I am the founder and chief content creator of TorEats.
This is my story. Back when I was interviewing for my very first internship at a catering company, the hiring manager asked me where I saw myself in five years. I told him that I dreamed of owning my own restaurant one day. He gave me some advice and said, “work here for a little while, and you’ll see why you don’t want to own a restaurant. Owning a restaurant is hard work, it takes over your life, and it will break you – especially in a city as competitive as Toronto.” He went on to say that there are opportunities in food that don’t necessarily involve owning a restaurant, and the most creative people he knows have done just that.
Fast forward a few months, and my internship at the catering company finished. I put my food dreams on hold and decided to pursue a degree at McGill, only to realize soon after that it definitely wasn’t right for me. As an escape, I would visit restaurants, and take pictures of food. Before I knew it, I’d catalogued hundreds of photos on my phone and needed somewhere to share them. My first website, “Through Your Stomach” became the depository for all of my food shots and had it not been for giggling friends highlighting the fact it was an absolutely terrible name, the website may still have existed today.
I returned to Toronto, and around this time, Instagram was really taking off. I continued to dine at different restaurants throughout the city, in the early days I would go out every day of the week, sharing all my foodie photos on my new and appropriately named TorEats Instagram page. Though, it wasn’t long before I realized it simply wasn’t sustainable – not for my wallet nor my waistband!
Creating the hashtag #TorEats turned out to be the perfect two-pronged solution. On the one hand the hashtag ensured there was never a shortage of content, due to the blend of mine and others photos, and on the other hand, my continued encouragement to use the hashtag is what led to the creation of what is now a community platform. Together, we’ve been able to tackle more restaurants and showcase more amazing food than I could have ever done alone. Now, nearly 7 years and over 118,000 followers later, I’m more grateful than ever for that hiring managers’ (unintentional) inspiring advice.
Your continued support has allowed TorEats to grow and become a community platform of foodies, restaurateurs and chefs engaging in a discussion about what we are eating. TorEats is for us. Thank you all so much for following along on and being part of this journey, and finally, after all this time, it’s so nice to meet you.