Ep. 286: From Passion Project to Entrepreneurial Empire with Brooke Eliason of Female Foodie

From Passion Project to Entrepreneurial Empire with Brooke Eliason of Female Foodie

Ever dreamed about starting a food blog, but not sure how you could make money from it?

My guest today is Brooke Eliason, also known as the blogger behind Female Foodie, a blog that brings readers the best restaurant recommendations across the country (because Brooke believes that life's too short to eat bad food).

I was introduced to Brooke by donut blogger Rory Balkin I interviewed back in Episode 264 – and just like Rory, Brooke is monetizing her love of food in some really unique ways – so even if you’re not a food blogger, or a blogger at all this episode is going to blow your mind wide open on all the possibilities out there for you to put different, creative streams of revenue in place in your side hustle.

Brooke started her blog back in 2010, and it’s fascinating to get to hear step by step how she started it as a simple passion project and turned it into an entrepreneurial empire with over 60 contributors in 9 cities and counting.

Today we’re talking about:

  • How Brooke created a profitable food blog by solving a common problem.
  • How Brooke’s passion project turned into her full time business.
  • The process Brooke used to create and sell a product to her audience.
  • Why bloggers need multiple streams of revenue.
  • Brooke's process for bringing on blog contributors and building her team.
  • Brooke’s side-hustle to self-employed story.
  • How Brooke makes money decisions in her business.
  • The one belief Brooke had to change about herself to get where she is today.

So, what’s a blogger who writes restaurant reviews and creates city guides to do during a global pandemic when the majority of the country’s restaurants are shut down?

You’ll find out from our episode that Brooke has multiple streams of revenue, and while she probably didn’t anticipate something quite like COVID-19 happening, I think it’s the perfect example of why it’s so important for not just bloggers but any kind of business to have more than one way of making money.

I asked Brooke how she pivoted and here’s what she said:

“The main pivot has been the restaurant inspired recipes! This was my mom's idea. The response has been incredibly positive and interestingly enough my social media following and engagement have skyrocketed. The entire situation seemed all doom and gloom once I realized that restaurants would be closed for weeks, and even though I'm still missing eating out so much, this challenging time has brought new opportunities and helped me stretch and grow to new capacities! I listened to a Chalene Johnson podcast from Build Your Tribe right when everything started to crumble and she mentioned that we grow the most when times are challenging, not when things are going perfectly, and I agree!”

Right now on her Instagram she and her contributors are highlighting the best take-out and make-at-home copycat recipes. Go check out Female Foodie’s Instagram to see how a professional blogger is pivoting with her content during the pandemic – it’s super creative. Because life’s too short to eat bad food, even when you’re staying home.

My favorite quotes from Brooke:

  • “It's always important to surround yourself with people who believe in you.”
  • “It's been a lot of trial and error, which I think is the fun and hard part of entrepreneurship.”
  • “You can’t get a no unless you ask.”
  • “When you own something that's yours, you just have complete control.”
  • “I can actually reach those big goals, but not if I think small. I have to believe in it and trust the process and everyday slowly chip away at those goals.”
  • “I've had to learn that I'm still working on this, to not compare, and to stay in my lane.”
  • “Don't let other people take away from what you're building. You are unique and only you can provide the value that you're providing to your community.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:


Brooke Eliason (“e-listen”) is Salt Lake City native and started her blog Female Foodie in 2010, solely as a passion project with one goal in mind: to document all the restaurants she ate at that summer.

Female Foodie is now a multi-city website and brand covering the best restaurants in places like Austin, Portland, Chicago, and Los Angeles. She has worked with over 60 contributors in the past four years with a mission to bring her readers the best restaurant recommendations across the country, because life's too short to eat bad food.

Brooke has been traveling full-time with her husband and baby since October 2018 in search of the best tacos, pizza, donuts, and fried chicken across the country.

Connect with Brooke: