Debbie Rogers, Editor of FoodeMag dxb

Behind Our own Closed Doors we turn the tables and talk about ourselves as #FoodPreneurs

This month we thought we would do something different! We’re always going behind the doors of restaurants and talking to chefs etc but rarely talk about ourselves – the creatives behind the virtual doors of FoodeMag dxb.

Who are we? What do we find exciting? What inspires us? After all aren’t we FoodPreneurs in our own way?

Here’s a bit more about us, the #FoodPreneurs behind our very own magazine FoodeMag dxb. Two bloggers with very different backgrounds, dreams and aspirations brought together through a shared passion of food & travel.  

Individually we started as bloggers in our own right sharing our stories in our own way on our own websites. In fact we both started to write long before it became trendy to blog and share our stories on Instagram!  Together we form FoodeMag dxb a registered business hoping to share, inform and inspire you to share our journey

Here’s my story

xx Debbie

Debbie Rogers ~ CoffeeCakesAndRunning.Com

I’m the “DesiBrit” behind CoffeeCakesAndRunning and the Editor and Business Head of FoodeMag Dxb – favourite drink coffee, favourite food – too many to list, but I do love my spicy food! Favourite music – I don’t mind as long as it’s fast and has a good beat that I can exercise too. Kids no, just a  rescue GSD cross dog who thinks she’s human called Lexi. One day I have a dream to quit mainstream society, live in a small house, be completely off-grid and grow my own veggies, perhaps on a remote beach somewhere warm. Before then I would love to do the Trans Siberian express train journey, see Gorillas in Rwanda, Climb another big mountain, sky dive and travel (the world).

What or who is the inspiration behind your start-up?

I can’t take the credit for starting the magazine, that was done by Ishita and Sarah. I came a little bit later down the line but feel that I’ve contributed to how the magazine is now compared to the first three issues so I’ve made an impact in my own way. I have to be honest and say it took some convincing for me to come on board with FoodeMag dxb. Not because I didn’t love what had been created, but because I wanted to know how we could be different than any other magazine and how I could divide my time between my own blog and FoodeMag dxb.  I think I’ve got that cracked now, but am always tweaking where the lines are in terms of a division of time and effort etc.

Tell us why your business is the “best thing since sliced bread”

Whilst we keep an eye out to see what others are doing, I feel like we are very comfortable with what we do. We’ve spent many an hour debating should we follow a particular style or someone we admire, or to follow a trend that’s ‘hot’ (and might get extra engagement or website clicks etc), but at the end of the day we always go back to a small hand drawn page of notes we have debated over the years about ‘what makes us different’ and that’s what we focus on.  It goes something along the lines of this – Ninety five percent of what we write about, or commission from other bloggers, is written specifically for FoodeMag dxb and our readers.  We generate our own content, and are limited only in terms of our imagination and resources. We take our own images and write about actual experiences as we know that our readers enjoy this content. Our readers connect with our stories and engage with us based on this, we write in our own voice which is important.

Who is your hero in the business – the one that you aspire to be?

I take inspiration in many places so there’s nobody in particular that I aspire to be. I always quote Gloria Gaynor here, “I am what I am, I am my own special creation”. My mum taught me lots about cooking from scratch and the benefit of family time and dining at the table. Studying at nightschool to get my degree taught me that anything is possible if you really want it and work for it. My corporate life taught me many lessons in terms of strategy and commercialism, planning etc. But also in terms of the need to take time off and relax. My travels, both uber expensive and backpacking have shown me that there are many different cuisines and food stories out there just waiting to be explored and told. Many other bloggers have taught me lessons on sharing what your are passionate about, telling stories, taking photos and of course about dining experiences. Chefs inspire me too as they share their story through their dishes and menu. Anyone that starts a business rather than treading the corporate ladder inspire me which is probably why I am passionately championing our #Foodprenuer section of FoodeMag dxb.

What is your favorite item on your menu and why?

Well FoodeMag doesn’t have a menu, but in terms of what we do, I love being out and about and exploring and experiencing cultures, people, food, drink and of course coffee etc. Articles that can be written from the heart inspire me greatly, as does reading feedback from people who’ve gone somewhere based on our experiences and recommendations. The fact that someone has sat down and read the magazine our taken a peek at our social media feed etc always makes me smile and feel humbled, as I know how precious time is to everyone, and what a busy space we operate in.

What (lessons) have you learnt along the way that you would like to share with other foodpreneurs?

I would say that the journey isn’t easy, but have faith that you will get there. Be authentic in what you do, don’t follow the trend, carve out your own patch if you have to – stick to what you believe in. Work with people who inspire you and who have the same values as you. Expect there to be obstacles and challenges (and frankly quite a lot of red tape) and rise to resolve those issues as eagerly as you can (drink coffee if you have to to steel your nerves), and realise they are just a diversion or bump in the road, not a road block.

And finally, something not everyone knows about you

I used to play Saxophone in a Jazz Band – back in the day.