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Allie A // Yelp Community Manager

You’re sitting at home, not wanting to cook but so dang hungry. You can’t think clearly because of your starvation, and you can’t think of where to go out to eat. You get onto Yelp and check out where to go. Or how about, you’re in a strange city or on a different side of town? Where do you grab a bite to eat? You get on Yelp and scope out what’s around you. If you haven’t done this, I urge you to use this easy tool. I use it everywhere I go and find myself with a better understanding of what to expect and what’s on their menu. It’s also lovely when I’m on vacation and don’t want to eat at the same places I would in Jacksonville.

Now that I’ve told you how much I love Yelp, let me tell you something you may not know! There’s a community bond that lies within our own Jacksonville’s Yelp. Each city has a Yelp Community Manager and I’d love to introduce to you ours, Allie A.

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Not only is she a fellow Hoosier – which means that we can say “pop” together – she’s also one of the sweetest people! Perfect character fit for an organizer of events, working with the local business owners, and leaving honest reviews.

I asked her what a typical work day looks like for her and she giggled, saying, “Every day is completely different, I absolutely have the best job.” She tries to compile a list of things she does throughout her week for me: catches up on her own reviews, works on weekly newsletters, talks to business owners, and always planning the next Yelp event. So it sounds like she has it down pat and has been doing this for years, right? Nope, Allie has been our Yelp community Manager since last May. She’s been in Florida for the last 12 years and Jacksonville for the last 7.

So what is it she likes about Jacksonville? Why stay here and be a Yelpie? There are other cities, but to her, her favorite thing has to be that we’re a nice big city with a small town scene. With every neighborhood comes the regulars and the locals.

With not even having a year under her belt, the Yelp community welcomed her in with open virtual arms. She talked to me about how touched she was by the people she’s come into contact with just because of Yelp. In fact, when I asked her what her favorite part about her job was, she said it had to be the people. She talked about how she has a group of friends she met on Yelp that go out to eat constantly together.

Allie recently lost her grandfather and our local Yelp community gathered around her with encouraging words and understanding. With that same feeling, she told Morgan and I how you could take that community feel and go into another city. Yelp is currently in over 100 cities in the States, all with a thread of community feel. And her take on our community and Jacksonville? “It’s only going to keep getting better.”

We talked about everything from pho, to Indian restaurants, to soul food cooking; being a food lover myself, we just kept going on and on about our favorite local eats. I had to know, when did Allie become a foodie? “Well, I’m still becoming a foodie.” I’d say the same thing, since I continue to just keep eating. Never actually being a foodie, but always becoming one. I like that mentality. Want to find Allie out and about? You can more than likely find her wherever craft beer is, and if not there, she has a special love for Black Sheep, Moxie, and Bold Bean.

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If you don’t have a Yelp account, we’d encourage you to sign up for one; not only to be a part of this community, but to take advantage of this easy local guide. Most of the time when we do a food review, I’ve searched for it on Yelp first.

Allie helps facilitate us locals with local businesses. After you’ve been on Yelp, start writing those reviews to help out others! This is one of the number one ways to continue to grow our Yelp community! Check out the events page to see where the meet ups are and get perks to being in the community (Check it out to see what I’m talking about when I say perks). Also, one of my favorite parts is receiving the weekly newsletters, which are from Allie herself! She’s got a knack for creative writing and highlighting different places in our city like we do! We just have to virtually applaud!

Until the next post, or as Allie likes to say, “SYOY- See you on Yelp!”

Amanda Gibson

Photography by Morgan Burden

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