Five years ago today I started a blog.
At the time, it was a place for me to write about whatever was top of mind – television, fashion purchases, theatre, and, well, food. I had just started cooking, though not on a regular basis, so most of my food dollars (and attention) were allocated to restaurants. After a few years of eating my way through and documenting the Edmonton culinary scene, it became clear that my blog did indeed have a central focus, and Only Here for the Food was born.
A lot can happen in five years, something that is very true for me. I started my first job post-university, began a long-term relationship, moved out of my parents’ house, bought a condo. But I never thought the act of sharing my food experiences would have such a significant impact on me as well.
When I first started to visit farmers’ markets, I would walk past the tables overflowing with produce and overlook the proud farmers showcasing their wares for cupcakes. To me, markets were weekend festivals – bustling, colourful, and meant only for brief stopover. In 2007, a chance prize earned me the opportunity to cook alongside long-time Edmonton Journal Bistro columnist Judy Schultz and local food advocate (and Seasoned Solutions proprietor) Gail Hall. One afternoon was all it took to demystify the market; it was the first time I saw the market for what it really was – a plethora of farm fresh ingredients, and a direct link to the producers who grew or raised it.
In the years that followed, I learned more and more about the local food scene. Perhaps more importantly, I met and got to know the people that have worked hard to develop and drive their beliefs forward – farmers, chefs, advocates, eaters, all pushing to ensure Edmonton has a vibrant economy that includes independent businesses and sustainable food production. I am very fortunate that this blog, and the very small window that it is, has allowed me to be a part of that community.
This growing awareness also increased my desire to become more active in the community. It began with co-organizing Slow Food Edmonton’s Wild Boar and Beer BBQ in 2010, snowballed into helping put on Eat Alberta earlier this year, and most recently, planning two What the Truck?! events this summer. It’s a cliché, but it is true – food helps bring people together, and in the case of What the Truck?!, can be the catalyst for something even greater – small-scale revitalization.
The experiences I’ve written about – farm visits, market reports, cooking chronicles, chef’s dinners – have helped shaped my values and my lifestyle. It may have started with a few restaurant reviews here and there, but this blog has inextricably changed the way I view food, and the city as a whole.
What I also know is that your support over these past five years – through comments, e-mails and conversations – has been priceless to me. Though some bloggers may deny it, the very nature of public sharing is ego-centric, and I appreciate knowing that what I’ve written has been interesting or helpful in some way – my greatest hope is to have perhaps demystified the farmers’ market for someone, too. So in short: thank you for reading.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Mack – my editor, sous chef and partner. It is doubtful that without his constant indulgence in my penchant for food that this blog would have gone on for as long.
We’ll see what the next five years brings. But through the lens of this blog, things are looking up in Edmonton – and I am happy to be along for the ride.
19 thoughts on “A Reflection on my Fifth Anniversary”
Congratulations on five years of blogging! I consider myself lucky to have played even a small role in the success you have earned with this blog.
I always knew you’d be an excellent blogger. You’re a talented writer and you’re passionate about your subject matter. Only Here for the Food is a joy to read (not to mention extremely informative!). I’m glad you eventually gave in to my constant badgering.
Edmonton is a better place because of what you’ve accomplished here – keep it up!
Thanks for 5 years of sharing your passion for food and for the local food scene. I loved reading about those pivotal experiences that pushed you to where you arrived today. I think you and Mack have done amazing things to propel Edmonton’s food culture forward, and you deserve all the recognition and appreciation that comes your way. Keep up the great work!
Congratulations on your five year blogiversary!!! I only discovered your page this year, but after reading for a couple of weeks I was hooked. This is the best food blog in Edmonton, and you have opened my eyes to many restaurants and places I would never normally have visited otherwise. Happy Eating in year 6!
Sharon, yours is my first stop when looking for information on food, restaurants, and markets in Edmonton. We’re lucky to have such a fantastic resource, and I thank you for five years of sharing and informing, cooking and eating.
Here’s to (at least) five more!
Congratulations Sharon! 🙂 Thanks for keeping us so well-informed about the foodie world!
Congrats! I moved to Edmonton almost three years ago, and one day googled “edmonton restaurants” so I could get a sense of what the best places to eat were. I stumbled upon your blog, and have been following ever since. Keep it up!
Happy Fifth Sharon!
Eat Alberta rocked!
Your posts entertain, educate and inform about all things food in Edmonton and the surrounding area.
You are a true Edmonton Ambassador.
Thank you for your dedication to your blog
Congrats on your 5 years of accomplishments, and here is to many more!
All the best.
Yes congrats Sharon! Thanks for providing an informative resource like this for Edmonton’s noshing & nibbling masses.
Hey SY! Your passion, talent and love for Edmonton is catchy and inspiring! Big big congrats on your Blogiversary (as Alanna). I’m addicted. So glad you’re experiencing so much appreciation for what you do.
Congrats, Sharon. Ditto to the well-deserved accolades written above. Can’t say it any better…except to add my own sincere thanks.
Happy anniversary! Glad you’re always there to give me a great recommendation for a good restaurant when I need it!
Happy Anniversary! I always love reading what you write. You’re amazing 🙂
Even though I don’t live in Edmonton anymore I still love reading your blog! Congrats and can’t wait for your tenth anniversary 🙂
Congratulations on 5 years and thanks very much for a continually interesting and informative blog and thanks for your efforts to make Edmonton a better place.
I echo what everyone else said. Even though I just recently discovered your food blog (over a year ago), it is still one of my “stops” for when I surf the internet. And thank you for including me as your “counterparts”–I’ll have to admit that I haven’t been very good in keeping up with updates. I’ll write something when I do (who said there are rules?). Thanks for making the food scene in Edmonton so much more interesting! Cheers.
Happy Anniversary, Sharon – I am not reading posts as we have been in Bosnia for over a week and have limited access – but couldn’t resist popping it to read this milestone and compliment you! Incredible achievement and compelling reflection! Bravo with love!
Congratulations on your 5th anniversary! I love the content on your blog, everything is informative and you make sure not to leave anything out. Thank you so much for doing everything that you do! Here’s to the next 5 years 🙂
Happy 5th Anniversary Sharon! What an amazing achievement on reaching this significant milestone. I love your passion & enthusiasm – it is so infectious. Thank you ! miles of smiles, joveena