100,000 WOW! It’s hard to develop the words to explain the feeling after reaching this milestone with our brand, @SoFloFooodie. It may sound cliche but, we really had NO idea we would get this far and honestly, we didn’t even have that intention. We often get asked how this all started…..so here is our story, the story of @SoFloFooodie.
About 4 years ago, I (Shay) out of no where started having a reaction to gluten. I would become bloated, gassy, and just felt terrible after consuming gluten. I was DEVASTATED. I’m sorry if that sounds dramatic but coming from somebody who LOVES all things bread and pasta it was a big deal for me. At that time of course they started with gluten free products but it was all so new that none of it tasted the same (to me). I needed to make sure this was actually the cause to me feeling like crap so naturally, I went to get all the testing done and what came of it? Absolutely nothing. Although they did say they saw some inflammation in my stomach, it was not enough to determine a gluten allergy. I was NOT diagnosed with Celiac (yay). So what was it then? The doctors did tell me that I could just be sensitive to gluten but not have a full blown allergy. At that time, people said that was a myth, etc etc. Well not for me, in fact, I ended up testing that hypothesis and realized if I consumed an abundance of gluten, I felt terrible. So I would take a break for a while before introducing gluten back in my diet. I was still miserable about it but definitely not as bad because I learned to manage it. I made an Instagram (@funnwithglutenfree) as a coping mechanism to share terrible (lol) pictures of the food we would make at home. It was a way for me to relate to the gluten free community and not feel bad about eating a restricted diet. After some time, I noticed the sensitivity diminishing…I was eating gluten without having a reaction. As crazy as it may sound, my sensitivity went away!
So what were we to do with this Instagram page now that I wasn’t going to be sharing gluten free foods, but rather gluten filled foods and desserts? Thus, @SoFloFooodie was born A little over 3 1/2 years ago! As the account started growing, we started getting approached by restaurants for media dines and brands asking us to try their product. Media dines are when a restaurant invites you into their establishment for a free meal in exchange for some social media promotion. We did A LOT of these and met other bloggers doing it too along the way. It was a great way to get involved in the community, meet others, and form relationships with business owners.
ROAD TO 100K
As we grew more, there were more and more requests for working with businesses but it wasn’t always easy for us to attend or find time because well, we both had full-time jobs. Steph is a baker (on the side of course). She used to own a cake business so we used that skill to start creating at home desserts which is when we really started to see our page take off. We realized that our niche of audience wanted to see our homemade creations. Many of the creations we made were colorful, unicorn inspired because I (Shay) am obsessed with all things colorful and unicorn related (even before the trend). Steph made us a logo including a unicorn and we still have that same logo to date. We collaborated with many businesses to also create unicorn inspired treats together such as Miami staple, @Creamparlor and @midtowncreamery. Also, Broward’s notorious ice cream shop @yonutzfl. These collaborations helped us understand that our audience was very much into SWEETS (who can blame them?). So, that is our main focus but we do know some people like savory too so we try to include that into our feed as well. After some time, we realized @SoFloFooodie was becoming its own little business and for that, we are grateful. At every milestone (Instagram birthdays, 20K, 30K, etc) we would either collaborate with a local business or make a homemade creation to celebrate (sometimes both).
For National Unicorn Day, we created a homemade 6 layered unicorn cheesecake with a rice krispy crust. Little did we know, that cheesecake would go viral three times over! We started gaining an abundance of followers, people interested in buying our cake, and others wanting the recipe. We decided to share the recipe but then changed the recipe a little later to make it a better consistency. People all over the world were making our cake and sharing their outcomes, it was incredible. We were approached by major publications such as INSIDER, UNILAD, and many others asking to feature us and our unicorn cheesecake. Later, we were featured on NBC 6’s show …6 in the mix where we showcased the masterpiece.
Unicorn Rice Krispy Cheesecake & our feature on NBC6!
We were so surprised that our work was of such interests to these publications. Due to the success of the viral cheesecake, we decided to start making other themed cheesecakes such as mermaid, triple chocolate, strawberry, pumpkin and more recently cookie monster. We even made mini cheesecakes for those who didn’t need a whole large cheesecake. As of now, we are working on a few more recipes because we know the community loves seeing new creations released.
Mermaid, Triple Chocolate, and Cookie Monster Cheesecakes.
In the meantime, stay tuned to our Instagram @SoFloFooodie for a lot of fun surprises and giveaways this upcoming week in celebration on hitting 100K!
We would like to take this time to thank our friends over (click each link to their Instagram page) @wavemountdora, @midtowncreamery, @creamparlor, @dunkin, @yonutzfl, @magnoliabakery , @realgoodfoods, @sloans_southflorida, @NBC6, and a million others for always being SO supportive to us, collaborating with us, and just being awesome individuals!
So there you have it, the story of @SoFloFooodie. As you can imagine, we have put countless hours of hard work and dedication into our brand/page and have built it 100% from the ground up so it’s extremely humbling to get to this point!
Cheers to the next 100K!
Shay & Steph