An interview with the pioneers of The Grape Juice Blog — get your fill!

Let’s start with a basic question: What’s your blog about and why did you start it?

Grapejuice was launched in early 2016, as a platform to tell the story of our shared love for food, wine, and family – all set in the stunning backdrop of the city of Miami. We are both originally from Canada, and draw constant inspiration from the palm trees, sunshine and multicoloured art spaces that lend our Instagram feed it’s bright and colourful aesthetic. We love to share recipes and the little things in our day-to-day lives that we are passionate about, and love connecting with people (near and far).

The passion you have for food (and wine) really comes through on your site. Where did your love for these things develop?

By trade, Nic is a sommelier, and has endless knowledge and passion for wines, specifically the Italian variety. She is a mama of two, and also shoots food photography and film – needless to say, food and wine is her thing! Cher is a health coach, food writer, and mama-to-be who loves to create simple and healthy recipes for busy people on-the-go.

“Together, we share a unique perspective on food – where one moment you’re sipping on kale juice, and the next you’re sipping on a glass of Brunello di Montalcino – it’s about healthy balance and eating with purpose.”

For people who travel a lot, it’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. What is your number one tip for them?

In terms of eating healthy for busy travellers, it’s always best to go back to basics – focus on consuming lots of water, fruits and vegetables and whole foods. Fruit is one of my favourite “fast foods” because it’s always ready to go! A little bit of planning can go a long way if you know you’re going to be travelling. Try packing you home-made snacks as much as possible, especially when flying. For exercise, I always recommend getting out and exploring to be one of the best ways to stay healthy, and enjoy your destination! Walk as much as possible, take the stairs, and don’t be afraid to take the scenic route.

How’s life in Miami vs. life in Canada? Is there anything you miss in particular from Canada?

Haha well, Edmonton and Miami are kind of like night and day. Most obvious difference is the climate – it is stinkin’ hot in Miami year-round, and Edmonton is stinkin’ cold for a good 6 months a year. Each place has its perks, so it’s more of a preference thing. We love Miami for it’s diverse art scene, wider selection of dining options, and the big beautiful ocean in our backyard. The things we miss most about Canada are the fresh, crisp air, and the welcoming nature of Canadians in general. Miami can be pretty intimidating at times, but we are finding our way.

People tend to underestimate the cultural differences between the US and Canada, so has anything shocked you since you’ve been in America?

When I first moved to Miami, people always warned me about the standoffish nature of some of the locals, which I felt was a little presumptuous (if not later confirmed, haha). But it’s important to mention that we have both met so many amazing and talented people who are genuine, and eager to make the same connections that we’re looking for in this city. Miami has a large Spanish-speaking population, so that has been a noticeable cultural difference for us (neither of us speak the language), and overall, I can see why so many people consider Canadians to be too apologetic, because it’s just not that much of a cultural norm here. It’s safe to say we’ve both grown thicker skin since the big move!

Do you have any plans in the future to uproot your life in Miami and move it elsewhere? Perhaps back to Canada?

That’s the million dollar question – our hubby’s work together, and work in an industry that is ever-changing, and could lead us anywhere, at any time. We also have our growing families, and our own careers to consider.

“We both love Canada and miss the network of people we’ve built there, but we’d definitely miss the adventure and personal growth opportunities that expat life affords.”

There is strength, confidence and an undeniable thrill in uprooting your life and starting from square one, over and over again.

Some fun questions:

I know this is hard, but what’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten?

C: My momma’s French cider-soaked roast chicken. She’s the real OG in the kitchen.

N: Truffle agnolotti with a big glass of Barolo.

What advice you have for others who wish to move abroad and start their own business?

Moving abroad can bring a ton of surprises – preparation is key! With that also comes flexibility, because despite our best planning efforts, we ran into hiccups along the way.

“You have to be incredibly open to new experiences, ditch preconceived notions, and get used to doing things outside of your comfort zone in order to thrive.”

Get clear on what you’ll be doing in the new city, and research community resources that will help you feel integrated and connected in your new scene. Get out of the house once a day, and do something new.

Enjoy the freedom found in starting fresh.