephews and hopes they won’t chase the chickens around!

We can’t wait for the upcoming events scheduled at Botanic! If you’re planning a special celebration or get-together, Angela is your girl!

Food & Beverage

Tim Jaros

Vice President of Food & Beverage

Tim has recently migrated south with his family from Illinois—He brings a wealth of knowledge & skill in the industry and manages to contain 25 years of experience within an energetic and sociable personality. His whole family went to Purdue University, but we’ll teach him how to say “War Eagle” and also “puh-ment-ah cheese” instead of “Pi-mint-toe.” Either way, he knows his food and understands how to create impeccable service! His family teases that he is always thinking about his next meal, but he loves cooking family dinner, experimenting with recipes & exploring local restaurants. Tim’s goal for Botanic dining is to make a truly memorable way for guests to spend time together. He is eager bring his own family for an early dinner at the Grille then catch up at the Patio bar and enjoy the live music. He’s excited to start training new employees and get to know the community.

James Jolly

Executive Chef

Chef James is excited to contribute his creativity to the Botanic kitchen. He loves that when it comes to food, there is always more to learn and always someone to teach. He has a tenacity toward being environmentally conscious and a care for seeking locally-grown produce and ingredients from southern artisans. Chef James is steering a motivated kitchen crew to bring authentic southern cuisine that is homegrown and handmade for the guests at the Grille. He cannot wait to introduce his mother to Botanic—she is his most honest critic, but James is certain she will love it! When he’s away from the kitchen, James spends time with his wife and kids by enjoying nature, hiking, skiing, and planning to visit the U.S.’s 10 biggest national parks. We’re excited for you to dine at the Grille and experience the dishes prepared by Chef James and his team!

Emilie Lowder

Market Manager

While she misses the mountains and snow days in Colorado, Emilie now calls Alabama “home,” along with her husband and three kids. A barista for many years, Emilie knew she wanted to surround herself with coffee. As our Market manager she has the creativity and methodology to expand our coffee program even further. Beyond coffee, Emilie is a horticulture enthusiast—the blend of both elements at Botanic makes her feel right at home. Her connection with customers, the freedom to endlessly create, and a fun team of baristas make Emilie happy to come in each morning. Away from work, she is rock climbing, reading/writing, and tending to her garden & her kids!

Kristin Fowler

Beverage Manager

Kristin brings her bubbly and enthusiastic attitude to every new project. She is already perfecting our Bourbon Bar and Patio Bar, with more to come, but she’s most looking forward to the completion of our wine cellar! Kristin knows so many milestones and memories take place around the dinner table, and she can’t wait to provide the details that shape those experience. She plans to bring her own family for a full night of fun, with cocktail hour in the cellar, dinner at the Grille and a nightcap around the fire pits at Cypress Point. Kristin’s biggest dream for Botanic is to show Taylor Swift around. Kristin is convinced T-Swift would fall in love with Botanic and be inspired to write a song and play a private concert on the foyer piano—but we’re not getting our hopes up! Away from work, Kristin loves to try new & funky foods, explore wineries, and hang out with her puppies. Be sure to come visit Kristin on the Patio or at the Bourbon Bar!

Carson Evans

Head of Development

You can find Carson behind the bar creating cocktails, making 3D renderings of our rooftop bar, and solving all the problems we didn’t know we had. His light-hearted & creative personality is infectious and will have you determined to be his friend. His favorite spot at Botanic is under the old oak tree—maybe that’s where he gets the wisdom to create Botanic into a landmark for future generations. Lucky for us, he plans ten steps ahead and is determined enough to make it happen. He already imagines his future kids skipping rocks in the pond, feeding the turtles, and learning about all the different plants. We are fully convinced Carson can overcome anything—once he was even bit by a rattlesnake, and the rattlesnake died instead!

Kennedy Braswell

Lead Server

When you dine at the Grille, you’ll probably meet Kennedy, our Lead Server!

Kennedy is a recent Auburn grad with over 6 years of experience serving. Born and raised right here, Kennedy is a diehard Auburn football fan—he loves the sense of comradery it creates within the community and is excited to see the Auburn-Opelika area grow even more with the addition of Botanic!
His favorite spot at Botanic is sitting outside on the Patio with some live music. Or when the lobby piano is not playing itself, he is quick to chime in with some Billy Joel!

In our weeks of training, Kennedy was integral in building up a bond within our team. He helped us establish exceptional service through teamwork and collaborative problem-solving.

Kennedy is gifted at entertaining people, making folks laugh, and making the effort for everyone to have a good time! We love his quick wit, driven attitude, and attention to detail. We are lucky to have him guiding our team and caring for our guests in the Grille!


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Address: 1702 Frederick Road, Opelika AL 36801
Phone: 334.748.9082


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The Market

  • Tuesday – Saturday 7am – 9pm
  • Sunday 7am -5pm
  • Closed Mondays

The Grille

By Reservation

  • Tuesday – Saturday 5pm – 9pm
  • Sunday 10am -3pm
  • Closed Mondays

The Greenhouse

  • Tuesday-Sunday 9am – 5pm
  • Closed Monday

The Garden Shoppe

  • Tuesday-Sunday 9am – 5pm
  • Closed Monday

The Patio Bar

  • Tuesday – Friday 3pm-Close
  • Saturday & Sunday 12pm – Close
  • Closed Monday