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Spotlight on Nancy Papas

October 3, 2020

Nancy Papas

One of the incredible things about the food and beverage industry is that there are so many types of careers to explore! From chefs to food suppliers, there is no shortage of options. Someone that has a really unique job in this industry is the incredible Nancy Papas. Nancy is a food illustrator and digital designer for Cherry Bombe, a multi-media publication that celebrates women and food. We were fortunate to catch up with Nancy and learn more about her!

Please tell us about yourself?

I am an avid international traveler, with an aim to expand my culinary knowledge by opening myself up to different cuisines, culture, and communities. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri before attending the University of Kansas for Graphic Design and Visual Communications. I then moved to NYC for advertising but quickly transitioned to freelance and a focus on food, beverage, and hospitality.

Please describe what your job is?

I do all the in-house internal design for Cherry Bombe, from logos to social media, to pitch presentations, to merch etc. I also freelance outside of work, focusing my clientele within the food industry.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

The creative freedom and trust within our team, especially between Kerry Diamond and myself. She really believes in each one of us so deeply. I love my teammates a lot, we’re a small nimble, respectful, supportive group. It’s really somethin’ 🙂 and naturally, I love trying new food, restaurants, and meeting other women in food through our extensive network. I love our community.

What advice would you give someone that wants to follow in your footsteps?

As cliché as it is, be yourself. But also be willing to learn, learn from your mistakes— be willing to be wrong, corrected, and critiqued. But also speak up, when you feel something strongly, say something. Practice a lot! Experiment but stay true to what you love working on, you know yourself the best. Trust yourself.

Who was your role model growing up?

To be totally honest, I didn’t really have a role model. We all have insecurities, naturally I doubted myself, but in reality I knew my potential. I relied on being my own role model, knowing that if I just dove in fearlessly, I’d probably get where I wanted to be at one point, took some time, but here I am.

Who is your favorite chef and why?

I love Jenny Kwak of Haenyeo (Brooklyn). She is a Korean American chef/owner who cooks beautiful seafood–forward Korean cuisine, inspired by the female divers, Haenyeo, in the Korean province of Jeju whose livelihood consists of harvesting and free diving for sea life. Jenny is not only talented, but truly kind, warm and welcoming. She is a dear friend.

What was your favorite dish/snack growing up?

To this day, I love raw carrots and ranch dressing! I also loved peanut butter on apples or bananas. I was lucky that nutrition and health was encouraged and enforced in my home. I love veggies!!

About Nancy Papas

Nancy Pappas is an illustrator and designer based in Brooklyn, NY and Seoul, South Korea. Nancy’s approach to her work is the result of a life of travels, filled with connection, culture, and food. She’s the Design Director and Travel Editor at Cherry Bombe, a multi-media publication celebrating women and food. Nancy is represented by MacKenzie Wolf.

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