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Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023

Air Frying Foodie


Business partners, Jennifer West and Rebecca Abbott, tag team “Air Frying Foodie.”

Food website grows in popularity

In 2020, Jennifer West paid around $200 for her first air fryer.

“It was just on a whim, because it was the newest appliance, and I wanted to try it out.”

Three years later, that $200 expense has led to what the Shreveporter says is a $1 million business.

The business of air frying.

“Air Frying Foodie” is a website and company co-owned by West which features air frying recipes, air frying cookbooks and air frying information. To how many people does that appeal?

“We get over one million page views every month. That’s huge ad revenue for us.”

The demand for what “Air Frying Foodie” offers is so big that maintaining the site is West’s full-time job.

“A lot of people think working for yourself is the best thing. I work harder working for myself than I ever did working for someone else. I work seven days a week, but I want to make sure that we’re putting out the best pictures and the best content and keeping the Facebook group clean and good for everybody.”

That Facebook group – search “Easy Air Fryer Recipes” – catalyzed West’s success.

“I only invited eight or nine friends. Within a week, it had 1,000 people. Within three weeks, it had 10,000 people. It just grew. Currently, we have 2.3 million people there. It started from zero and has become this amazing worldwide group.”

West and her business partner, Rebecca Abbott, who lives in Arizona, have even been featured in the New York Times.

“We had made a cheesecake in the air fryer and chicken Parmesan in the air fryer. They found it, they loved it, and they interviewed us. They re-created (the recipes), and our cheesecake happened to be the most-shared recipe for the New York Times in 2022.”

A lot of people read the Times, including those in the publishing industry.

“(The story) caused several literary agents to reach out to us, as well as different publishing companies, which thought we needed to get a book. We landed on a literary agent in New York who had a ton of contacts in the book industry. We signed with Harper-Collins (one of the country’s largest publishers). We’ve been working on a book for over a year.”

“Air Fryer All Day” is expected to be available later this year. However, it is already available to pre-order.

How West and Abbott became partners is its own story. In 2020 – because of the pandemic – online meetings were the way to do business. West and Abbott were taking a virtual photography class when West pitched her idea.

“We didn’t meet until after we started the business together,” West said. “We were complete strangers.”

So much for what your parents used to tell you about not talking to strangers.

“We always say it’s a God thing because we are so much alike. We’re like sisters. We get along really well, and we work together really well.”

It wasn’t like West was inexperienced when it came to food and websites. A former medical device representative – and a local business owner – she used to blog and create recipes for fun and on a much smaller scale.

“I love computers, I love cooking, and I love creating. I’ve always been in and out of that.”

But the rapid growth of the Facebook group was a sign of something bigger.

“After it hit 15,000, just because of the web development and content creation I did, I knew that I could build a site around it. I knew it would be popular because people were searching for air fryers.”

But for West, air frying is more than a business. It’s a way of life: a healthy life.

“If you like the taste of fried foods but don’t want the fats and calories that come along with the grease it’s fried in, an air fryer is perfect. It uses no grease. It uses no oil. It’s the hot air circulation and the heating elements that actually fry – it’s like the air actually fries the food. It’s a healthier way to get that fried food taste, and it’s a quicker way to put food on the table.”

For West, this has been a relatively short road to success. Success she certainly didn’t think about the day she bought an air fryer.

“I just try to stay humble and grateful and thankful that I’ve been blessed with this opportunity.”

To learn more about air frying, visit West and Abbott’s website: www.airfryingfoodie.com.

To join their Facebook group, search “Easy Air Fryer Recipes.”


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