As president and CEO of Huey’s, president and managing partner of Folk’s Folly, and partner in The Half Shell and Tsunami, Lauren Boggs McHugh knows the restaurant business in Memphis.
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in Memphis and graduated from Overton High School, attended UT Knoxville my freshman year, and graduated from the University of Memphis (then Memphis State University). I also received my MBA from the University of Memphis.
What do you enjoy most about living in Memphis?
I love so many things about our city! I appreciate Memphians who are positive about the future of the city and are proactive in finding solutions. I also love Shelby Farms and the green spaces across Memphis.
The restaurant business is especially fun because of the talented people I have the opportunity to work with. The camaraderie in the restaurant community is unlike any other. As a Memphis Restaurant Association member, I am joined by so many great locally-owned (restaurants), fabulous owners and employees. Memphis’ restaurant figures are not competitive or cut-throat, but rather helpful and empowering. The restaurant business in Memphis reflects the city – it’s about people wanting to help one another. In our restaurants, the turnover is very low for our 450 Huey’s employees and 100 Folk’s Folly employees. You learn the names and the faces, and you suddenly know about one another and their families and their lives. The family environment is a given.
Opening Huey’s in Cordova was very memorable, as it was my first restaurant opening alongside my father and sisters. My sister Ashley had been running Huey’s East (Apple Tree), my father had run the Midtown location, and I was to run the Cordova location. Both were available for support and advice. When my younger sister Samantha graduated college soon after, she joined the business.
When I became involved in Folk’s Folly 11 years ago, I had the opportunity to get to know a whole new group of great people. When at the restaurant or at home, it’s all about family.
What is your favorite part of your day?
I most look forward to dinner with my family. I try to cook three to four nights a week. With the kids’ busy schedules, it is sometimes challenging, but the meal is a great time to gather and share what each person enjoyed most about their day. Since my mother lives nearby, we love having her join the dinner table, too.
What are your favorite restaurants in Memphis?
That question is too difficult to answer – there are so many fabulous dining options in this city.
Favorite vacation spot?
I love the beach. Don Pedro Island is especially pretty.
What do you enjoy to do outside of work?
I enjoy traveling, walking at Shelby Farms Park and in my neighborhood, spending time with my family and hanging out with my kids.