In 2008, while living in New York City, Melissa Anaya—who was born and raised in the Valley and is now once again a resident—loved taking and posting pictures of the food she was eating in restaurants. At the time, she had no idea that this would one day lead her to her present career as a food influencer.
“I always had a passion for food,” she says. “Going out to eat was what my family did when I was a kid.”
Later, while working in the service industry, she was able to experience both sides of the food industry.
In 2016, Anaya founded Eat Drink AZ and began filming short videos and taking more food photos in order to grow her Instagram account.
“I became infatuated with the DMs and people engaging on the platform, which made me want to do even more,” she says.
Having become a trusted source, Anaya is now building another business—EatDrink Creative, an agency that manages restaurants’ social media accounts.
“A lot of these restaurants have amazing food, but don’t know how to push it out.”
WHAT I LIKE:
Listening to EDM (electric dance music)
Teaching my son Maddon how to run a business
Going to NYC
Kitschy and unique concepts
Over-the-top and Instagramable food items
FAVE FOOD and DRINK:
French fries and margaritas
SOCIAL: IG: @eatdrinkaz FB: Eat Drink AZ Websites: EatDrinkAZ.com EatDrinkCreativeAgency.com
WORDS I LIVE BY:
If it feels uncomfortable, that’s where growth is.
Facebook – 10,000+
Instagram – 43,000+
TikTok – 72,000+
Maddon, age 10
Blake, age 18
WHAT I’M OBSESSED WITH RIGHT NOW:
The Korean food scene in Arizona
Mezcal cocktails—smoky and delicious!
Really fun and colorful environments, like those with music and cocktails
An upcoming trip to Tokyo with my kids to see the Cherry Blossom Festival