Ticking off a pointer from your bucket list is a feeling like no other. Wishes and accomplishments, isn’t that the purpose of living and reliving the dream that we call World? At Woovly, we praise those who have turned their bucket list of dreams into reality. For some, these dreams lay in discovering every corner of their city to satisfy their tummies. As they say, food is the way to your heart. That is the story of Karthik Murali who started a mere Facebook page in 2015 for his love for Kochi and filling his tummy.
In this feature under “Achievers”, we have the founder of the Facebook page, Eat Kochi Eat who have grown through the days when Zomato laid low, and it was all about exploring the newest streets and delicious deets. From trying, tasting and informing fellow food enthusiasts about what Kochi has to offer, Eat Kochi Eat has organised various food walks and talks with eminent personalities from the F&B industry. Yet, it still strives to give back more to its loyal community. While in talks with the founder, Murali discussed the start of it all, the ongoing journey, his love for his followers as well as the pride in living his bucket list dream.
What inspired you to start ‘Eat Kochi Eat’?
I was new to Kochi at the time when the idea struck. I have always been a person to try out the latest of food and the local taste, but at the time, I didn’t have many friends who I could turn to. They were not “foodie” enough. Today we have Zomato to go to. At the time, there was nothing to turn if you were to discuss food. All I could do was ask around.
My interaction with the locals inspired me to start a Facebook page for foodies in and around Kochi. Who knew it would be a hit? It has been four years of the creation of “Eat Kochi Eat”, and we are three lakh followers strong on Facebook as well as Instagram. From featuring foodies, discussing the newest and the iconic delicacies of the town, we have started to organise numerous events. From food trips, food walks and talk with professionals from the Indian food industry; we have also begun creating experience programs partnering with restaurants where aspiring restaurateurs could get a first-hand look into the working of the industry.
Can you recall the moment when you crossed the first milestone on the page?
I don’t reckon my milestone as the numbers we hit on our page. Sure, the response over the pages was overwhelming at first. However, our excitement was at its peak when we executed our first food walk. Eat Kochi Eat’s first food walk was about discovering legendary eateries along the streets of Mattanchery in Fort Kochi. Eighty-two people attended the trail, and we executed it smoother than we had expected.
What’s the objective of your community?
The idea was started to provide a platform to discuss food around the city. Now it has become all about finding and creating better gastronomic experiences for the people in Kerala and those coming to visit the state. The hidden motive will always remain about promoting good food and the best eats in the city.
How was your journey to make the page a pathbreaker in its league?
It was a ride with many speed breakers. Eat Kochi Eat has become a very positive and happy community to lead. It wasn’t an easy one. We are always answerable to every single person who has become a part of our community, and we wish to give the best possible answer to each and every one of them who have helped us grow. Whenever any slight issue pops up, we need to handle it with care, and we try to do our best with it.
What keeps you motivated to run the page amid your professional engagements?
It is our love for food, of course. Eating is a universal language of love, and we believe in that factor of our unity. Good food experiences are our entertainment and reward. That is what makes our community and our driving force.
How do you find engaging content daily and distinguish between good or bad content?
Every single post that people post goes through a screening process. We have a team of four who are in charge of going through them. We try to make sure that whatever content gets featured on our group is useful for the community. If it is food, then we don’t divert from it. After all, we promote the food of Kerala. Moreover, we also have a set of guidelines, and only the posts which follow those get to post on your group. If we deem any post as worthy and one of its kind, they are posted on the page by our admin panel.
Do you interact with the followers of your community?
We try to interact with our community as much as possible, through our page as well as meet-ups. We organise these meet-ups once in every two months. Food trips, for instance, is a popular event of Eat Kochi Eat. We try to take our people to explore cities like Coimbatore, Thalassery, Kozhikode and Kottayam to explore the city’s authentic cuisine. Furthermore, we have also conducted meet-ups over different cuisines that Kochi serves along with interactive sessions with professionals at “Eat Kochi Eat Talks”. They make our user base stronger and more interactive.
Have you ever received any hate comments?
I wouldn’t lie there were hate comments during the initial days. People have questioned our authenticity and more. However, now, we rarely see any of them. If we happen to receive any, we attend to every one of them and carefully process it. We believe that people will listen to what you have to say if spoken patiently. It wouldn’t be tough to convince them.
Would you call this page your ‘bucket list accomplishment’?
Of course, I would call it my bucket list accomplishment. I have always wanted to do something related to food for my love of eating it and exploring more about it. Eat Kochi eat is currently among the most influential online communities in Kerala. It gets me overwhelmed to see how far my small page has come and proud that all the talks over our platform are so positive in nature.
Would you like to give a message for your page’s loyal followers on Facebook & Instagram?
Yes, I would. I want to ask all those who are hearing about us for the first time to join our community; we are very welcoming that way. For all those who are already a part of it, do attend Eat Kochi Eat’s events. Meet us in person rather than remaining online. We would love to have you with us and try out more good food together. Lastly, Eat Kochi Eat!
Eat Kochi Eat certainly ticked off their bucket list. Do you have a goal that you want to add to your bucket list? If yes, then all you need to do is download Woovly app or Sign Up here. Woovly will help you track your goals and connect with fellow bucket listers.
Wish it. Do it. Woovly!