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Thursday, October 2, 2014

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Ready. Set. Entertain with Bite Me More

Tags: Business
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From left, Lisa Gnat, Jane Apor and Julie Albert take a big bite out of life.

“Why wait for the traditional holidays to gather your friends and loved ones together when you can celebrate any day of the year?”

So say the founders of Bite Me More, Jane Apor and sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat. Bite Me More is a lifestyle and entertainment website that encompasses eating, feeding, and easy entertainment at your fingertips.

The company’s tag line is “Ready. Set. Go Entertain,” and its mission is simple: bring ease to the kitchen and laughs to the table. Albert, Gnat and Apor believe they couldn’t possibly let any day, whether Hairdresser Day, National Cookie Day, World Chocolate Day or Talk Like a Pirate Day, pass without celebration. They want everyone to know they are there to help with dependable, doable recipes that will be shared, creative and affordable décor that will be shown, inspiring music that will be recommended, and stylish gifts and fashion that will be culled. Get ready to take a bigger bite out of life.

“Our business evolved out of our bestselling cookbooks Bite Me and Bite Me Too, which Lisa and I wrote together,” said Albert. “We wanted to take the Bite Me brand and extend it, and that is where Jane came into the picture. We have created a road map for people who may be intimidated by cooking and by entertaining and have pulled it all together to provide solutions that are easy, affordable, and chic.”

The two sisters and Apor launched their Bite Me More website on June 11. They believe the concept is new. “We are hard pressed to find a site that offers the full spectrum of what we offer. Yes, there may be sites out there that offer recipes, perhaps combined with wine, but we are doing the complete combination. This is a new evolution,” said Apor.

Bite Me headquarters is located in Albert’s home in central Toronto. Each week, the women change their website to work with a theme that includes original recipes supplied by cooking maven Gnat, while Albert and Apor concentrate on the creative side.

“We bring in a photographer to capture our original table setup with editorial shots. We try to give people the big picture and provide a place where our clientele know you don’t have to take yourself too seriously,” explained Albert.

Bite Me More’s target demographic is 25- to 55-year-olds – not just families, but everyone from soccer moms to people who live in lofts and want to entertain friends.

“Part of our motivation is that we grew up in a home with a mom who was an incredible cook. Family meals and gatherings around food were very much ingrained in all of us. Our fondest memories are tied in with food,” said Gnat.

The combination of the women’s skills, personalities and energy make for a winning business. Albert holds a master’s of journalism degree and provides the wit and cleverness behind the words. Gnat earned her pastry papers from George Brown College’s culinary arts program, ran a successful dessert catering business and is the deliciousness behind all the recipes. Apor is a “Jane-of-all-trades” who earned an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and who knows pi from pie. She’s worked in marketing, product development and event promotion for Estée Lauder in New York and London, and is a jewelry designer as well.

“We’re still in the growth phase. It has been six months since inception. We give ourselves another six months to fine-tune. It is an evolution. The site is perfectly designed and lends itself to sponsorship. We are just starting to go after advertisers,” Albert said.

“The first several months have been focused on web content as we wanted a site rich in depth. The entertaining and lifestyle sector is a very crowded market place, so we are differentiating ourselves in ways we can and trying to find the right partners along the way.”

The ladies are featured regularly as entertaining experts on the Steven and Chris Canadian television talk show, which is syndicated and watched in the United States by 40 million viewers. They also write a weekly column for the news website Huffington Post Canada.

“We are two sisters and a Jane who are celebrating every day with the nation, who get to express ourselves creatively and watch our business expand. We’re in it for life,” Albert said.

As Apor says, “We try to teach people to turn hay into gold.”

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