What started out as a passion for food has turned into an Instagram account with over 184,000 followers. Nikki Motto and Rachel Fisher, two seniors at SUNY Binghamton, created the account nyceeeeeats during the summer before their sophomore year of college.
Even though they both grew up on Long Island, they met at school during their freshman year. Both Nikki and Rachel are psychology majors, but Nikki is on a pre-med track while Rachel is going into advertising.
Nikki told Fresh U about how they came up with the idea:
"I was stalking my Instagram account and saw that there were a lot of random pictures of food. I was like 'I honestly should just start my own food account.' So I did. It was very impulsive."
A few hours after, Nikki texted Rachel and asked if she would like to be a part of it. Not caring about whether or not the Instagram account got famous, they decided to see where it went.
By using food hashtags and creating a unique food aesthetic, nyceeeeeats took off. Rachel told Fresh U how amazing it feels:
"Honestly, we lucked out with our followers. Not only do we have so many followers, but they are very engaged with our posts. They tend to like and comment instantaneously and tag their friends. We didn't think it was a big deal at first, but every new milestone was like 'Wow.'"
Because they don't live in NYC during the time they are studying at school, Nikki and Rachel receive hundreds of food pictures that people submit to them each day through their account hashtag, #nyceeeeeats. They are very inspired by what people send to them, although they do have certain criteria, they told Fresh U.
"The pictures need to be very clear," says Nikki. "I love drizzled chocolate."
"I am in love with melted cheese," said Rachel. "Ice cream and pizza always do well, too."
The Instagram posts that do the best usually include some of these foods. While other foodie accounts cause some competition, the followers that nyceeeeeats has acquired are the reason that they have and continue to do so well.
The account has grown so much that they have monetized within the last 6 months. Different companies will pay them to post on their behalf, or because they live in NYC during the summer, they are able to go and try free food and then post about it on their account. Some restaurants are even sending them food to taste and then upload. Nikki and Rachel estimate that they have made a couple thousand dollars so far.
They have gained recognition on the Binghamton campus and beyond. Sharing the food that is sent to them at events that they go to or when they hang out with friends always makes them happy. Even their friends who go to other schools tell them that they have been talking about the pictures that they have posted. They're like food celebrities!
Rachel also told Fresh U about how much time they spend on their account each day in order to continue this adventure:
"It is kind of second nature. Now with Instagram, you can have multiple accounts open on your phone at the same time. We post about every 2 hours, and then it takes some time to go through emails that different companies send us. There are days when we get 10 emails in an hour and then others where we get only 3 in a day."
Their food love has expanded to Facebook, Snapchat (-nyceeeeeats), and their very own website. You can go to their website at nyceeeeeats.weebly.com. This website even has a food guide for anyone who is in NYC and wants to find a good place to eat!
Since they will be graduating this year, both Nikki and Rachel have decided to continue down the paths of their majors. Both of them want to work in NYC, so visiting restaurants will be easier. Rachel told Fresh U that they have decided to continue with their account as a side gig:
"We really don't want to give up on it. Now we are really at the peak of everything with it, so we just want to keep the momentum going."
Congrats to Nikki and Rachel on turning their passion into an incredible success. Next time you visit NYC, make sure to check out their social medias to figure out where to eat – I know I will!
Lead Image Credit: nyceeeeeats via Instagram; creds to @donutgobaconmyheart