Exploring Rochester One Bite at a Time with Sir Rocha Says: Meet Linh Phillips

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(photos by Emily Patten. See her portfolio HERE)

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
Linh Phillips, creator behind Sir Rocha Says, a local food & drink blog dedicated to helping our local community discover new experiences. My core mission is to help others fall in love with Rochester. Through my blog and social media channels, I entice readers to be part of my food and drink explorations around Rochester and the Greater Rochester area. I want people to get out of their comfort zones and discover that our hometown of Rochester is in the midst of a revival and there are so many wonderful places to visit.  The blog serves as an approachable and fun way to showcase that being a ‘foodie’ does not have to be pretentious, expensive, or exclusive experience. I started this blog 1.5 years ago and it has been my passion project to share my love for Rochester!

What is your passion? What makes you tick?
I enjoy celebrating the awesomeness of food, meeting new people and sharing my love for Rochester. A self-proclaimed experiential explorer, I had always have a thirst for discovering new experiences both in Rochester and on my travels. I love meeting new people, hearing their stories, immersing myself in new places and shining a positive light on Rochester.

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(hand lettering by Georgia Bushen of Type for Love)

Do you really EAT as much as we think you do?
Haha! That is a fantastic question. Often times I get asked on how am I able to eat as much as I do and stay so small. Or I get asked how can I eat out every night. These are all myths that I love to dispel. It might seem as though I’m  downing a whole pizza by myself, but to break it to you guys, I’m just a normal gal. The secret is that while I do love to indulge and try a variety of food, it is all a balancing act. I balance my eating habits with working out, healthy meals  and getting my green juice and yoga on. My husband and friends are always willing to share my food with me, which makes tasting food more fun! Last but not least, contrary to popular belief, I’m not out every night and I actually LOVE to cook and try new recipes at home. Bottom line, is that there is no magic involved or superhero powers, I just try to take care of myself the best that I can, while making sure to eat delicious food wherever I am.

How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced?
Honestly, I started to take pictures on my personal Instagram of my food adventures, dishes I cooked, and places I discovered. This personal hobby and passion for food and drink transformed into my blog. I work in the world of wine and spirits during the day researching trends on consumers and it goes hand in hand with the blog. I crafted a thoughtful marketing plan to layout what the mission my blog was, how I would differentiate myself, what my brand would stand for, type of content, and what my key goals were. Difficulties were working with a minimal budget (since this was funded by myself), growing awareness of blog without traditional or paid advertising, protecting the equity and credibility of my blog.

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What is your biggest regret pertaining to your business?
I think with my business still new, I’m still in the development and learning phase. I know it sound cliché, but I don’t have any regrets as had I not taken the steps I had, perhaps I would not be where I am today.

What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What do you wish someone had said to you?
Don’t rush your profits and place more importance on your passion and audience. Instead of thinking of the millions of dollars you’re going to make, think of the millions of hearts you will influence. I would have liked someone to remind me to let go of my fears and just trust in my creativity.

What your favorite part of what you do?
Being a part of the creative movement in Rochester and knowing that I’ve made a positive impact in the community.

Name some local creatives/small business owner that you really admire.
The lady bosses from Scratch Bake Shop, Lives Styled, Louelle Studio, Roc Brainery, Agathi & Co., Abode, Boomtown Table, HelloYogaGirl, ChickPea Magazine, The Red Fern, Eat Me Ice Cream, Apogee Wine Bar, and the list could go on and on. It’s hard to choose one favorite, but if I had to I would say Molly Hartley and Kate Cassels from Scratch Bake Shop. It’s been so incredible to watch them grow in over a year and I’m so happy for their success.

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