HER FIRST job may have been washing dishes at legendary fried chicken spot Hollyhock Hill. But Sarah St. Aubin, who later worked as a fishmonger at a Whole Foods in Philadelphia and put in some years at Georgetown Market and the erstwhile pie joint WB Pizza, eventually found her focus with hairstyling, not food. St. Aubin, who grew up in such far-flung locales as India, Bangladesh, and Hawaii with military parents, has always appreciated great food and interesting flavors, no more so than when she moved back from the East Coast in the mid-2000s to the rumblings of a bona fide local food scene in Indy. “The more you travel, the more you appreciate all that this city has to offer,” St. Aubin says. But instead of another food industry job, the beauty college grad started building a clientele at a private salon she’s operated in her home for 15 years.
It was her food-obsessed husband, Luke Tobias (who made Julia Child’s beef Bourguignon for their first meal together) who convinced her that owning a restaurant could be a viable career detour. Tobias, who sold his partnership in Kuma’s Corner during the pandemic, enlisted her in his nightly pizza research, with plenty of trial and error, particularly on the iconic Detroit pizza, which St. Aubin had fallen in love with during visits with Michigan relatives. The result was two of Indy’s most buzzed-about pizza shrines, Futuro and Grump’s Slice Stop.
St. Aubin still does styling part time, but after several hand surgeries and with twin teenagers and a toddler at home, she’s happy to put her skills to work for a new customer base. “Food is a thing that truly brings people together,” she says. “We’re just very casual people who don’t take ourselves too seriously. But we want to get things perfect for the people we serve.”