Have you ever been around someone who really loves their job? And they're fiercely good at what they do? Isn't there always something very magnetic about that person!? Meet Elodie Fagan, former (as of very recent), Community Manager of Yelp Paris. Though myself and all other Paris Yelpers are totally disappointed that Mama Yelp has spread her wings and flown away, she definitely made her job look so damn cool. After my first meeting with her at a Yelp event over a year ago, I was assured that nice people really did exist in Paris. Being a Yelp Community Manger definitely is not a easy job, but it does seem to have its perks and highs. I was always curious to know how one gets such a cool job filled with, well, everything food!
Where were you born and how long have you been living in Paris?
I was born in the Paris suburbs and have been living in Paris for 6 yrs.
Where else have you lived besides Paris?
I lived in Berlin as a Erasmus student but you could say it was a party experience. I chose to go to Berlin because I wanted to enhance my German. My English was good enough because I'm half Irish and had spent a lot of time in Ireland too. I had already been studying German for 11 years and also wanted something different. I had heard that Berlin was a free spirited and open minded city, and I wanted to explore that.
What did you study at university?
Communication and Cross Cultural Management. I did a 5 year university degree in management, media, and PR. Because it was so general, I was free to write on any subject I desired. I had always been passionate about food and had started cooking around the age of 10, so I decided to do my dissertation on food culture in England and France (cross cultural). It focused on strategy in food, business models in the restaurant world, and the figure of the chef. It was a compared study with Jamie Oliver and Cyril Lingac and how do we think of food and the chef in both countries.
So how did all this begin with Yelp? Did you always see yourself working in the food world?
I didn’t really know how my schooling was going to help me in my future. I thought, “How am I going to turn this into actual work”. I thought about doing a 2 - 3 year cooking training but I never did because I had fallen in love with Berlin and thought about living there. Rent was so cheap, life is easy to get by with 500euros. But then things took a turn for the best. The person who corrected my dissertation was a journalist at Le Fooding. It was my only connection into the food world and 1 month before I was about to graduate, she told me that her friend was looking for someone to launch Yelp Paris. My communication and food background was what they were looking for at that time so it was a perfect fit.
Being a Yelp community manger seems like it involved a lot of organization and mingling. Would you say one is more important than the other?
Both are important but I would say most important part is mingling. Go out, organize dinners, get to know the new business, the owners. Networking and being "out on the field" is crucial.
Your first job ever?
I had a summer job in a hospital giving meals and cleaning rooms - super sexy!
If you had 2 free airline tickets to go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go and who would you take? My mom or my girlfriend Alex and I would fly to Indonesia or Ireland. It doesn't get much better than this!
2 things you absolutely can't live without?
1 Avocado a day, at least.
My glasses - I can't see anything, sometimes it's for the best though!
Guilty pleasure food?
Snickers ice cream bars. Everything about it is so wrong but that's what makes it so good !
A quick recipe you love to make?
Avocado toasts with olive oil, lemon, "gros sel" and pepper.