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Twitter account uncovers hidden food gems in Denton

Twitter account uncovers hidden food gems in Denton

June 28
21:41 2017

In a town bursting with many home-grown, unique restaurants, local foodies take to social media to promote Denton’s diverse food community.

Through a rapidly growing Twitter account, Denton native Stephanie Martinez is the voice that hungry social media users have been waiting for.

The 24-year-old business student began the Denton Food Twitter account in early June with the pretense of shining a light on the many food options in Denton that she’s been exposed to since she was a child.

“I love food in Denton, and I don’t think a lot of people know many places here,” Martinez said. “They think there’s just the basic [fast food] and there’s way more here than that.”

Martinez was originally inspired by Dallas food accounts and her many Snapchat followers who were curious where all of her food pictures came from. She then opened the Twitter account and, within the span of a few weeks, has gained over 2,000 followers.

Bringing along friends and family to as many local food places as possible, Martinez strongly believes in supporting the community. She feels her account has shed a brighter light on all the options in and around Denton.

Stephanie Martinez (left) makes trying new places to eat a family outing. Stephanie, her mother Mariza and sister Amy decide on what macarons to get at Le Macaron in the Golden Triangle Mall. Cameron Roe

“I should have started [the account] sooner,” Martinez said. “Because I feel like even just a few years ago, so many people didn’t come to the Square. Like, some people didn’t even know what LSA Burger is and it’s just right there.”

Living in Denton her whole life gives Martinez a unique outlook to the food culture. Some of her most treasured childhood memories stem from visiting local food around the Square, such as Beth Marie’s.

“My whole family would always go out and eat food together — it’s tradition,” Martinez said. “When I was young, my grandparents would visit from Mexico and Beth Marie’s was the first and last place we would go. We probably have like a million pictures at that place together.”

A majority of the posts come from places Martinez has already visited herself in her childhood or adult years. However, she also accepts direct message submissions from followers who try to promote their favorite local places.

Mellow Mushroom is one of Denton Food’s most popular featured restaurants, and it is also known for its social media presence, primarily on Facebook. With nearly 8,000 likes on their public Facebook page, they understand the importance of a strong social media following.

“It brings people in who might otherwise not hear about us,” Mellow Mushroom employee Matthew McNabb said. “We use [our Facebook] to share events, special deals and to hear feedback from customers so we can improve.”

Incorporating both customer pictures while also taking their own shots, Mellow Mushroom workers are all encouraged to tag their friends and families to promote the business to a wider audience.

Businesses aren’t the only ones posting to a large audience. Jacqueline Gonzalez, 26, is a passionate Denton foodie with a social media focus on vegetarian options.

“I definitely prefer Instagram because there’s an entire community of people ready to engage and interact with one another over food,” Gonzalez said. “Particularly if it’s healthy, natural or artfully presented and shot.”

Gonzalez began her Instagram account, recipeaceandlove, mainly to keep herself and her followers motivated and inspired to continue a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. Inspired by the many local vegetarian and vegan restaurants, her account also showcases the many viable options there are for different types of lifestyles.

Keeping her personal account separate from her foodie account has helped her in reaching out to people like herself and growing her online community.

“People have been so supportive of my photos because they know I’m posting more than just pictures of food,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve enjoyed supporting others just as much. I’ve seen some people I followed years ago go from low quality photos on paper plates to a nearly professional food blog status and have thousands of followers. It makes me so proud for people I don’t even personally know.”

With many other food-based accounts similar to Gonzalez’s and Denton Food’s, the possibilities are limitless for locals to choose from.

Aside from food, Martinez is considering expanding Denton Food. She has thought about posting about bars and other entertaining aspects of Denton to show residents they don’t have to travel far to have a fun night out.

“So many people go to bigger places like Dallas because they think they have to go there to have fun,” Martinez said. “Most of us here are college students and it costs money to drive far, so I felt like I could show you can stay in Denton for that stuff.”

Featured Image: Stephanie Martinez eats ice cream outside of Beth Marie’s, a childhood favorite. Martinez started her Twitter, DentonFood, two weeks ago and has already surpassed 2,000 followers. Cameron Roe

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Kayla Henson

Kayla Henson

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1 Comment

  1. Saxwoman
    Saxwoman June 29, 16:12

    What’s her Twitter handle? When I look up “Denton food” there is one, but there haven’t been any posts since 2014.

    Reply to this comment

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