Summer 2014 was when I found out about MyFab5, a mobile application (now also has website) that allows users to rank their best 5 restaurants or eateries for each category of food. They have focused on using Instagram to develop their community by having Community Leaders to select and re-posting best food pictures people took at restaurants that allow others to easily search for food on Instagram through using their location specific hashtag. For example, an Ann Arbor user would post a picture with the hashtag #BestFoodAnnArbor, whereas a Boston user would post a picture with the hashtag #BestFoodBoston.

I started following @Kellycatcooks when she became one of the three MyFab5 Community Leaders to be updated on the Ann Arbor food scene. I was really happy to get the opportunity to interview her  (although only via email since Thanksgiving is such a busy time of the year for everybody) and learn about how she used Instagram to develop a community.

Our conversation went like this: 

Me: What is your full name?

Kelly: Kelly Armstrong

Me: Where is your hometown:

Kelly: Metro Detroit

Me: How long have you posted on Instagram?

Kelly: Close to 2 years 

Me: What are your passions?

Kelly: Food, Coffee, Health, Cooking and Dining out

Me: How were you selected as a Community Leader?

Kelly: I believe it was because I posted my restaurant meals in the Ann Arbor area, and gave good descriptions of my photos of the meals, so they started featuring my posts

Me: What did you do when you were the Community Leader?

Kelly: I chose photos that people submitted of food they ate in restaurants in the Ann Arbor area, and posted them for @bestfoodannarbor, which is MyFab5’s account for this area. I’d describe the dish and where they ate, and invite people to comment.

Me: How did you use Instagram to develop the community for local food enthusiasts?

Kelly: By posting my meals at home and out in restaurants, I hope to attract people with similar interests in food to be inspired. It also helps me to work on my photography skills and keeps me motivated to eat well knowing people will see it.

Me: Why do you follow a paleo diet?

Kelly: I found out I was very gluten intolerant with celiac disease about 5 years ago and gave up gluten, which help a lot. Then I discovered the paleo diet and cut way back on the grains and felt even better.  I’m always refining my diet based on what I learn and how I feel.

What I loved most about Kelly’s pictures was that her meals almost never repeats and she come up so many variations to substitute the carbs out for the same amount of satisfaction.

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