Annem Hobson, blogger, food presenter and comms professional (I wear many hats!)
Currently: banana milkshake.
Weirdest food you’ve ever tried:
Lamb testicles in a curry.
How long have you been in Tottenham?
When did you first become interested in food blogging?
I’d say 70% of the time, I’m thinking about food. I’ve been raised revolving my day around it. When it’s breakfast, I’m usually already thinking about what to have for dinner, and when it’s dinner – I’m probably thinking about what to have for breakfast the next day. About three years ago I realised I was constantly updating my personal Facebook status with ramblings about food, so my husband encouraged me to turn my thoughts into a blog! I fell in love with it as soon as I started.
Last Christmas you released the first ever cheese advent calendar – what was your inspiration?
I prefer cheese over chocolate, and realised pretty soon that chocolate seems to dominate all of the key retail periods. From Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day… you name it, and chocolate leads the way. I wanted to turn this on its head, and give cheese the limelight it deserves. Initially, the idea was something we created as a bit of a laugh – handmade after a trip to Hobbycraft! As soon as I put the blog live and shared it, it became an overnight viral hit. It was featured all around the world on primetime TV such as Good Morning America, and my mailing list shot through the roof. I used all of the sign ups, press and traffic as my proof of concept to later find a partner and retailer to manufacture the real thing and get it in stores, nationwide.
You were also involved in the making of the Cheester egg with Wildes Cheese – how did this come about?
After the Cheese Advent Calendar became an internet hit, I trademarked the term ‘Cheester’ and was keen to do something with this. A solid cheese egg is a tricky thing to create so I knew it was a job for the geniuses, Philip and Keith at Wildes Cheese. I absolutely love the two of them, and get a real buzz off of how much hard work and passion they’ve put into their business.The Wildes Cheese team prototyped a few of their recipes, and eventually we decided to move forward with their award winning, Napier. It was an incredibly fun, yet exhausting project as the demand outstripped our supply. I got to meet Emma Bunton, and our egg was on ITV, Channel 4 and more. I spent nearly two weeks in their micro dairy, continuously cutting and salting curds alongside them! I’m privileged to have spent so much time with a team of experts, mastering the art of cheese making.
You are a regular food contributor on BBC H&W and TalkRadio – can you tell DT a bit more about this?
After the products launched, I did a lot of press and landed a monthly food feature on talkRADIO’s breakfast show with Paul Ross. At the same time a lot of the BBC stations remembered me, and the producers began following So Wrong It’s Nom on Twitter. I’m now regularly used as a spokesperson whenever food stories break, or if there’s an interesting feature on their show. I love being on air, and it’s a great way to promote the blog and brand further.
What are your top tips for starting a food blog?
Be patient, be consistent with posts and plan ahead. Also, really think about why you’re starting a food blog. If it’s because you’re incredibly passionate about food – go for it! The more creative brains in the blogesphere the better. If it’s because you’re trying to score freebies and write reviews in return for free food… maybe reconsider. The quality bar of your posts will never shine if you aren’t genuinely interested in your subject, which in turn means hardly any traffic or followers. Do things for the right reason, and good things follow.
Are there any more cheese themed products on the horizon for this year?
The cheese calendar will be back, bigger and better and in more countries! There’s some more surprises up my sleeve, but you’ll have to wait and see…
This article first appeared in the Food & Drink issue of Discovering Tottenham which came out in March this year.