2020 Forty Under 40: Sonja Overhiser

Founder
A Couple Cooks

Sonja Overhiser, co-founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks, once knew how to cook just a single meal. “I survived on microwave Hot Pockets,” the cookbook author jokes. But when she and her husband-turned-business-partner, Alex, experimented with a tilapia dinner topped with mango salsa, they were hooked and wanted to learn more. They started writing and photographing their cooking journey on a website, drawing thousands of fans in the process. Today, they have more than 1,000 recipes on their site and some have appeared in national publications, including in a special series by The Washington Post.

Getting here: Overhiser initially went to Indiana University to study classical performance music and French horn, but found a love for journalism and writing. She decided to double major and found a job after graduation with technical writing firm Avalon Group. She progressed from an entry-level position to a partner and vice president while building A Couple Cooks on the side. Overhiser transitioned to her side hustle full time with the birth of her son, Larson. Her husband, Alex, joined her soon after.

First job: receptionist at her family dentist’s office

Influential moment: “I appeared on ‘The Today Show’ when my cookbook launched in 2018. It was a moment where I realized I didn’t know quite where [Alex and I] were going, but there was something tangible about what we were doing and that resonated with people!”

Mentors: Avalon Group partner Lisa Condit: “a fantastic role model of a strong woman in a leadership role.” In the Indianapolis food scene, she’s thankful to Cafe Patachou founder Martha Hoover “for her personal mentorship and leadership in running a food business that positively affects our community and world.”

Givebacks: Co-founded Indy Women in Food, an organization that serves women in the food industry and advocates for healthy living, with former Milktooth co-owner Ashley Brooks.

Downtime: “Cook and eat! Lucky for me, that’s my job, too.”•

Check out more Forty Under 40 honorees.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: IBJ is now using a new comment system. Your Disqus account will no longer work on the IBJ site. Instead, you can leave a comment on stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Past comments are not currently showing up on stories, but they will be added in the coming weeks. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.