Allie Lanham is the owner and chef of The Hangry Lady, crafting charcuterie boards, grazing tables, wedding cakes and more in the Newbo City Market storefront in Cedar Rapids. “We take pride in creating beautiful, edible art for any occasion.” Learn about Allie Lanham…
Hometown: Cedar Rapids
First job: Waitress at Cottage Grove Place
Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: Painting has been one of my favorite hobbies since I was a little kid. All of the paintings I have for sale in my shop are mine. I also love meeting up for coffee with fellow women-owned small businesses and exchanging ideas, discussing future collaborations and cheering each other on.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Opening my own business at the age of 23. Graduating from culinary school, being named one of the “40 women to watch” by the Iowa Restaurant Association, working at Caucho as chef de cuisine and at Popoli as executive chef are all accomplishments I’m proud of. Because of all of those opportunities, I ended up where I am now. My dream has always been to own my own business; however, I thought that wouldn’t be possible until later in my life. So opening this
business and having it be so successful is definitely my greatest accomplishment.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Self doubt. Opening a business can be hard: the paper work, the money, the building of a customer base and personal life curveballs. But staying strong, consistent and resilient has helped me grow as a business and a person. Having faith and confidence in what you do is the key to overcoming any obstacle.
Someone who inspires you and why: My parents. As kids, they had many obstacles and hardships to overcome, but made a point to be better parents to their own kids one day. They’ve both done just that, and have shown the power of being in charge of your own destiny. They instilled creativity, work ethic and perseverance in me. Encouraging me in everything I do and always being there to lend a hand, whether it be watching the shop for a few hours or making hundreds of charcuterie skewers for an event, their unconditional love gives me the comfort to strive for anything.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Have passion. The restaurant industry can be physically and mentally challenging. But if the passion is there, you’ll thrive off the hustle of the industry. Always give everything you do 100 percent, and the customers will come. Have the entrepreneurial spirit, in that you can adapt and expand to the world as it changes, and not be afraid to seek out advice and resources.
Favorite quote: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” -Maya Angelou
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: As a kid, I struggled with my weight and was being bullied for it. So the summer heading into senior year of high school, I started teaching myself how to eat healthier and workout. I lost 70 pounds the right way and that journey led me into my passion for food and health.
What makes someone fabulous: Sharing knowledge, leading by example, and being a kind person to others makes for one fabulous person.