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Meet Shalean LaBerge and Stephanie Ghitis of @Soflofooodie

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shalean LaBerge and Stephanie Ghitis.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. In 2016, Shalean (Shay) was diagnosed as having a Gluten Sensitivity, not necessarily Celiac Disease, but very sensitive. As a way to cope with getting used to eating a healthier lifestyle, we created a food Instagram to showcase how eating gluten free could be fun and to connect with other people who were also gluten free! The account started as “funnwithglutenfree”. After about 6 months, Shalean’s sensitivity disintegrated (magically!) and thus the page “Soflofooodie” was born! We started off the blog with some of our own fun recipes like our rainbow, captain crunch pancakes, which were a huge hit! As we started showcasing all of the good eats around town and throughout our travels, local businesses started reaching out to invite us to their restaurants. Currently we help local businesses by providing marketing services, food photography, and word-of-mouth promotion. Our hobby has grown into such a passion for helping these businesses while building relationships with them and we are extremely humbled by the growing amount of support we have received in our past two years as bloggers!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you? Blogging for us has been a way to escape the stress of everyday life! It is a hobby that although it requires a lot of effort, it is always fun and a way to unwind. Our biggest obstacle so far is definitely time! When we aren’t taking pictures of spectacular dishes, editing photos, or networking on social media, we are both special education teachers who work with children and young adults on the Autism spectrum. As if that wasn’t challenging enough, we are also both full time students pursuing degrees in Social Work (Shay) and Counseling in Applied Behavior Analysis (Steph). With that said, our schedules are pretty busy! We still find time to fit in all of the generous invitations we receive and have so much fun while doing it! Besides the obstacle of time, our next biggest challenge is the amount of food we receive when we visit places, although we love it. we hate to waste food! LOL

We’d love to hear more about your business. The thing we are most known for is unicorns, glitter, sprinkles, colors and all things fun! We are both very happy and positive people and love to portray that in our work. We are most recognized by our symbol, the unicorn, which coincidently has been a long-time favorite for us both, and so we incorporated it into our logo. We are most proud of how far our hobby has come as we never expected the amount of support we received and purely started this blog for fun. I think what sets us apart is our creativity and our excitement to try new things! We are not in this business to make money, as we have our sights set on much bigger goals of helping people with disabilities, but we do understand the amount of influence that social media has on local businesses and we love to connect with people and promote as much as we can. Every day is a new adventure and we can’t wait for the exciting things that the future has to offer in the foodie world!

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