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Meet Grace Vallo of Tastefully Grace

Today we’d like to introduce you to Grace Vallo. 

Hi Grace, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I’m a 27-year-old New Englander by heart and by home. I’ve lived in New England my whole life, developing fond memories and the tough skin of a New Englander, loving and living through the beautiful New England seasons! I grew up in a town filled with old colonial-era homes, rolling hills, orchards, and berry farms – which still inspires my cooking today! 

I grew up with my dad in the kitchen, watching him carefully dice beautiful garden carrots, onion, and celery that he picked up at one of the dozen farm stands in town. He taught me to take my time cutting the veggies, because the TLC of the farmer, along with the TLC of the chef, is what makes a dish special. On weekends, I was Dad’s “little sous chef,” helping him prepare for our special Sunday dinners. I loved watching him experiment with seasonal ingredients to turn them into masterful creations. 

It was in my final year of college that I truly caught my dad’s cooking bug and found my own way, recipe testing and creating on weekend nights. TastefullyGrace.com began as a simple way of writing down all of my crazy concoctions and to remember the special moments my family shared in the kitchen growing up. 

My obsession grew more after college when I sat at my cubicle in corporate America, daydreaming about how to make the perfect Panzanella Salad out of the heirlooms I bought at the farm stand that morning on my way to work. That’s when I left the corporate world to pursue TastefullyGrace.com full-time! 

Along with my food blog, TastefullyGrace.com, you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & my new YouTube channel, @TastefullyGrace! I’ve also been featured on Food Network as well as daytime TV programs across the US. 

P.S. My blog features my recent honeymoon trip to San Diego if you’d like to highlight it. https://tastefullygrace.com/honeymoon-recap/ 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has certainly not been an easy road. The first challenge was leaving my corporate job to pursue my passion full-time. I had a stable job that paid really well. To leave that in the chance that Tastefully Grace would take off in the ways I hoped it would, was certainly the most difficult decision I’ve had to make. 

The second major obstacle was the realization that I knew nothing. After taking the leap of faith to leave corporate and pursue my passion in seasonal cooking and food, I realized that I didn’t know anything about photography or videography, I didn’t know anything about SEO, I didn’t know a whole lot about turning food blogging from a side biz to a real biz. 

Teaching myself photography, videography, SEO, social media marketing, and how to play in an incredible saturated space (food blogging) has been a real journey. I’m still learning, but every day I feel more empowered and better than I did yesterday. 

Who knew that food blogging was incredibly technical! Good cooking was just the start. 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a self-taught home cook specializing in seasonal cooking and baking recipes, based on seasonal produce and the “seasonal mood”. Cooking and baking with the seasons has been a part of my life since I was just a little kid. Here in New England, seasonal cooking is more than the fresh produce available during that time of year. It’s the “feeling” that you get when making popsicles or grilled meats in the summer, or a warm bowl of pasta in the winter! Whether it’s Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, or any holiday in between, I hope these recipes satisfy your seasonal cravings. 

I’m proud that I’ve taught myself everything I know from the ground up. I went to college, which taught me a lot of things. But almost all of the successes I’ve had thus far with my food blogging business have been self-taught. The cooking and baking, the writing, the photography and videography, the networking, the business side, the technical website creation side, the SEO, etc… it’s been me, myself, and I – grinding it out. I feel like I’ve built my own university in many ways. 

Looking back, I am most proud of my attitude. This business is tough. It’s grueling at times and the rejection is on a daily basis. I am the most proud of using rejection as fuel. Sure, I have days where I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel. But for the most part, the thing that’s gotten me this far is my belief in this and myself. 

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
Music gets me through life in general. It’s the best way I’ve found to get out, or in, a mood. 

Read: 

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown 

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance 

The Paradoxical Commandments by Kent M. Keith 

I read other food blogs like a religion. Knowing your competition is your biggest ally. 

Social media is the best tool to learn how you can be different. Sometimes “not following the crowd” is where you find your breakthrough moment. 

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Tastefully Grace
MJL Photography & Films

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