We had the good fortune of connecting with Emma Essence and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emma, what do you attribute your success to?
The factor that has contributed most to my brand’s success is the core message that I stand by, which is that everyone should feel comfortable in the kitchen.Do you ever walk into the kitchen and suddenly feel overwhelmed? That feeling of uncomfort, I never want anyone to feel. To me, feeling comfortable is feeling familiar, whether that familiarity is with holding a knife, preheating a pan, or the kitchen itself. Through my brand, I strive to create a space where you walk into a kitchen to cook a meal for yourself or your family, and have a sense of ease doing so. I do that through teaching cooking basics, sharing tips & tricks in the kitchen, and developing delicious recipes that anyone can do!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
To turn something you’re passionate about into a business rather than a hobby, takes a lot of work and determination. It is far from easy, but more than worth it!

Essence Eats started as a little seedling of passion. Cooking has always been my happy place. I loved sharing that happiness with those around me. I was eager for them to feel it too while cooking. That passion turned into energy. It is powerful when you focus on what excites you. Before I knew it, I launched Essence Eats!

It started as a hobby. I didn’t have any fancy equipment or space. I cooked in my small one bedroom apartment in my spare time, photographed on my kitchen counter using my iPhone, and had no experience in blogging at all. After taking several blogging courses, buying a camera and taking photography courses, studying & cooking my butt off… It is now a running business!

Along the way, I have learned how to embrace discomfort. I have gained more confidence. I have tossed out the idea of perfection. I have felt what it means to be determined. I have gained more patience. I have pushed my creativity more than ever before. I have not let my fears control me. I have welcomed failure. I have chased my dream!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I just moved to Tempe, Arizona, I will give you a little Tempe date night itinerary. Best dinner spot is Caffe Boa! They have an amazing happy hour with an extensive list of wine, fresh cocktails, and incredible appetizers. Must-have happy hour items are shishito peppers, arancini, and bruschetta (my favorite is the butter pecan chevre with honey)! All of their entrees are amazing, but I always have to get pasta; the orecchiette and classic lasagna are my go-tos. To top it off, go with an affogato for dessert! Now for an after dinner drink, head down the street to Arizona Distilling Company… the best cocktails in town! No matter what spirit you drink, they have a cocktail there for you. Since I am a bourbon gal, their old-fashioned cocktail is my favorite! However, I love the spice of their Verde Valley featuring vodka & the flavor profile of their Milano Gimlet featuring gin. They even have homemade spiked eggnog around this time of year for the holidays! If you go on this itinerary, don’t forget to say hi to Timberland at Caffe Boa and Micah & Thorn at AZ Distilling.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
EssenceEats would not exist without my family; my mom Heather, and three siblings Alex, Josiah, and Willow. Growing up with my single mom and three siblings, some regular dishes served in my house were macaroni and cheese with hot dogs, packaged ramen, and spaghetti with Texas Toast. When my mom was working, I would make the meals for my family. My siblings loved these nostalgic flavors that they were used to, but every time I was in the kitchen with a spoon in my hand, I thought “How can I make this meal special?”. The kitchen quickly became a creative space for me, whether it was adding a certain spice to a dish to see what that tastes like or cooking it another way, it became a fun place for me to experiment with taste and flavor. Big thank you to my family for always pushing me to create, eating my food (even if I drowned it with salt), and supporting me on this new journey.

Website: EssenceEats.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/essenceeats/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Essenceats

Other: Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/EssenceEats

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.