Bon appétit


MBA program’s international business trip to Paris inspires French restaurant at home.

You never know when inspiration will strike. For Emilie Myers, it happened one day while sitting at a café in Paris.

For years, her mother, Cathy Egler, had been trying to convince Emilie to open a restaurant with her. Cathy had a restaurant in Zionsville for many years called the Pie Safe, but she wanted to work with her daughter.

But Emilie kept saying no, choosing instead to focus on her job with a consumer marketing group in Indianapolis and her studies as an MBA student at UIndy.

But something happened on that day in Paris.

Emilie was visiting France as part of a trip with UIndy’s MBA program to London, Paris, and Athens. MBA students travel each year to other countries to learn how business is conducted internationally, visit cultural sites, and broaden their global understanding, says Steve Tokar, director of Graduate Business Programs.

“I was sitting there looking around the café,” Emilie says, “and I thought, ‘You know, let’s do this!’”

Six weeks later Emilie was laid off from her job, and six weeks after that, on August 7, 2009, La Mie Emilie opened on Carmel’s Main Street in the heart of the Art and Design District.

Emilie Myers (standing) at her La Mie Emilie restaurant in Carmel

Emilie wanted to give the residents of Carmel a taste of a French café right in their own backyards. She researched recipes, tested ingredients, and came up with a French-inspired menu.

Menu highlights include the Croque Monsieur (a French-style grilled sandwich of a baguette with Gruyère cheese and ham), a variety of salads, and decadent crêpes. The menu includes a few favorites from the Pie Safe, including her mother’s famous pies.

“I love being my own boss, in charge of my schedule,” says Emilie. “I can put all my effort into the restaurant and know that in the end, it’s mine.”

She came up with the name of the restaurant as a play on the French “l’amie,” which means friend, and also a reference to “la mie,” which refers to
the soft inside of a loaf of French bread.

Emilie encourages her visitors to relax and enjoy their visit, and to practice their French conversation skills with Emilie or some of the staff if they wish. Emilie has been speaking French since taking part in a fifth grade exchange program.

Though La Mie Emilie began with just Emilie and her mom as the sole employees, the restaurant grew quickly and now employs 13 people.

Even though Emilie is only halfway through her MBA degree at UIndy, she’s already putting her marketing and business skills to work.

“I’ve found something that I enjoy doing and that I feel is really authentic,” she says. “I love watching people discover my restaurant and enjoy it and the food as much as I do, experiencing a French café in Carmel.”