The story of Homeroom began one rainy night when Erin Wade got a sudden craving for mac and cheese. Coming home from a long day as a lawyer, she realized that there was no restaurant she could go to that would have mac and cheese as delicious as the one she grew up eating—so she pulled up her dad’s family recipe and started cooking.
Her craving, and the warm feeling that came with satisfying it, made her realize that she wanted to open the kind of restaurant she wished she could’ve gone to that night: a friendly, familiar place serving up the best mac and cheese on earth. Within a month, she’d boxed up her law degree and committed herself to chasing this crazy, delicious dream.
Erin recruited a friend, Allison, to join her, and spent a year building a place as special as the food it would serve. They named the restaurant Homeroom, a nod to the class in school that served no purpose other than connecting with friends and classmates. Much of the restaurant was built by hand with a funky schoolhouse theme, including tables made from bleachers from a local high school. To create community beyond friends and family, Homeroom launched a Kickstarter campaign, and was the first restaurant to successfully raise money that way.
Homeroom finally opened on Valentine’s Day 2011. Since then, it’s become a lot more than a favorite local restaurant: it employs a kick-butt, diverse team of nearly 100, and to this day still makes every mac and cheese to order using Erin’s original family recipe.