Michiana's Menu: The Early Bird Eatery brings 'slow cooking' to South Bend

Michiana’s Menu: The Early Bird Eatery brings ’slow cooking’ to South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Welcome to the Early Bird Eatery! The South Bend breakfast hub is located in the Dainty Maid Co and provides guests with all the savory and sweet needed for a hungry appetite. And let’s just say at this eatery, the options really are endless! So, picking a choice off of the menu…is not easy!  Well..unless you are Brunette…

“It is not how many times I come here, it is how many times I think about it, do I want to look at a menu? No, I do not want to look at a menu,” says Brunette.  

For this frequent customer, only one thing is on her mind. 

“I just get their French toast with peaches, it is awesome, it is so good, I crave it when I do not come here,  and I do not crave many things,” says Brunette.  

So, I had to see the secret behind the toast. Meet Mike Stone. 

“I started washing dishes at 15 at a restaurant in Stevenson, Michigan and then from there, I started doing more cooking for them. Then I went to college and worked in various bars and restaurants,” says Stone, Executive Chef of The Early Bird Eatery. 

Since his days of washing dishes, he never turned back. Mike eventually went to culinary school. But his real passion for slow cooking, came after studying in Italy.  Now, his ‘made from scratch’ mentality, is what makes the Early Bird Eatery so good!  But it is not just Mike who brings the flavor, at the Early Bird Eatery, the business is a dynamic duo. Customers can find Mike’s wife, Jennifer Stone, running the operation. 

“It has been amazing, everyone has been so welcoming, and we have gotten a lot of great feedback from our customers. Business has been great even though we are coming off from COVID,” says Jennifer Stone, Owner and Manager of the Early Bird Eatery.   

Mike and Jennifer first opened the Early Bird Eatery in 2018 in Bridgman, Michigan. But 2 years later, and the Michiganders were looking for a change of scenery, leading them here to South Bend! 

Now, one year has passed, and South Bend is home for them…and their two kiddos. 

“When we had to shut for COVID, the kids were in the restaurant, we put up a tent in the restaurant and they spend the day with us. They already want to work, every time I bring my 5-year-old daughter to work she asks If she can greet the customers,” says Stone.   

And for the new family business, this leap of faith, was all worth it. 

“You will never be ready, you just have to dive in and it is extremely hard, our first couple years were challenging, but I think if you are willing to stick it out, knowing it is worth it,” says Stone.  

Plan your visit here.

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