Video: Welcome to YouTube, ToFoodies!

Why start a YouTube channel in 2018? I'm so glad you asked! Danielle Finestone, here. Founder of ToFoodies. Fear not. (P.S. We did it! Subscribe here). 

The summer of 2014, I rolled over on a sunny Sunday, grabbed my iPhone 5S and anticipated scrolling my Instagram feed in a search for brunch. Then came a lightbulb moment that still shakes me to my core, thinking about what could have happened if I had fallen back asleep. Food. The first name that came to mind, I signed it up and was in the @tofoodies business. Thought about changing the name. Never did. 

The summer of 2018, it's a new day and chapter. At ToFoodies, we do things deliberately now. I plan, schedule and agonize, while still keeping food fun, enjoyable and sharable on the fly. Only now there are seventy-eight thousand people potentially watching ToFoodies embark on this YouTube journey, the first videos.  It's funny how only this year, the weight of that statement has finally hit me. It feels like you're all still in bed with me on that fateful July 2014 morning. And yet, Youtube feels like the next natural step. It can be an extension of everything already on ToFoodies. It can be something in between the Food Network and MuchMusic and MTV and Vice, entities I grew up idolizing. It can raise up my hand for me to say, "Hey, I can do this too". It's not necessarily always comfortable to put it out there, showing, not telling you. But this feels like that necessary, right kind of fear. 

So, why? 

1. Content is Queen - People are hungry, literally and figuratively. Seeing it from the inside, it really does seem like people have never wanted more, more, more. The more forms of content and the more diversity ToFoodies' content, the better. Enter, moving pictures. 

2. Playing Nice with Others - Collaboration! ToFoodies had essentially been a self-reliant, one woman operation and this whole process has been so nourishing. I can still make lunch, livestream the recipe and take photos of the finished product alone and I'm not leaving that behind. But I definitely couldn't make these videos by myself, the way I've always wanted with interviews, angles, etc. Working with others has been the most fun and the best part of the learning experience, as YouTube can be a beast of an undertaking. 

3. Introducing.... Me - How is ToFoodies different than other food media companies? For starters, no other Danielle Finestone's are running other food channels. So, I'm leaning into that. ToFoodies is exactly "to foodies". Why not further utilize myself and show who is writing this digital love letter? 

4. Meeting.... You - It's simple. I keep hearing about YouTube's strong community feel. I love meeting people who truly integrate ToFoodies into their daily lives and restaurant choices. To think that there is a new way for ToFoodies to interact and leave itself open for commentary by people tuning in, well, it's very exciting. 

5. If You Build It, They Will Come - The ultimate goal of this channel is to make videos that make people say, "How do I get in there?". Whether that means simply wanting to try a new cuisine, or as far as desiring to be interviewed themselves, like Obama asking (he asked!) dear Anthony Bourdain for a Parts Unknown experience (aim high, mom says). If we enjoy what we do, chances are that others will too. That comes first. I am a big believer in "ask and you shall receive". So here we are, building it, so you will come.

Thank you for reading. Do keep watching and love our first video in the Sound Bites series, our interview as much as I do. 

A big thank you to Andrew Depace and Joe Depace from Loud Luxury and my Sony Music Canada family for partnering on the debut Sound Bites video (watch it here)! Huge thank yous are also due to Rachel Swinden and Vivian Kong for your keen eyes, Adobe skills and excellent camera usage during the filming process. Sefi Sloman deserves applause for coming through on the editing front, repeatedly and her custom animations that are now a fixture on the channel. Thank you to Nick Liu and Jenny Shin for hosting our YouTube launch party on the lovely rooftop gardens of DaiLo. Thank you to Carly Spears and Assembly Chef's Hall (Reyna, Little DaiLo, Colibri and Love Chix) for the beautiful backdrop, jaw-dropping eats and unending assistance to make our debut video as spectacular as could be. And thank you to all the restaurants over the years that have let us commandeer your well-lit corners, big and small, to devour your wares. So looking to unfolding this channel for all of you. 

Much love,