Up Close and Personal: Bitches Who Brunch

Becca Clara Love and Cori Sue Morris are the co-founders of Bitches Who Brunch, a tri-city food, fashion and lifestyle website in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.  We were excited to sit down with these BELLA foodies to find out how they started their wildly popular brand and how they are changing the face of brunch one city at a time. 

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1.  What inspired you to create Bitches Who Brunch?

Becca: Cori Sue and I have been great friends for years. When we were both living in D.C. (I now live in New York), we were hopping around town brunching, going to events, and just generally enjoying Washington life. We decided to start writing about our adventures, especially our food adventures, and the site was born. Cori Sue came up with the name – a stroke of genius – and I built the dot com.

Cori Sue: Becca and I both studied magazine journalism and met working at a magazine. Having left the magazine, we needed a creative outlet. So, when she said we should start a blog, I said “Absolutely! We’d be the Bitches Who Brunch!” It’s been an incredible journey turning a passion project into a business.

2.  Becca, your day job is being Vice President of Digital Strategy for Ketchum, how do you manage to handle this and running a go-to source like Bitches Who Brunch?

Becca: I focus entirely on my Ketchum clients during the weekdays, and I’m often traveling and juggling meetings and deliverables. I’m so lucky that I have an incredible team at Ketchum that help me be successful. That is key. I also manage my calendar and inboxes like a machine.

In the evenings and weekends, I focus on Bitches Who Brunch. I manage the New York team, while Cori Sue manages D.C. and Chicago. But together, when we started the business, we laid out the right business strategy and plans so that the engine really runs without much micromanaging from us. We’re lucky that we have incredible teams of Bitches in each city, young women who have taken ownership and pride in the work they do for the site.

The benefit of working at an incredible agency like Ketchum – and running a large, successful media site on the side – means I get perspective from all sides of influencer marketing, media, PR and advertising: both from the agency and brand side—and from the influencer and media side. It’s remarkable, and I’m very lucky.

3.  Cori Sue, you just started your own media company, Citrus Media, do you find your marketing background helped you create a website that has become so successful?

Cori Sue: It was actually the reverse. Through Bitches Who Brunch, I’ve built incredible relationships with small business owners, restaurateurs, and the food industry and developed a true understanding of the challenges and marketing needs of these restaurants. I also established a keen understanding of what works for these restaurants in terms of social media and influencer marketing. So, I created a company to help restaurants and lifestyle businesses create great content—it’s been a lot of fun. I basically take a lot of food photography and instagram a lot of #foodporn in both roles, which you really can’t beat.

4. What was one of the most challenging moments in starting your own website?

Becca: We’re a partnership, and we’ve already been great friends, but learning how to evolve our silly, fun, ridiculous girlfriendship into a serious working relationship had some bumps in the road. We’re really lucky that we both complement one another in so many ways: Cori Sue is so driven and creative, and probably the best networker I’ve ever known. I bring a lot of team- and business-management experience to the table, along with expertise on digital and social media.

Cori Sue :I would echo that—managing relationships and managing people is a challenge in any business, and Becca is absolutely great at that. I’ve learned a lot from her! Additionally, we were early to the blogging-as-a-business game (six years ago) and, at the time, there weren’t a lot of resources like there are now. We had to figure out a lot of small business necessities—hiring, contracts, accounting, legal, project management resources, and more—without a lot of good options or people to ask for advice. Now, there’s a wealth of information for bloggers, freelancers and small businesses, as well as incredible apps, websites and start-ups people to utilize.

5. What is your favorite go-to brunch spot in New York?

Becca: I just moved from the East Village to the Financial District. I have to say, when I was in the East Village, I would constantly end up at the bar at Miss Lilly’s. The Jamaican joint is just so laid back and fun—and they serve up freshly squeezed juices, great cocktails, and a rice-and-chicken dish that beats any hangover. I’m still hunting for my FiDi go-to, but there are plenty of options. I definitely found my weekday Diner, Pearl Diner, which is straight out of a New York movie set. Nothing special about it, just no-frills good coffee and eggs.

Cori Sue: I love a posh jazz brunch at a great hotel or restaurant. Lately, I’ve really enjoyed Hotel Chantelles rooftop jazz brunch, which is great for groups and lovely in the summer. One of my most memorable brunches years ago was Beauty & Essex, which was

I just had brunch at NOMO SoHo and the whole experience—from the food to the space to the service—was perfect. The space was modern and stunning, with high ceilings, lots of greenery, and bright modern art on the walls.  The cocktails were inventive and the food was great. It was a lot of fun. 

The NoMad is also incredible—it received our Best Brunch of the Year award last year.

6.  Where do you go for your favorite brunch cocktail in New York? 

Becca: I am a spicy Bloody Mary girl, through and through; so when I find a great one, I hold onto it. Recently I brunched at Zuma, a modern Japanese restaurant that was just gorgeous. Everything they served was like a work of art. But the Bloody Mary was not only unique, it was delicious, made with organic tomato juice, wasabi, cucumber, horseradish, and spicy chili. Yum.

  • http://bitcheswhobrunch.com/zuma-brunch/

7. What is your favorite thing about living in New York?

Becca: I moved to New York not entirely thrilled about the decision, but I quickly fell deeply in love with this city. There are so many things that I – now – can’t live without: The intelligent and wonderful people, the incredible food, the anything-immediately-delivered lifestyle, the stunning museums, the fun events and parties, the beautiful neighborhoods, the seasons, the architecture, I could go on and on. I’m smitten and have no plans to leave any time soon.

8. The site focuses on New York, DC, and Chicago, do you have any plans for expansion?

Becca: Certainly, but we’re very careful to make sure our current cities are well established in their communities and fully staffed before we venture to new places. But we’re definitely eyeing a few potential cities to expand Bitches Who Brunch. We keep close tabs on Google search trends, along with social data, to track where people are searching and enjoying brunch in the U.S. And we’re constantly getting emails and social messages from folks across the country asking if and when we will launch there. It’s so flattering, but we’re very cautious.

Cori Sue: We’d love for there to be a Bitches Who Brunch team in every major city, but we are careful to manage our expansion and growth in a careful fashion. We do get a lot of requests from girls eager to bring Bitches Who Brunch to their city—and we hear you! We’re working on it!

9. The site also talks about travel, culture, and fashion. What inspired you include these lifestyle sections in a Brunch focused site?

Becca: The site is meant for young women and men enjoying life in Washington, New York, and Chicago. Brunch is certainly a huge part of that, but there’s also a lot more to enjoy in those cities—and beyond. We publish content so that our readers can fill their social calendars, book their fun travels, cook delicious meals, and dress really well. It’s all integrated in a young professional’s life. And then, of course, you talk about it over brunch with your friends on the weekend. Bitches Who Brunch really is a lifestyle.

Cori Sue: I would echo that—being a Bitch, as we say, is a lifestyle. We’re here to provide a comprehensive resource to the city-dwelling 20-something: where to brunch, what to wear, where to book your next trip, and so forth. Our reader is just like us and our team: they’re looking to live life to the fullest in their respective cities—and make those brunch reservations—and we’re here to help.

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