We had the good fortune of connecting with Bridget Horan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bridget, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
My business partner and I started Indy Urban Foodies in the middle of a global pandemic, when restaurants worldwide were either having to adapt or being forced to close. We have both been in the industry for over a decade, so seeing small businesses we frequented close their doors, friends and colleagues facing unemployment, and the Indianapolis restaurant scene trying to be creative to survive was painful for us to watch. This is the environment which inspired our business though. Indy Urban Foodies was a way for us to combine two of our favorite things: food and community. We host weekly (and private) virtual cooking classes for, not only our friends here in the Indianapolis area, but all over the United States. On the base level, it is a fun space where I can share my favorite recipes I’ve created and learned through the years, as well as teaching new kitchen skills to everyone in the comfort of their own home. But we quickly discovered it was also a way for friends and family to reconnect, while not being able to see each other, and a space to meet new people and create memories while quarantining. And where our passion really lies is with our community partners. We partner with a local brewery, winery, distillery, restaurant, or small batch vendor every week, while also bringing local industry professionals on to plug their businesses and small ventures. In this way we push people to support local and small businesses in every way they can. For our out of state class attendees, we provide tasting notes and push them to also buy local, even if not from our Indy family. We highlight a different industry small business on our social media each week as well and purchase a product or gift card for a giveaway to bring everyone’s attention to the amazing independent restaurant industry in our country. The world has been crazy this year. But independent restaurants and all the amazing humans in them are our family. We want to help keep this community alive, while also spreading knowledge, humor, and camaraderie, while making memories.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The restaurant life was not where I would have originally seen myself. My bachelor’s is in Pre-Med Biology and when graduating I realized how miserable I would be in the medical field. I had to reevaluate where I could find a balance between my love of science and my passion for art. I returned to school to pursue my Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry degrees. Through the years I have been fortunate enough to work in some amazing environments to make me the well-rounded professional I am today: large service catering, bakeries, full scale restaurants and brewpubs, as well as fine dining. I’ve worked alongside some incredible cooks and chefs, learning every step of any kitchen line I could and soaking it all up. And I realized my passion really comes alive in restaurant openings and trainings. I enjoy implementing systems, while also having creative freedom with new menu development. When I first began cooking, this field was so male-dominated, especially here in the midwest. I felt like I always had to work twice as hard as anyone else to get the same recognition, while also having to ignore the commentary and assumptions made by my male colleagues. This gave me a tough skin and a solid work ethic. It also made me realize the kind of kitchens I wanted to run would be based on mutual respect and equal opportunities for everyone. My staff always know that respect is imperative among everyone working in the restaurant. And my business partner and I carry that in to Indy Urban Foodies as well. It is a combination of everything I’ve learned in this field: how to build relationships with vendors and partners, how to implement systems and do menu development, how to train even the most inexperienced home chef on classic cooking techniques and protocols, and how to create amazing meals within a diverse community based on respect.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Dani Campbell is my business partner and one of my favorite humans and friends. She is the one who pushed me to take the leap and start Indy Urban Foodies, and is truly the driving force behind what we do. Her unfaltering sense of community and friendship, combined with her love of food and willingness to learn all of the crazy recipes and ideas I throw at her is the biggest factor I can name for our success. She and I have been so fortunate to be inspired by our industry friends: Zach Rohn with Batch No. 2, Sarah Murrell with Metal Honey Foods, Smoking Goose Meatery, Tulip Tree Creamery, West Fork Whiskey, GoldLeaf Savory and Sweet, Circle Bev, Amelia’s Bread, Peace Water Winery, Melanie Miles with Preservation Indy, Jesse with Loom and Black Market, the dog-friendly folks at Metazoa, and so many more. We are so fortunate for all of our amazing partners we get to support every day. But Dani is the mentor and friend who’s the reason behind our business’ existence. So shoutout to Dani Campbell!
Instagram: @indyurbanfoodies @bakes_by_bridge @behoran2
Facebook: @indyurbanfoodies @BridgetHoran