BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus hosted its ninth annual Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship luncheon on Tuesday, September 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Shreve Hall. Entrepreneur and historic St. Elmo Steakhouse owner, Stephen Huse, gave the keynote address at the luncheon. The Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship is hosted by Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship (ivytech.edu/cookcenter).
“Part of the mission of the Cook Center is to foster entrepreneurship in the region,” said Steve Bryant, executive director of the Cook Center for Entrepreneurship and regional director of the South Central Small Business Development Center. “Hosting Mr. Huse as the keynote speaker for this annual business event is yet another example of how the Cook Center engages and inspires the public, local businesses, and others who might be interested in moving their own ideas forward.”
Huse is an entrepreneur whose first restaurant investment was as an operating partner in an Arby’s located in Bloomington, Ind. in 1967. He ventured into the pizza business in 1969, which became known as Noble Roman’s Pizza. It grew from a single unit to more than 120 restaurants in 10 states. He took the business public in 1986 and sold his shares in 1987. Before selling Noble Roman’s, Huse bought the historic St. Elmo Steakhouse in downtown Indianapolis, which currently seats about 500 guests. St. Elmo’s volume of nearly $20,000,000 puts it in the top 20 independent restaurants in the Unites States.
His other ventures included becoming the “turn around” president of Steak ‘N Shake, where he accomplished the turn-around in less than three years and sold his interests at a substantial gain in 1992. In 2006, Huse and his son started a successful upscale restaurant called Harry & Izzy’s. In 2016, St. Elmo went into the business of selling spices and sauces on Amazon and at other suppliers. In 2017, Huse and his associates owned 34 Arby’s outlets. He sold the shops and retired from Arby’s after 50 years in the business. His company, Huse Culinary Incorporated, most recently opened the upscale Burger Study in downtown Indianapolis.
Huse graduated from Indiana University’s School of Business in 1965 and began his MBA there in 1968.