How often do you say to yourself, “That is what I should be doing for a living.” ?
For Breann Chiero and Christian Medice, co-founders of the Hungry Hipsters, a popular Instagram site with over 130,000 followers, they have found a way to turn their love of food, fashion and travel into part of their livelihood. Pretty cool, huh?
“It’s a weird and twisted world,” Chiero,29, said of building the Instagram account. “But, it’s fun.”
Instagram, or Insta as the kids call it, is the uber-popular photo-sharing application that created mega-celebrities like Kim Kardashian. Users can share every major to the minuscule aspect of their lives, from food to their love lives and everything in-between. For the Hungry Hipsters, their habit of posting photos of their food while eating out turned into something much more significant.
“We always took photos of our food on our own, which was starting to annoy our friends I think,” Chiero said. “Our personal Instagrams turned into lots of photos from what we were eating. So we created a foodstagram, which is what everyone was doing in New York.”
Shortly after getting their lunch order at Cafe 152 Bread Company in Gilroy, Chiero set to work carefully staging her and Medice’s food for a new post. Every detail, to the fold of the paper lining of the lunch basket, was arranged with attentive care. It paid off. The picture Chiero took was crisp, colorful and made their lunch seem that much more desirable.
The name, Hungry Hipsters, came largely by chance, but the alliteration worked well, so they stuck with it.
“At first we thought of using “Hungry Couple,” but that was already taken—but this one works out better anyway, we can get more people on our team this way,” Chiero said of how they came up with Hungry Hipsters. “Christian is more of a hipster than I am anyway.”
While discussing the name, it begged the question—what exactly is a hipster?
“It used to be about that whole Brooklyn scene,” Christian said. “Like flannel shirts, glasses, mustaches, beards.”
“Trendy, but not trying to be trendy,” Chiero added.
Chiero and Medice met in Brooklyn, the de facto capital of Hipsterdom, while Chiero was working in the fashion industry and Medice worked as a music producer. Medice, who has worked with artists such as Pink, Halsey, Natasha Bedingfield and the band Lovely, moved along with Chiero to Los Angeles three months ago.
“It’s such a hustle in New York and you’re always “keeping up with the Jones,” Chiero, who lives with Medice in North Hollywood said. “Los Angeles is much more spread out. I still love New York though and I have a trip planned already to back for a visit, so I’ll still get my New York fix.”
It took almost two years for Chiero and Medice to reach 130,000 followers. Buoyed by reposts from other Foodstagram sites like Infatuation and Beautiful Cuisines, along with a feature story on Refinery 29 profiling the best Instagram food accounts, day-by-day their site grew by the hundreds to what it is today. It’s still growing, thanks to Chiero’s work as a social media content creator for major players in the fashion world.
“Half of my job right now is content creation for a number of brands’ social media sites,” Chiero said. “The best arrangement I have is with the brand Forever 21. I create content for them on a monthly basis and in return, anything they use, they tag me in their posts and we get a lot of new followers in return.”
As part of California Restaurant Month, Visit California, the non-profit state organization that boosts tourism, invited the Hungry Hipsters to Gilroy to help spread the word to the wider world about the culinary offerings of the Garlic Capital of the World.
Their stay in Gilroy was short. After spending a day in San Jose, the Hungry Hipsters came down to Gilroy Tuesday night for wine at the Stomping Grounds, followed by dinner at the Milias. The couple ate breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn, where they stayed and ended their 22 hours in Gilroy at Cafe 152 Bread Company. After Gilroy, the Hungry Hipsters took off for Yosemite, where they supped not only on food and drink, but the majesty of the National Parks nature. Not a bad day at the office for the techie trekkers.
“I don’t think I’d ever want to do this as my solo job,” Chiero said. “I think that might take some of the fun out of it. We get to do what we love and for me, this is a passion for us.”