Food blogger Stacey Little of Southern Bite is known for his quick, easy and delicious Southern-style recipes.
“Folks need to realize that food down South is not all about deep frying and smothering stuff in gravy,” writes Little. “Granted, we do that some, but not with everything. In fact, not even most things. Southern food also isn’t about fancy ingredients and expensive kitchen gadgets. It’s about the resourceful use of local, fresh ingredients and combining that with a little ingenuity to feed our hungry families.”
But Southern Bite wasn’t always about recipes. In fact, Little started the site for an entirely different reason, but as it grew, Little tells FoodBlogs he realized his true passion. Get all the details in our interview below.
FoodBlogs: Tell us about the beginnings of Southern Bite and your journey from blogger to businessman.
Stacey Little: Southern Bite has been a bit of an evolution for me. I started the blog as a way to continue doing the restaurant reviews I was writing when our metro newspaper cut them in 2008. On a whim, I posted a recipe (with no photo, mind you) on the blog one Monday morning after someone had requested it at a party at our house the previous weekend. The rest is history.
Things morphed into a full-fledged food blog in 2009 after seeing that folks were using the recipes far more than the reviews. I was working as the marketing director for a state-wide nonprofit and quickly found the balance to be difficult with the rapidly growing blog and another full-time job.
With the launch of the cookbook in 2014, my platform grew even more and I found myself working 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the office, then long nights and all weekends on the blog.
In 2016, my job was eliminated at the nonprofit and it proved to be the greatest blessing I could have ever asked for. In the fall of 2017 we renovated a historic building and turned it into my test kitchen and Southern Bite headquarters.
FB: What advice would you give to yourself when you were just beginning your food blog?
SL: I think the best advice I could give myself, as well as any new blogger, is to just be you. Be your authentic, real self. There is a place for each one of us in this field and we’re far more likely to be successful when we create our own paths to success and don’t try to follow the paths of others. It’s easy to get caught up in blogger groups on Facebook and try to emulate another person’s path. We think, “If I do it just like that blogger, I’ll be successful, too.” But the reality is that there’s already someone out there like that person.
FB: What is the biggest challenge of running a food blog?
SL: Time management. I have a great group of folks that help me keep Southern Bite moving, but I still like to have my hands on everything in one way or another. I want my readers to know that when they want to reach out to me or ask me a question, they’re going to get a response from me. That said, it does take a lot of time. But it’s an important part of my business that I want to ensure continues.
FB: Tell us the story of your biggest recipe fail.
SL: One Thanksgiving, about the time the blog was starting, I decided to make homemade cranberry sauce. I had reduced my cranberries, orange juice, sugar, etc., and had just poured the molten mixture into the blender to give it a whirl — except that I had forgotten to put my hand on top of the blender lid and as soon as I hit the button, sticky red goo flew everywhere. It was dripping off the counters, me, the light fixtures. It was disastrous. It took the better part of an hour and an entire bottle of bleach cleaner to get it all up.
The best part, though, is that I realized there was enough left in the blender to have something to show for my hard work. I had pulled the plug out of the outlet the first time around and — not realizing that the button on the blender was still pressed — I plugged it back in and sent the remaining sauce all over the kitchen again. It’s the reason we will always have canned cranberry sauce at our house.
I’m not much for resolutions, but I’m certainly going to invest more time and effort into video this year. I’ve had some hesitation to step out from behind the camera in the past, but I think 2019 is the year!
Find out more about Stacey Little and Southern Bite