Gallery Pastry owner Alison Keefer is taking her flair for design and dessert-driven cuisine to a fourth location.
AS A CHILD Alison Keefer grew up in Fort Wayne and sometimes helped out in the kitchen. Mostly she enjoyed eating. While perfect pie crusts and homemade noodles were part of Keefer’s Hoosier pedigree, the principal owner of the trio of Gallery Pastry destinations never considered culinary school. Instead, she went to the University of Florida to major in event management. After a few years in radio marketing and sales, and the occasional gig at the front-of-house restaurant, she landed a job as an enrollment specialist at Harrison College. That eventually led her to The Chef’s Academy in Indianapolis, where she taught nutrition classes and met her original partner in Gallery Pastry, Ben Hardy. The two opened their first bakeshop on 54th Street in 2016. “After the first week, we looked around and asked what else we could offer, and we landed on brunch,” says Keefer. It took the form of pancakes, omelettes and sparkling cocktails. In 2020, Keefer opened another location downtown, across from Gainbridge Fieldhouse. A year later, the ground floor of 16th Street’s Three19 building became the third iteration.
Now Keefer will open a fourth Gallery Pastry Shop in the former Next Door American Eatery space in SoBro, full of art deco touches and yellow glass wall sconces inspired by Netflix Blown away. Keefer, who is also raising two young boys, hopes to give this latest store a true neighborhood spirit. “We want to have a wood-burning oven, and a smoker that customers will be able to smell as they approach the restaurant,” says Keefer. “Mostly, we just want to make people feel welcome.”
For Keefer’s recipe for French Butter Cookies, click here.