On most weekday mornings, you can find food blogger Ali Ebright at Quay Coffee in Kansas City’s River Market. She edits photos, replies to emails and schedules social media posts, all while sipping her favorite iced pour-over coffee.
She’s usually there with a handful of other entrepreneurs, and Ebright said they treat the coffee shop like “neighborhood incubator” for small businesses.
“Everybody is on their computers, doing their own thing, but we can stop and chat or ask questions about taxes or whatever,” she said. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot and been encouraged a lot by some of my entrepreneurial friends there.”
Ebright calls Quay (pronounced “key”) her “second home,” and, this week, she will be hosting a meet-up at the coffee shop. The event is in honor of an episode of KCPT’s “Show Me” series that features Ebright and her blog, Gimme Some Oven.
“Show Me” features Kansas Citians with local focus and national reach, and Ebright fits well into this categorization: Her blog has a national audience, and she uses that space to talk up KC continually.
In her 10 years in KC, Ebright said she’s seen things change: “For anyone who has been in Kansas City (over) the last decade, it has been a really fun time to be in the city,” she said. “Things are bubbling up and happening, and I feel like it’s a fun time to be here for the cultural (and) entrepreneurial things that are happening.”
Readers of Ebright’s blog — around 4 million unique readers per month in 2015 — can expect to hear about Kansas City often.
“I love Kansas City, so I may be a little extra-enthusiastic about KC when I talk about it,” Ebright said. “I hope that the heart of my blog is sharing some of the stories that go along with the food. I feel like my favorite thing is having people around the table and the memories that are made, and so many of those memories are in Kansas City with friends and neighbors.”
Ebright recently took her KC evangelism on the road, living and working for a month in Austin, Texas, with fellow Kansas City–blogger, Kathryne Taylor of Cookie + Kate.
“We chose Austin mainly because it was warm and because they had a lot of tacos,” Ebright said.
Ebright has been self-employed for the past two and a half years, and she always thought working remotely on the blog would be an option, but this trip was the first foray into a working vacation.
“We just decided to do a trial run and pack up our dogs, pack up our kitchen stuff, pack up our cameras and computers and hit the road and just see what it would be like to do what we do from a different city,” she said. “Working in a city, not just vacationing, but living this life in a different place.”
Ebright said she and Taylor wasted no time in Austin, going out almost every night to enjoy the culinary offerings of the city. This included a lot of Mexican food and a lot of inspiration for the blog.
“We kept a running (note) on our phones where we would mention things that we saw on menus or things we had tried that were inspiring to us,” Ebright said. “We came home with this enormous list of culinary things that we wanted to try.”
Readers of Gimme Some Oven have already seen the evidence of Austin-spiration: Ebright shared recipes for shishito peppers, taquitos and cucumber margaritas just last week.
“I love Kansas City, so I may be a little extra-enthusiastic about KC when I talk about it,” blogger Ali Ebright said.
Now that Ebright is back in KC, she’s keeping on the food blogging grind: Recipe testing (up to four times before posting the completed dish!), food styling, washing dishes for hours and keeping up with the business side of things. Ebright is even working towards a cookbook.
In addition to all the food-related content on Gimme Some Oven, Ebright posts personal essays in her Life section. Some of her most popular posts have been in the series “This is Single,” where Ebright writes about being 30 and single. Ebright said “traffic spikes big-time” when she shares these posts.
“It’s been the craziest series to do, and it’s, I guess, a testament to the power of vulnerability or maybe just the fact that people don’t talk about that subject much,” Ebright said.
Ebright said being single certainly affects her relationship to food and with her friends: “I find it extra important to surround myself with good friends and have food be something that I can share with people and not just eat ‘dinner for one’ every night,” she said.
Many of the friends Ebright surrounds herself with are also neighbors, and many frequent Quay Coffee in the mornings.
“We joke in our neighborhood that Quay Coffee is kind of like our version of Central Perk from ‘Friends,'” she said. “When I walk in, people know my name, and there’s something pretty special about that that I don’t take for granted.”
To learn more about “Show Me” or to RSVP to Wednesday’s event at Quay Coffee, click here.