Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Lauren Topor Reichert, one of the top foodie freelance writers in Arizona. Her work has been published in Thrillist, The Experience Scottsdale Travel Guide and LUXE INTERIORS + DESIGN, just to name a few. You also likely know her by another name: @hungryinphoenix. She is, after all, one of the top foodie accounts to follow in Arizona, as per Visit Phoenix.
So, Lauren, time to share!
Tell us how you got your start in writing? Tell us your story!
From a very young age I knew that I wanted a career that had something to do with writing and creating. Partly because I realized that math was not my strongest subject. At one time I thought I wanted to be in broadcasting. I love the flexibility that freelance work gives me and I couldn’t ask for a better work-life balance. It’s also led me to some amazing opportunities including writing web copy for Wayfair and writing for New Balance and MyFitnessPal.
Tell us how you came to start working in the Valley media scene?
I studied communications and media analysis at Arizona State University. During my time in undergrad I completed a handful of media-centric internships, everything from gigs in radio to stints at magazines. I lived in Austin, Texas, for a short period of time and it was there where I first covered the food scene. When I relocated back to Phoenix it was full steam ahead. I liked writing about food culture and telling the stories of those who make it happen. I applied to a freelance position with Thrillist in 2015 that tasked me to cover the Valley dining scene and that’s really where it all started.
And how did you come to start Hungry in Phoenix?
hungryinphoenix really started as a means to promote stories I was working on. Oftentimes I am tasked to shoot original content for written stories. hungryinphoenix was a place to share all of the good stuff that didn’t get published. Since I started hungryinphoenix in 2016 it’s grown into something much bigger and has given me the opportunity to partner with local restaurants, the Phoenix metro food community and big brands alike such as New Belgium Brewing, SONIC, Kikkoman, Zoës Kitchen, and many more.
The success of hungryinphoenix also led me to launch my photography business.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Willamette Valley, Ore. My hometown has fewer people than my graduating class at
Arizona State University did.
Favorite type of music?
My Spotify is all over the place. Right now I’m into ‘90s hip-hop, electro house, trance, surf rock, acoustic covers of rap and EDM songs, and basically everything from Billie Eilish.
Favorite local restaurants or other haunts?
FnB in Scottsdale is a favorite of mine. When we have friends or family visiting, that’s our first stop. Another favorite is Pokitrition in Chandler. The owners fly in their fish from Hawaii. It’s the best poke bowl, and poke burrito, in town.
Least favorite food?
If someone told me that I could never eat asparagus again I wouldn’t be upset.
Three things readers would be surprised to know about you?
1.) My first job was driving a tractor on my family farm.
2.) I collect vintage books.
3.) In 2016 I rafted the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon over eight days with my husband and a bunch of strangers.
What is the lead time you need for content or pitches?
It’s all relative, really. If you’re pitching my weekly “things to do” guides for Thrillist I need your pitch at least a two weeks in advance because I’m filing with my editor about seven days before the content is live on Thrillist.com.
What should (and shouldn’t) people be pitching to you?
My least favorite thing is digital flyers sent randomly into my DMs with no context or useful information included. I don’t mind direct messages. I just want to see a little personalization.
What is the best way to reach you?
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org