Jeremy Jacobowitz is the founder of Brunch Boys, a rapidly expanding online source for impeccably photographed, drool-inducing brunches across New York City.
In what started out as Jacobowitz’s personal account where he would post photos of his brunch “once a month”, Brunch Boys became his pet project that he worked on while taking a few months off from work. Nine months later, the Instagram account is closing in on 200,000 followers and gains a fresh 1,000 almost every day. The posts feature signature dishes from different hot spots all across the city and range from tempting sweets like Churro Horchata Milkshakes from Black Tap to outrageous concoctions like a bacon and egg cheeseburger slider on a syrup infused pancake from Invite Only.
A former Production Assistant for Bobby Flay, Jacobowitz had experience in the food world well before the Brunch Boys but was exhausted from traveling across the country and being on set all day every day. The Brunch Boys was not intended to be his primary job but after taking some time off from work to recover from traveling, Jacobowitz started paying more attention to it and its popularity exploded. On his Facebook page, Flay said he was “very proud of Jeremy” and that his instagram page is “very impressive”.
“The best photos are taken with natural light. For food, natural lighting highlights the details of food just right” said Jacobowitz, highlighting his preferred method of taking photos which includes coming in when the restaurant is empty and having time to set up the shot. Restaurants don’t pay Jeremy to post about their restaurant and he never asks, preferring to respond to invitations to different brunch spots to come in and try their dishes. He does not read many reviews, saying “its mostly place inviting me in. I don’t do much outreach for places because I have such a long list of places who have contacted me”.
Sprinkled in to the Instagram page are posts he collaborates on with companies such as Bumble, the social media dating application. In addition to Instagram photos he also partners with companies to do videos, events and other branded content. This is one way he generates income, along with doing social media takeovers where he does photography for a restaurant for their own social media endeavors.
For Jacobowitz the quality of food is important but he says that his focus is on the visual effect of the food and whether or not he feels it would make for a good post. Although he does not post in real time, the NYU graduate does plan his posts around certain times of day to make them time appropriate.
Jacobowitz believes strongly that although it may result in the strange sight of everyone photographing their food in restaurants, the increase in food related social media accounts has forced chefs to step their game up. “I think its amazing that people love food. People’s level of sophistication about food has grown, and if thats through visual sources like Instagram, who cares? They care about where their food comes from and how its made. Being part of that growth is very exciting”. He also said he believes many restaurants are actively thinking about how they are presenting their food and want it to be photographable. “It helps their success if people go in their restaurant and take pictures and then their friends see how beautiful the food is and they want to go to. The wow factor is important. The plate comes out of the kitchen and people say ‘oh my god'”.
The Brunch Boys’ latest undertaking is planning events involving brunch spots in the city, including their recent Puppy Brunch that drew one hundred people and puppies to Cafe de La Esquina in Brooklyn. “They gave me free reign and let me fill it with puppies. At first I was thinking, who is going to let me do this? That was my dream, puppies and brunch and they helped make it happen”.
With rapid growth, a fanbase in love with his photography and videos, and innovative new ideas like puppy brunches and Brunch Happy Hours, Jeremy Jacobowitz is making headlines for turning the industry on its head. While review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor may be considered go-to sources for where to eat, Jacobowitz’s followers rely on him to show them the latest and greatest in the foodie world, a business model that seems to be working out better than even he could have expected.