August Young Professional Spotlight
Meet Eric Garcia
Tell us a little about your Baton Rouge Story. What brought you to Baton Rouge?
I originally came to Baton Rouge for LSU in 2009, and here I am eight years later still loving our city and finding new favorite spots all the time. I’m a huge fan of all the coffee, all the oak trees and all the food! I love taking my camera around with me everywhere I go because I basically take pictures of everything. I try to do all I can – I have a million recommendations for everyone. I’ve eaten Goyaya’s crepes at Saturday morning Farmer’s Markets, sipped on bloody mary’s at Mason’s, I’ve ran the Louisiana Half-Marathon, walked along Government St. for Hot Arts Cool Nights, and much more. I’m also a local photographer obsessed with sunsets, murals and weekend road trips.
Tell us more about how you’re involved in Baton Rouge.
I’ve been involved with Forum 35 since 2015, but more specifically Reindeer Run. I served as the Volunteer Chair in 2015 and Co-Chair last year, which was one of the most fulfilling positions I’ve ever held.
What is your favorite thing about Baton Rouge?
How can I narrow this down?! Raising Canes?! In all seriousness, I’d say the community. I know that sounds cliché, but I have met some of the friendliest and most compelling people in Baton Rouge. Although we live in a bigger city, I still feel like it’s one big neighborhood and I always run into friends no matter where I go.
What is your dream for Baton Rouge?
My dream for Baton Rouge is to see our community of local artists continue to grow – I love supporting all our makers and seeing small businesses shine. There is so much talent in this city and I think we’re just at the beginning of growth in that area.
How are young professionals like yourself shaping Baton Rouge?
Oh man, they’re all over the place doing all the best things! Whether they’re spearheading a new 5K for a special cause or giving up an hour a week to serve lunch to the homeless, they are selflessly helping and asking for no recognition in return. I’m honored to be a part of the young professionals in our city.
What would you say to someone considering a move to Baton Rouge?
Obviously, first I’d say to stop thinking about it and just move here already. I’ve experienced both the college side of living here, but also the young-adult-trying-to-figure-it-all-out part and have had a blast. Although LSU football is a huge part of our culture, I promise everyone can find their niche. There’s always something to do – from local artist markets, top-rated sports bars, tons of volunteer opportunities, exercise galore, every kind of music and of course all the food you could ever need.
What is your Baton Rouge favorite?
- Place to eat: This is definitely a toss up depending on the meal. My favorite lunch is literally anything from MJ’s Cafe and my favorite dinner is the pot roast over at Bistro Byronz.
- Place to hang out: Magpie Cafe downtown is the perfect spot to catch up on a project, edit a photo session or just enjoy some time with friends.
- Place to capture the perfect Instagram pic: Oh goodness, this is tough! Baton Rouge has the best murals, but if you sit on the levee downtown right before sunset and look over to the Mississippi River bridge, you can’t go wrong.
- Place to people watch: Radio Bar is one of my favorite bars in the city because its atmosphere attracts everyone. It’s a great place to get a drink with friends and take it easy with a game of ping pong or darts or just sit and listen to the variety of music.
- Place to network: Although this isn’t a “place” per se, Uncorked is really a great networking event in a casual setting (and it’s for charity!) no matter where it takes place. Typically, the organizers will choose different venues around the city and you’ll find it to be a night filled with all kinds of new professional connections.
- Way to give back: One of my favorite volunteer events has been helping out at Inner Wheel Club’s Attic Trash and Treasure Sale – this a HUGE event for several charities and completely volunteer-run. But there are endless ways to get involved in our city.
- Event: 10/10 would recommend Reindeer Run if you’re interested in spending time with friends and family around all the best Christmas spirit.
With significant job growth, a bustling arts scene, delectable cuisine, abundant outdoor activities and more, the Capital Region attracts talent of all ages, including young professionals. Whether straight out of college or looking to establish their own business, more and more young professionals are choosing to put down roots in Baton Rouge.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of these Baton Rouge Area movers and shakers in the Young Professional Spotlight.