We had the good fortune of connecting with Chantay Campbell Neil and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chantay, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I can’t say there was ever an “aha moment”. I never had any aspirations to be in this industry at all. This business for me was driven by demand, and I decided to supply that demand. Cooking is a hobby so it really all evolved over time quite organically. About 8 years ago, before Instagram introduced video and it was all images I would post little four-step recipe images to my followers of friends and family, and as it turns out, everyone wanted to cook what I cooked, I was constantly sending recipes via email, what’s app, and dm. I decided I needed a platform to post everything I cook so when someone asks me for it I direct them there, that’s how Greedy Girl cooks, the blogger was born, out of a need to distribute recipes quickly. When I just started I was averaging 8-9 new recipes every month, I was cooking every day anyway, so I figured I might as well write the recipes, so the blog grew fairly quickly. Three years in and maybe 250 recipes later, brands started contacting me to create recipes for them using their products. That’s when I realized, this is a “thing thing”! So that’s how the idea to tap into the recipe developer, content creator, food photographer, and stylist leg of the business emerged. In addition to that, I also started small catering and pop-up lunches (also at the request of my followers and blog readers). And most recently a line of condiments, which includes a pistachio-crusted garlic herb cream cheese dip, pepper jelly escovitch pickle sauce, and an everything sauce. So it’s been a gradual progression, one venture, sparking the idea for the next.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Greedy girl cooks is a one-stop shop: recipe creation, video production, content creation, food styling, and food photography. I think what sets me apart maybe my lack of fear. I’m not afraid of the food or ingredients, I’m not afraid to totally ruin a beautiful pork belly because I want to try something never done before. I think ingredients are like the paint an artist uses and the pot and plate are the canvas. An artist gets dirty, and I’m not afraid to get dirty either. With the added bonus that I can eat my art.
I got to where I am today by being myself, doing what I wanted, and cooking things the way I want to even if no one else ever did it that way before. That being said I don’t think anybody has an easy journey in the food industry. Whether is a disgruntled customer a difficult client, financial issues, or even a family crisis. In my case, it was a family crisis that almost made me give up on the Greedy Girl Cooks Brand. My husband died, two months later I gave birth to our baby girl and blogging and recipe creation, content creation came to a screeching halt for almost two years. Honestly, I still haven’t even been able to get back on track to where I was before he died. I was creating 8-10 recipes a month for the blog in addition to creating content for brands now, as a toddler mom, I am trying to get on a blogging schedule of 1-2 recipes per month with the brand creations, and its a struggle. But it’s okay to struggle, and it’s okay to change and to have to adapt to a new pace because nothing stays the same forever. Everyone sees the glamourous side of social media, going viral, getting likes, and views, and making huge sales, but we still have to live life. My husband loved GGC (greedygirlcooks) he was my biggest fan so that was my driving factor to not quit.
I’ve learned along the way that in your business, you have to do what’s best for you. Don’t be afraid to say no if what is required is just not you. Always be true to yourself, remember social media makes it very easy for us to compare ourselves to one another, I say stop comparing, only jump on a bandwagon if it benefits you, not because you feel pressured to. Do what comes naturally to you and stick to your niche. Try not to be all over the place doing everything because everyone else is. You may not go viral or sell out your stock in 1 hour, but stay consistent and you will build solid clients and customers that will keep coming back. I always say slow growth is still growth, so celebrate all the milestones, even the small ones.
Greedygirlcooks has been producing quality recipes and food content since 2013 and I plan to do so for many more years to come
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have two sides, the Jamaican country girl and the NYC chic. So I have two answers for this week-long trip, but ill give you the country girl answer.
If this trip is in Jamaica, then we will be taking a drive around the country, starting on the south coast where we would stay at Jakes hotel get massages, do yoga, dine at jack sprat (lovely pizza), or alligator pond for some amazing seafood. Next, we drive to Negril, we would stay at the cliff hotel in the west end, they have an amazing restaurant, we could also do dinner in the mountains at zimbali retreats, breakfast on the roadside at a little place called sips and bites and enjoy the 7 mile beach, jumping off the cliff and the amazing sunsets. Then we would drive to Ocho Rios, visit Dunn’s river falls and konoko falls. Up in the hills is a quaint river spot called Old Spanish bridge, it’s the most peaceful in the early mornings before any crowds. a little bit downstream you can have fresh seafood cooked for you while you swim in a waterhole and raft downstream to the beach. We would most likely have KFC for lunch and Probably get some food at Miss Ts Kitchen for dinner. And yes, KFC is a big deal in Jamaica. After Ocho Rios we could drive to Portland, there is just too much to do in portland. We would stay at sea cliff hotel or Wilks bay, or any of the blue lagoon Airbnb villas. We would see the blue lagoon and kayak or raft over to monkey island, we would “beach” at Frenchman’s Cove, hike to nanny falls, and also visit reach falls. We would eat at Boston the home of “jerk” and make sure to have burgers at Woodie’s low bridge, evening strolls, and ice cream, along the promenade at the west harbor/Errol flyn Marina, is also a must. Finally, we would head back to the Kingston area where we would head to port royal,pack a lunch, some drinks and hop on a boat and spend the day on the beach if it’s a Sunday there might be a party there too. This is the kind of Jamaica most persons don’t get to experience, but they should!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For sure, without hesitation, CB food Group. They were one of the first companies to put their trust in me wholeheartedly. They have hired me for so many jobs and I cannot even count the amount of content I have created for them across all the companies in the CB food Group. It’s because of them and the work that I have done for them, that opened the floodgates to so many other companies and opportunities that followed.
Other: tiktok @greedygirlcooks blog greedygirlcooks.blogspot.com