St. Thomas University graduate Hilary Smith spent five years away from her hometown of Saint John, which left her feeling disconnected from her home and her province.
Smith graduated in 2012 and moved to Montreal two years later. She lived there for four years and travelled the world for a year before returning to her home in New Brunswick in 2018.
To reconnect, the journalism and English literature graduate started a “hobby” online foodie publication called Eat Coast in January.
The East Coast foodie website features lifestyle tips, product reviews, recipes and looks into restaurants and their owners.
“The reason why [I created Eat Coast was] to fulfill my need to write, but also to expose people to some of the awesome food and restaurants and entrepreneurs in their community,” Smith said.
Smith wants to shine a light on the food scene in N.B.
In the website’s first month, Eat Coast received around 3,500 visits. Smith said she is proud of the recognition.
Smith started a recipe blog in April 2016 before Eat Coast, called Livelymess. But Smith said it wasn’t as popular.
“My other blog, it took ages and ages to reach that [view count], and I just thought that was evidence of how hungry people are for that kind of content here.”
Smith said she’s is filling a void for foodies in N.B.
Aside from food, she wants her work to bring attention to the people behind the food.
“Food doesn’t just get into the public space on its own. Entrepreneurs are what drives it there, so I think focusing on the people behind it … and also not just food but … lifestyle [too].”
She wants to see her website become a little community of people who are passionate about food. Smith wants restaurants to tell her what’s new so she can keep her viewers updated.
Smith hopes to see the interest grow, along with the number of people who write for it. She said if her website progresses, she would be open to other food lovers, besides herself, writing and contributing to Eat Coast.
For now, she is going to watch it grow but the ultimate goal is that it becomes something people look forward to.
“I have the domain name for the next year so hopefully it goes well for a year, and then I’ll renew after that.”
With files from Haley Stairs