Bailey Foster

Bailey Foster

Real Good Kitchen

Founder & President

Hometown: Knoxville, TN

What is your vision for Knoxville 10 years from now?

I’d love to see Knoxville continue to embrace its potential as an innovative and welcoming community that leverages its unique assets to provide opportunities for everybody to thrive.

What is Knoxville’s Best Kept Secret?

Culturally, Knoxville has a little bit of everything, but not too much — and if you’re paying attention, you can enjoy great food, beautiful landscape and outdoor fun, a thriving music & arts scene, growing food and beverage options.

What would you do to strengthen Knoxville?

More educational support, more entrepreneurial support, more open channels of communication, more collaborative efforts, fewer siloed resources.

What is your favorite Knoxville memory?

I moved back to Knoxville in 2013 with some uncertainty about whether I fit here. It was August and very hot. My family and I decided to check out Nourish Knoxville’s Market Square Farmer’s Market one Saturday. The market was busy and full of beautiful produce. Cruze Farm ice cream truck was parked on Walnut Street serving ice cream and biscuits. I remember looking around and feeling a sense of community and excitement, a comforting feeling that if Knoxville could support all of these wonderful farmers and producers and a really cool local dairy and ice cream business, then I was going to be ok. It was reassuring and also an early indicator of aspirations for my own future and that of our community.

What is your favorite book or what book is currently on your nightstand?

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

What is the best advice you have received from a mentor, and who was that mentor?

The best advice I’ve gotten is more of a description of a state of being than actual advice. It’s the definition of entrepreneurship: entrepreneurship is getting comfortable with the feeling that things are falling apart and coming together all at the same time. I haven’t found any more apt description of what it feels like to be an entrepreneur — it has brought me a great deal of clarity and comfort. My ride-or-die mentor is John Bruck, and though he didn’t say it, I know that he would agree with that description.

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Be brave, be bold, take risks. Don’t be afraid to use your unique talents to make a difference in the world.

Bailey Foster