What was your prior career?
I was a photo editor at a travel magazine right out of college and got into new media. I ended up at an agency basically doing strategy and website development. I did the first Toys R Us website, and stopped when I had my first child. I've done huge quantities of volunteering, which was satisfying, but in the end it wasn't quite enough.
You originally started CT Bites to address the dearth of information on restaurants in Fairfield County, correct?
When I came here, I wasn't really excited to be in the suburbs. I thought "If I'm going to make it in the suburbs, I better start looking. I better find places to go out and eat." I realized when I started looking that you have to eat a lot of food to find these places. So now people can just go to the website.
How would you describe CT Bites?
It's everything foodie in Fairfield County. It is reviews, local artisans, hot new products, and kid's events that are food related. The focus is not on the fancy places or the places that are established which everyone already knows about. It's anything related to food, but it is the best of food.
Where does your love of food come from?
My father is a serious diehard foodie. Our weekends were planned based on what we were eating. We had to go here for the black and white cookies and we had to go there for the knishes. Sunday night was always Chinatown. I have my father's taste buds. We can be sitting eating a meal and we're talking about tomorrow's meal.
Can you include your children in this endeavor?
They like food and they've really jumped aboard this whole process. I would really like to start getting kids' reviews. Restaurants all have kids' menus. People are constantly looking for places to schlep their kids to, so that's something we'd like to do in the future.
What future plans do you have for CT Bites?
There are a couple of columns, like Chef's Talk and Road Trip, we're just starting. I'd like to see them filled out so it's more robust and then you can sell advertising in those sections. Also, I would like a business partner who could spin this out. It really couldn't be rolled out to urban centers because they're already covered. It's the suburbs that are not covered. You can do this nationwide. You can do this in a million suburbs across the country.
Any advice for moms wanting to start their own website?
The culture of blogging is exploding these days, especially amongst women. You have to have a very specific point of view. And whatever it is, define it, think about it and get it straight in your head before you start writing. If you're consistent and strong in what you're communicating, I think the market comes afterward. And I think you have to be passionate about what you're doing. The balancing is tough and it's hard. I'm very obsessive-compulsive. It's hard for me to turn it off. It's a labor of love.