When I think back to the day we first started this little blog, five houses, four towns, 3,000 miles, and nearly two kids ago, it’s nothing short of astonishing that now, nearly 1,000 posts and four years later, we’re still at it. What started as an opportunity to learn to take photos of food while trying to be funny about frozen burritos, has developed into a huge site with hundreds and hundreds of pages of archives, including more than 600 recipes and almost 200 reviews of restaurants across the state of Maine. So today, as we do every year around this time, we’d like to take a look back at some of the accomplishments of the last year.
We’re averaging between 100-150k unique visits per month, and have a great relationship with the sponsors who host giveaways, sponsor content, and use our low-cost advertising as an easy way to target area food enthusiasts. We’ve found almost 2,500 Twitter followers, and we’re now talking with about 6,700 of you on Facebook each day. Our weekly newsletter roundup of posts, “Sunday Dinnah,” now boasts almost 2,000 subscribers; in fact, we’ve had to upgrade to a paid MailChimp account. Of course, as social media has changed, we’ve tried to keep up, launching new Pinterest collections and Instagram feeds, all of which give us interesting new ways to communicate with you, our readers.
This year, in addition to continuing to contribute to Squid Ink (the food blog of the LA Weekly) and the Maine Board of Tourism’s “Maine Insiders” campaign, our work has been picked up by some pretty major publications. Jillian has been writing for Dispatch Magazine, and we both contributed stories and photographs to The Guardian, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Down East, and Portland Magazine. And of course, we were nominated in the Portland Phoenix’s “Best Food Blog” category, for the fourth year in a row.
In the last year, in addition to writing about the things we cook, we also branched out into the world of food competitions. We won or placed in contests sponsored by the Wisconsin Dairy Council, Jones Dairy Farm, and even flew to Las Vegas in November to compete for $50,000 in the World Food Championships, which is airing as a reality series on the new FYI cable channel starting this month (be sure to watch the “Sandwich” episode on June 24th!). Oh, and I also had the pleasure of showing Rob Caldwell how to make Velveeta on television.
Our biggest accomplishment this year, however, was the publication of our first book, called “Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.” Published by Thomaston’s Tilbury House, this 288-page full-color volume was almost two years in the making, and we couldn’t be prouder of the result. Our editors and publishers took our freeform, rambling blog, and managed to turn it into an actual book, structured with more than 100 classic recipes and over 50 restaurant reviews. It’s the food-lover’s travel companion to Maine, and we are super grateful to everyone who helped shape the book and made it seem like we knew what we were doing.
Of course, we wouldn’t be doing any of this if it weren’t for you, our readers. Thank you for coming back every day to see what recipes we’re most obsessed with, for leaving your feedback and restaurant recommendations, and for sharing our posts with your friends and on social media. Most of all, thank you for encouraging us to continue doing what we really love.
When we started this website, we didn’t think that anyone would ever actually want to read it. We’re grateful every day that you do.