Heidi McDonald of Foodies of Lafayette joins Discover Lafayette to discuss her passion for sharing positive news about all things related to good food.
Foodies of Lafayette is a group that supports local restaurants while cultivating a positive experience for its members. It is promoted via its Facebook page where local restaurants can post daily and weekly specials, members post queries about eating establishments, learn where to source ingredients, and share recipes or photos of their kitchen creations.
Foodies of Lafayette’s FB page is not a food critique page and does not allow negativity or bad reviews—it’s a positive place. There’s no advertising, politics, drama or anything else complicating it. Four moderators help in keeping the FB page clear of harsh words as the group endeavors to promote wonderful food offered everywhere from gas stations to high-end restaurants. With social media being a magnet for rude and mean words, this Foodies page is a site for sore eyes and a delightful experience in how to uplift others as the good news is shared.
Jason Stoner, unavailable for taping this episode, joined the group in January 2020 and was appointed moderator shortly after. His contributions to the page have been significant. Jason & Stephen’s Sunday Dinners are over the top and they currently host different Foodies of Lafayette members once a month, never repeating a Sunday Dinner. Much planning and passion from the atmosphere, playlist, table, and food prove their love for entertaining guests through a fabulous dining experience. Jason assists with the day-to-day operations of the page and planning Foodies of Lafayette events.
Heidi’s experience at Fuji Sushi, 4416 Johnston Street, Suite A, in Lafayette, sparked her vision to create Foodies of Lafayette. She identified the pure passion that Fuji brings to the table and found it troubling that few people knew about them. Their food and service were second to none, but like many restaurants, they had little or no budget for advertising. Heidi started Foodies of Lafayette in December 2019, thus creating an accessible place for establishments to get the word out about their restaurants and Foodies to get the information they’re looking for without advertising, politics, drama or anything else complicating it. Her vision worked in a big way. Fuji Sushi and others now have a forum to post daily and weekly specials, new menu items, and photos. Heidi thought a few of her friends would join and is mind-blown by all the responses the page now generates. The page currently has approximately 49,000 members and is growing at a rate of 500 per week.
Foodies of Lafayette’s success has led Heidi and Jason Stoner to take the group’s reach one step further. Plans are in the works to create a line of merchandise such as ball caps, t-shirts, backpacks, and koozies emblazoned with the logo so that fellow “foodies can quickly identify their peeps in a crowd,” as Heidi puts it.