Cooking up business: Zionsville resident launches meal preparation, delivery service


Zionsville resident Emily Holder is introducing the community to a new way to dine this year.

Holder, 35, recently launched Brick Street Meals, a weekly meal preparation and delivery service for busy families in Zionsville. With a background in cooking for Michelin Star restaurants, boutique and high-volume catering companies and meal prep and delivery services, Holder wanted to settle down and start her own business.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Holder said. “I’ve always known the market in Zionsville to be one that would be receptive to something like this.”

Holder launched her first weekly menu Jan. 26. Each includes two meal options: one that is family-friendly and another that is more health conscious.

“I like to offer an option with dietary restrictions like gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian,” Holder said. “I’ve been throwing in some sides, which is nice because if people don’t want to get the whole meal, they can get sides.”

All orders are placed through the business’ Facebook page. Order service begins each Friday and meals are delivered each Tuesday. Holder takes all the orders, does all the cooking at her home and makes all the deliveries.

“I am working on a website and would be interested in expanding in the future, but right now, I am starting slow,” Holder said. “I know I will eventually need a bigger kitchen space and to hire more people to expand delivery services, but for now, I am only delivering to Zionsville.”

Holder’s goal with Brick Street Meals is to help families in Zionsville who have busy schedules and can’t always prepare meals. She said she has received positive feedback so far, especially from parents.

“Many parents, in general, have busy jobs, but there are a lot of working moms here,” Holder said. “Many people are willing to pay for somebody to make meals for them and have them delivered.”

Zionsville resident Cheryl Cunningham Gardner, a preschool teacher, said she ordered from Holder during the first week the business opened. She said the service was helpful in many ways.

“Emily is very talented at what she does,” Gardner said. “Planning what to have for dinner each night is my least favorite chore. It is so nice to walk in the door and know I have something yummy already in the fridge for dinner.”

The business’ name is derived from Zionsville’s Brick Street. She wanted the name to reflect the community.

“It’s a beautiful street, and I live in the Village, so I was like, that’s perfect for people to recognize that it’s associated with Zionsville,” Holder said.

Holder has enjoyed cooking since she was a child. She vividly remembers running off the bus to cook and watching cooking shows after school.

“As early as I can remember, I was experimenting in the kitchen,” Holder said. “I watched ‘Great Chefs of the World,’ and if I ever got grounded, it would be from the kitchen.”

A 2007 Zionsville Community High School graduate, Holder attended Purdue University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management with an emphasis on restaurant management. During her junior year, she spent a semester in Florence, Italy, where her passion for cooking grew.

“When I visited Florence, I was homesick,” Holder said. “I found myself going to all the different local markets and just wandering. I became emotionally invested in wanting to learn more about the food there. I would go home and cook with all the local ingredients, which I realized was therapeutic for me.”

After graduating from Purdue in 2011, Holder moved to New York, where she enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America. After she graduated, she traveled to multiple places, including Texas and Chicago, working for various restaurants.

Holder has also fulfilled a bucket list item by working for the Food Network under famed chefs such as Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Anne Burrell, Alton Brown, Ted Allen and Jet Tilla.

“I was an intern for Food Network in New York City,” Holder said. “I was able to work on ‘Chopped’ by putting the baskets together, and I worked on a few other shows. I was able to be a food stylist for Bobby Flay’s ‘Barbecue Brawl’ for Seasons 2 and 3. It was an incredible experience, but right now, this is a good fit for me and a little more stable.”

After traveling for several years, Holder said it was a difficult decision to move back to Zionsville.

“My family all live in Zionsville, and I think I ultimately realized that for me to be successful, I needed more family support,” Holder said. “I have a lot more connections here and the ability to grow.”

For more or place an order, visit

delivery copy
Emily Holder prepares
to deliver orders to Zionsville residents. (Photo courtesy of Emily Holder)


Name: Emily Holder

Age: 35

Residence: Zionsville

Chef inspiration: Anthony Bourdain

Favorite dishes to cook: Curry, Korean cuisine, anything global

Hobbies: Cooking, swimming, getting outdoors, sports and traveling

Favorite travel destinations: Vietnam and Thailand