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2011 Forty Under 40: Christopher Eley

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About me...
Christopher Eley
Owner
Goose the Market
33
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
DroidX
Most-used apps:
Yelp
Porcine
Favorite stuff:
Family; friends; employees; pork; duck; bourbon; "Dexter;" fire; very sharp knives
 

Christopher Eley is particular about his food and thinks you should be, too. Since opening Goose the Market at 25th and Delaware streets three years ago, he has carefully nurtured its growth and reputation among foodies as a go-to place for locally grown and prepared meats, cheeses and produce.

Working alongside a staff of 12, he oversees every aspect of the shop, from the butcher and cheese cases, produce and lunch counter on the main floor to the beer and wine displays and service area in the basement.

“I look for people who are passionate about food,” said Eley, 32, who worked in the restaurant business as a chef for 14 years, mainly in Indianapolis and Chicago. “I’ve enjoyed every job I’ve had, and you take different things from different jobs.”

As his own boss, Eley can follow his instincts and values, such as buying only what is in season and grown locally. He is on the board of Slow Food Indy, part of a global movement that promotes good, clean food at a fair price.

“I just focus now on what I’ve always liked the most, which is the smoking and curing of meats,” Eley said.

To that end, he is working toward a spring opening of the Smoking Goose, a wholesale production business for cured and smoked meats that embraces the same slow-food philosophy of his market. He plans to sell his meats to hotels, restaurants and markets.

“There’s nobody in the Midwest doing anything like it,” he said.

An Indianapolis native, Eley graduated from Lawrence Central High School, then learned his trade at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., and at Purdue University, where he studied hotel and restaurant management.

“What I enjoy the most is a sense of belonging and a sense of community” in the Fall Creek Place neighborhood where his shop is located. He and his wife, Mollie, own the building and live on the second floor. They had their first child, a boy, in January.•

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  • congratulations
    Chris, Mollie and the whole staff at the Goose do a tremendous job. The goose is a great example of the evolution of the food scene in Indianapolis, and I can't wait for the Smoking Goose!

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