A native of East Chicago, Indiana, Mike G. has brought his love for food and camaraderie to Indianapolis. Utilizing social media by hashtagging #EGLB (Eat Good; Live Better), interactions from a variety of people were garnered. In turn and with aspirations of bringing individuals together one morsel at a time, his newest endeavor, the Brunch Series, was born.
The din of chatting, laughter, and hip-hop saturated the atmosphere of E + D in SoBro as Mike G.’s supporters dined on waffles, mimosas, and other delicious offerings. The “Food Guy” milled around, greeting each guest and catching up with friends, further fostering the familial feel. From those in their single digits to the more seasoned, Mike brought a diverse group together to bond through food, while ushering in the inaugural Brunch Series.
Toward the end, guests paused to intently watch Mike G.’s first podcast video interview with Stephen Hall, the co-founder of Tinker Coffee. Mike G.’s podcast, Cultural Intelligence is what he considers his “project to inspire” as it is his vehicle to hold “conversations with individuals who have beat the odds and achieved success by following their dreams. These untraditional routes of accomplishment continuously inspire others.” As such, he plans to cover entrepreneurs from Indiana and surrounding states to circulate motivating tales of success.
Ro Townsend: When exactly did the hashtag start and what was the motivation behind it?
Mike G.: One or 2 years ago, I started using that hashtag on Snapchat since I went to a lot of different places to eat. From there, I wanted a way to bring people together who wouldn’t otherwise be together, and that’s why I started the Brunch Series.
RT: Will the Brunch Series travel? And, ideally, where do you see the Brunch Series going long-term?
MG: Yes, it will travel every month. I want it to be at different places. I’d like to be able to fill a whole restaurant with people bonding over food. I want people to see the event after the fact and wish they had gone. Ideally, I’d like to bring different restaurants and breweries together as well.
RT: What are some of your favorite foods or eateries? Are you an adventurous eater?
MG: I really like Café Patachou, Taste, Bakersfield, and Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles. It would be great if the Brunch Series could one day utilize these restaurants. I’m not that adventurous of an eater but I’m willing to try new foods. College and traveling to Spain helped me try many foods I was unfamiliar with.
RT: What’s the most interesting encounter, online or otherwise, that you’ve experienced as a result of this hashtag?
MG: Martha Hoover, the owner of Patachou, reached out. That really meant a lot to me.
RT: How can people find and follow you?
MG: Through my podcast called Cultural Intelligence that airs every Saturday at 1pm on WICR 88.7. On Instagram and Snapchat it’s @wheresmikeg
Photography by Cliff Canon.