Meet Heather Eddy, founder of Robust
Growing up in New England, food was at the core of our family. I spent every day after school in my Grandma's kitchen; my working Mom made us a home-cooked meal every night–and we always had dessert. Holidays celebrated our Polish traditions.
When I moved up to Boston for school (and then stayed for the next 17 years), I naturally fell in with a group of equally passionate cooks and eaters, a bawdy band who spent all our time in restaurants and bars, for work and for pleasure. We learned from each other, and together we ate amazing dishes and drank incredible wines. Lots and lots of wines. So many wines.
By some miracle, also know as the dotcom era, I had the amazing fortune to move to Paris in my early twenties, with my first "real" job. There is where I really learned to eat, spending every Sunday at the Marché Richard Lenoir, sharing epic meals in neighborhood bistros and legendary Michelin-starred dining rooms. I tried flavor combinations I’d never dreamed of. I fell in love with canelés. I learned how to de-bone a fish.
When the bubble burst, I returned, jobless, to the States, and the only thing I could think of to do with myself was to cook. I walked right into a new restaurant in my 'hood and asked for a job, ANY job in the kitchen and astoundingly, they hired me. My chef was thankfully patient and often perhaps too trusting (that time I added juniper berries instead of peppercorns to our enormous stockpot), but here I honed technique and developed some real instincts. And then I quit to return to the corporate world.
Fast forward to my mid-thirties, when I relocated to NYC, much later in life than expected but somehow also at exactly the right time. The job that drew me there was working with a talented team to launch an online artisan food marketplace paired with award-winning editorial content, led by the inimitable editor, Ruth Reichl. The access to the world's best ingredients, best chefs, best restaurants was staggering. My heart may be elsewhere, but I think my gut will always belong to New York.
In October 2014, my partner and I decided to take a huge leap both in life and business. We left our wonderful (and food-rich) neighborhood of Brooklyn's Fort Greene to set up shop here in Amsterdam. Bodega brought the best of Brooklyn's small-batch food producers to Amsterdam's coolest markets and pop-ups. It was through this venture that I discovered Kitchen Republic, and was fortunate enough to become one of the earliest members, launching my solo baking (ad)venture and getting to collaborate with the fellow awesome local makers who are shaping a food revolution in Amsterdam. My baking dreams didn't quite pan out, and I left to spend two years in London as the design director for a rad little East London studio. I also catered a weekly lunch for our team, because of course I did.
Now, as of January 2018, I've returned to Amsterdam to kickstart the venture that lives in the sweetspot between my design career and my lifelong passion for food.
To be robust is to be well-rounded, with insatiable curiosity and a vigorous appetite. It's to be hale and hearty and always ready for a meal. Food people are the best people. They're my people, and I hope you are, too.
Header image credit: Julia Choi