A few years ago, Sophie left her high-pressure office job in the IT industry.
Starting a food blog channelled Sophie’s hobby of home-cooking into a cute little website called ‘Sophie’s Scran‘ and people started to follow along.
Fast forward four years, and she is still blogging about food, good health and happiness. She’s now a freelance marketer, affectionately known as “Scranners”.
How did you become a food blogger?
I was working in IT in a job I really wasn’t finding all that stimulating. I wanted to do something more creative – write, take pictures and as I have always loved cooking and eating out I thought a food blog would be a great place to start. I thought of a name, bought the domain and set up a WordPress. My first review was of a local pub in Cheshire and I was quite critical as frankly the food wasn’t up to scratch!
How long have you been blogging for?
This year (2018) it will be 4 years.
Have you seen a change in the blogging world since you began?
Oh yes. Lots more bloggers have emerged, sharing their amazing talents and content online, which means competition for readers and followers is quite intense. There’s also been a huge rise in ‘micro bloggers’ who don’t actually have a blog but that Instagram their thoughts, reviews and recommendations – great to follow if you don’t have time to read full blog posts!
What does food mean to you?
I’m just obsessed by it. I love eating a healthy, colourful variety of foods. These days I don’t eat much meat but lots of fish, eggs and mainly a plant-based diet. Cooking for me is therapeutic. Cooking for friends is my favourite way to socialise. And going out and exploring new restaurants and flavours is just an endless adventure, I love it.
What are your favourite restaurants for eating out?
I am so impressed by Ancoats restaurants at the moment, especially my old-time favourites Viet Shack – they are doing so well and just started serving brunch and lunch too. I adore Mackie Mayor for a bit of everything and if I just want local, tasty comfort food then Brewski in Chorlton hits the spot every time – their veggie roast dinners and classic Canadian poutine dishes are amazing! And I can’t wait to try Ivy Asia when it opens.
Describe an average ‘day in your life’ of a food blogger
It’s not all glam. I have a lot of emails to sift through! And no meal can be eaten without taking a picture!!!
What has been the highlight of food blogging for you?
There are so many. First of all, it helped me break into marketing from IT – and now I work for one of the best marketing companies in the world on Aldi’s online marketing so that’s lots of fun indeed! Second has to be the friends I have made. I have met lifelong, amazing friends and it’s all through starting a blog and putting myself and my content out there on Twitter and Instagram. And finally, it’s got to be partnering with some of my favourite brands: M&S Food, Circulon, Tefal and Tabasco!
What are your food predictions for next year?
Plant-based eating is going to continue to grow and grow. I love that people are really getting behind it and waking up to the fact that cheap meat is not the be-all-and-end-all of every meal. I also think Korean food will make a bit of a come-back – I had the most amazing cauliflower ‘wings’ with Korean sweet hot sauce recently – an amazing combination!
What do you think we going to see more of on menus?
I’d actually like to see more small, specialist menus. Places that just do one thing really, really well – like Rudy’s Pizza for example. I love concise menus that scream “we’re good at this, it’s what we do and we do it well.” It’s nice when the choice is almost made for you. Again, I think Korean flavours might pop up more and also seaweed – which is totally underrated!
What is your all-time favourite dish?
King prawn and chilli linguine.
Chilli con Carne.
Tarka dhal and homemade chapati.
Buttermilk fried chicken with an outrageous amount of hot sauce.
Honestly, I can’t choose between them!
What ingredient could you not live without?
I use a lot of soy sauce, miso paste, and black pepper. It sounds boring but food is nothing without great salt and pepper so it would probably be that! But I couldn’t live without lentils and pulses – they are so cheap, healthy and versatile and soak up flavours amazingly I use them in so many dishes.