From Munchies to First We Feast to Tasty, there isn’t a lack of options for food-related media. Having noticed this, a local media company seeks to tell Saskatoon’s stories of food, beverages and hospitality.
NOM — which is short for Night Out and More — has been active on Facebook and Instagram since November 2017, and its somewhat cryptic rollout has generated excitement and confusion in equal parts. The startup’s early online presence may be tough to pin down, but its goals as a business and a content platform are surprisingly ambitious.
Functioning as a collective of aspiring content creators, NOM is masterminded by Kehan Fu — former president of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union and political studies student — and Kyler Tesch. The platform’s content is centred on food, but Fu emphasises that NOM’s focus on the culinary arts is just an avenue for telling new and interesting stories about the culture of Saskatoon.
“Food creates a really beautiful platform and a bridge to connect people from different backgrounds. That’s what we see as the power of food — not only is it a really interesting topic, it … has the ability to break down barriers regardless of where [people are] from,” Fu said.
The project itself has mostly focused on video, but Fu considers NOM to be a multimedia project and plans to expand to photography, live events and blogs in addition to video media. The goal is to endorse businesses that the NOM team believes in. Fu is transparent about the marketing opportunities that the platform provides but hopes to integrate brands into the content in a seamless way.
“The story … we’re telling — whether it’s a night out or an event — is more important than a blatant product advertisement. It’s not just us throwing products in peoples faces. It’s something that we actually believe in and people and restaurants and businesses that we’re talking to that we actually want to support,” Fu said.
Fu reveals that, over the next couple of months, NOM plans to release more video content — including a new food-centric web series.
“We’ve shot the second episode of Ramen After Dark, and we’re actually in the process of production right now. We started a season where we’re … doing more in depth … exposés or more in-depth analyses of the food and the atmosphere,” Fu said. “I think the one we’re the most excited about is we’re going to be shooting a night at Lugo, so stay tuned for that.”
In addition to video coverage of restaurants and events in Saskatoon, NOM has also started a jazz concert series with the aim of giving back to the Saskatoon culture scene, while adhering to the platform’s goal of telling stories.
“What the city — in our group’s opinion — didn’t have, and what was the real impetus for hosting the Jazz After Dark series, was that jazz music in this city is hard to come by. Besides going to the Bassment and maybe a few odd shows here and there, there aren’t a lot of opportunities — especially for young musicians,” Fu said. “We figured it’s an opportunity for us to tell a story.”
As the operation grows, the NOM team hopes to expand by recruiting more students who are familiar with business and content creation.
“If you want to get involved, we have a pretty big table, and we’re always looking to fill another seat,” Fu said.
If NOM’s early work is anything to go on, the project promises to develop into an compelling media platform that highlights and promotes the best of Saskatoon’s foodand- culture scene.
Graphic: Kehan Fu / Supplied