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Meet Jeremy Joyce of Black People Eats

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Joyce.

Jeremy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Yes I can. It all started when I was 16 years old. I received my first job at Culver’s as a cashier. This job taught me people skills and grew my passion for food. As I broke out of my shyness, I began to see how tasty food served with a smile could turn bad days into better days. For the next 6 years, while I expanded my network by cultivating relationships, I slowly realized that I had become a foodie. I found that my conversations centered around food. I was intrigued to learn about what people ate and would explore new restaurants and products recommended by the people in my life, whether old friends or new acquaintances.

One day, I was talking to my friend and said, “I’m going to start recording my experiences exploring and eating food.” So I went to the Septemberfest and recorded my experience eating and enjoying the festival. When I decided to post the video, I didn’t think I’d receive more than 200 views. I posted the video and noticed that it went over my internal number of expected views and that’s when I knew there was actually interest in what I had to say. I was just being myself. I enjoy meeting people and assisting them in any way I can, and since my post created a platform for me to do that, I knew in that moment that I was using the gift that God gave me. After conversations with my friends and through prayer, I came up with an Instagram name “Black People Eats”, which quickly evolved into a business that shares food reviews. As most people do, I started off with very few followers, but the numbers didn’t bother me because I knew that if I could impact just one life with my food posts, then I was doing a good job. So I prayed and asked God to please send me the right resources and people to connect with, if this was what I was meant to be doing with my life. Sure enough, He did just that. I believed that as long as I maintained consistency in bringing forth valuable content, while cultivating relationships and exploring my passion for food, I could continue to push me forward. The next thing I knew, I was over 1,000 followers. As long as I continue to keep God first and remain humble, then I know my business will flourish. I see my numbers grow every day.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has most definitely not been a smooth one. When I began my food reviews I would reach out to restaurants I wanted to visit and some of them would reject me immediately. I figured their rejection was because they didn’t realize the legitimacy of my business because I was completely unknown within the industry. I initially felt dejected and wanted to quit because no one was “liking” my pictures or viewing my videos. I told my sister about how discouraged I felt and she told me that I needed to work hard to make a name for myself, so I’d need no introduction because people would already be aware of who I was and what I was doing. I had to prove my worth and was willing to do so. So, I was going to start making adjustments within the company in an attempt to attract more followers. On the day I decided to change my name, Peach’s Restaurant in Bronzeville reposted my video on the Hangover Wings. It was at that moment I knew that diligence and dedication, along with an expanded network could make Black People Eats a success. Ever since then, the road has become much less bumpy. I learned that people aren’t always open to your ideas or don’t see your vision, which made me more determined to remain consistent with my message, strong in my beliefs and to never give up…and it worked.

Black People Eats – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Black People Eats, LLC is a digital advertisement company that promotes black owned food and beverage businesses around the world. I post food reviews about their products and menu items, and share my honest opinion about my experience. I primarily focus on black owned establishments because I want to serve as a platform that gives black owned food businesses a global voice. It’s imperative that I share with the world the authentic and delicious restaurants, products, food trucks and innovations that exist within the food industry. When I realized how black restaurants aren’t promoted as much as they should be on other blogs, I wanted to be the catalyst for change.

As a company, I’m proud to know that the Black People Eats supporters are patronizing the restaurants I highlight and they love the food I recommend. Food is a common denominator we all share. It brings communities together and knowing that people of all ethnicities are going to restaurants recommended by Black People Eats and purchasing their products is helping out the community as a whole. Not only does Black People Eats give black food companies a chance to expand their global reach, it’s also investing in the restaurant’s community, which will strengthen the area’s economy.

What makes Black People Eats distinctive is that I give an honest review immediately. You can see the emotions on my face as I’m tasting the food for the very first time. Nothing is contrived. I’m just being myself.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment has been stop my excuses, taking a leap of faith and going forward in my gift. I struggled with going forward with my gift because of fear, comfortability, and nervousness. I knew that there was something always greater on the inside of me but I kept making excuses. I told my mentor” I need this camera or I need this editing software” and he told me just start it. I was so scared because I did not like failure. God was waiting for me to trust in him. One day I mad it up in my mind I am going to try this and give it 100%. Ever since that moment I have not looked back and will continue to move forward.

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Image Credit:
Black People Eats,LLC

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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