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Small Business Spotlight: Interview with Blogger KatieJo of Sunshine Baking


 Please help me in giving Katie Jo of Sunshine Baking a warm welcome. She's new to the blogging world, but not new to delicious food. I think you will enjoy her sweet spirit and her easy going take on food.  


Can you tell me a little bit about how you got started with your blog Sunshine Baking?

I actually don't recall an exact moment that I knew I wanted to start a food blog. But it was more a series of events for me. I like to write and I love to learn new things and experiment; so a few people recommended it as a good outlet for creativity. My close friend Lynne recommended that I speak with you, Miss Gabreial: As the editor of Vintage Indie, you would have a lot of feed back about the web world.

People I got to know through work and life in general would consult with me from time to time on menu planning and baking ideas for things and I love it, it’s a great passion of mine. Food brings people together, from everywhere; why not share what I know with everyone!

My close friends and instructors from high school and college always called me Sunshine as a nickname and it just stuck, so when I began baking more professionally than just as a hobby, and I knew I would need a name, I began asking around and getting ideas as to what I should call my blog. I chose a few possibilities one of them having a sunshine theme, and everyone chose that one. So really I had very little work in the idea of the name "SunshineBaking."

I was very lucky over the years in that I worked at Starbucks for quite some time and had ample taste testers between my co-workers and patrons. Now they are my friends, my network, my support. They really have stuck by me and helped me, one such person, my friend Ty Lilly, who owns and operates Zen Media Studios. He helped me build my site based on what I wanted, helped me create a design and still helps me maintain everything on a tech-y level so I can spend more time creating yummy things. It has been a blessing so far.


What kinds of topics can we expect to find there?

My goal in starting SunshineBaking, is to show people that food is fun. Life is fun, sometimes we get so caught up in making really elaborate dishes and desserts and this technique and that technique, it can get overwhelming! I can promise that I will not be focusing on elaborate food with my followers.

I will by all means help anyone through any culinary question they have, even if I have to reach beyond my skill level and test a few things out and do some research. But the topics I want to cover are every day living, eating: Regular diets, Vegan foods, Gluten free and other specialty diets, and crafty things . . . with little bit of my anecdotal life thrown in. I want to provide people with things to try that they may not have thought of before, without overwhelming them. You shouldn’t have to have a culinary degree to follow through with any of the recipes I develop or share.


What kinds of recipes will we be able to find on Sunshine Baking?

I like to think balanced with my diet, with a lot of plants and whole foods thrown in I’m a vegetarian, so that will be reflected in the recipes I post. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you just need some nachos, or a good gluten free dessert because that was the day you had, but I want to share an array of recipes. Gluten free, Vegan, and Vegetarian recipes. I like to bake a lot, so I will gravitate mostly to that, but if anyone wants anything in particular, I plan on sharing most of what I do. Be it a savory or a sweet dish.


What do you consider the best night in?

I am definitely a homebody. The best night in for me would consist of a little crafty time with my girlfriends, be it crochet or jewelry making. We always joke about those e-cards that say things like “All my co workers are out drinking and I’m over here like I’m totally going to go hang out with my besties, drink tea and do granny crafts.” But we don’t care; we take joy in the things we create.

Then I would want to go home and make a delicious dinner with my boyfriend and sit down with some music. Probably followed by a movie, either a romantic comedy or a Disney movie. But there really are so many types of “Best Nights In.” I also love nights in with my Mom and Sister, where we just catch up with a cocktail of my Moms invention and do nothing at all. I will probably be sharing a few of those drink recipes with you guys here soon. I love any time I can spend with my loved ones, they make life worth living, and they have all played such a big part in shaping my life.



I see that you publish gluten free recipes. What inspires you to cover gluten free recipes?

I hadn’t had much exposure to gluten free cooking until I was a nanny for a little boy named Canton Bellaire; he had a few food allergies that I had not been acquainted with until I met the Bellaire family. I learned a lot about gluten free diets through them, his Mother Lynne a close friend of mine gave me a lot of educational food knowledge and things to look at so I was a little more ahead of the game.

Then this past year, I ended up having to take a long run of antibiotics, which ended up screwing up my stomach and leaving me with gluten sensitivity. I did some research and found out it was fairly common after antibiotics, and instead of fighting my body for my old ways, I figured I would cater to it. There are tons of people out there who could use less gluten in their life and educating ourselves can only help us be more aware of our bodies and our digestive health.



What are your favorite things to make in the kitchen?

I’m a moody eater, sometimes I need some chocolate, and sometimes I just want a salad. But my favorite things to make are flavored popcorn (just because I love to eat it so much.) Cheesy Rice Risotto, and I love decorating cakes.


Anything else you would like to add?

I really want my blog to be interactive, I want people to get to know me, and I want to answer your questions. I will be available to you, in ways some bloggers or food writers won’t. I have a slew of instructors available at anytime who can help me answer food questions if I don’t know the answer. My boyfriend and fellow chef loves food writing and specifically food history and anthropology so I will probably include little experts that he finds on food too.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

The best way to discover more about me is to interact with me, shoot me an email from my site.

Email: Website: Blog: You can find my blog at Facebook: Twitter: @katiebaking Pinterest: Katie Kelley (SunshineBaking)


Thank you so much Katie for this wonderful interview! I can't wait to see what other yummy recipes you have in store for us. 



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