“Foodietravelours”: Esther Ryou, senior, starts food marketing business


Photos courtesy of Foodietravelours

Esther Ryou, a current senior at Calvin, started her own food marketing business in July, which has been expanding and growing since its beginning.

The name of her business is Foodietravelours. Esther Ryou, CEO and founder of the company, expressed that it is called “foodietravelours,” because it resembles traveling around “our” world while trying out different types of food, which is why she emphasized “our” at the end of travel”ours” instead of writing out travelers.

Ryou was greatly inspired by her internship at @grhealthyliving, a website and social media platform promoting health and wellness in West Michigan, where she took photos and worked with different clients within Grand Rapids.
“I wanted to do something like what I am doing right now because I love eating and traveling, so I thought, ‘Why not foodietravelours?’” said Ryou.

Foodietravelours is currently active on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

According to its description on LinkedIn, a popular job search and networking website, Foodietravelours is “a multilingual digital content marketing agency dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle through the advertisement of different restaurants.”

Essentially, my company is a marketing agency. We use social media platforms, mainly Instagram, just because my company is very small. I would consider it a start-up company,” said Ryou. “I have about 10-15 people working for me right now. The majority of them are brand ambassadors. These brand ambassadors are all over the place. Some of them are in Malaysia, Washington D.C., Hungary … the majority of them are actually in Grand Rapids right now, and a lot of them are Calvin students.”

Ryou said that her vision for this company is for it to be inclusive and serve as a community space where people share what they are eating on social media, which brings everyone together.

“Mainly, my business is to help different healthier restaurants market their place. It’s a perfect opportunity for newer or start-up restaurants to come to me and ask me to market their company with things like paid photoshoots,” said Ryou. “They use my social media to get their brand name out there.”

Right now, the majority of her clients are living in the Midwest region of the United States, many in Grand Rapids. She is working on building her other clients in Chicago, where she currently resides.

Ryou has been working hard as a full-time intern, part-time student at Calvin and part-time CEO of her company. She said that it has been very busy balancing all of these and more aspects of her life, but that she tries to make more time to relax so she is not too drained from her busy schedule.

“During the weekdays, I do a lot of work, and during the weekends I try to enjoy and relax by spending more time with friends and just doing activities that I like to do while I kind of do a little bit of work here and there.”

To students wanting to start their own business, Ryou suggested, “Just start now. Don’t wait till later because it’ll be too late. You need to try new things while you’re young because it’s the best timing while ideas are fresh.” Students interested can find Esther’s business on Instagram by searching for “Foodietravelours.”