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Walnut Creek Magazine

How Novi Mitchell Became a Bay Area Influencer

May 16, 2024 03:47PM ● By Pam Kessler

Bay Area food influencer Novi Mitchell started her 'Boozie Brunch' Instagram page eight years ago, and by 2023 had 4,300 followers. Fast forward to 2024, and she’s become a rising star in the Bay Area food scene with a whopping 103K followers on Instagram alone.

“I love cocktails and I’m infatuated with brunch. It’s the sweet spot, a fusion of meals,” says Mitchell. “I started creating reels about the cool places I go, the underrepresented hidden gems. After a few viral posts, ‘Boozie Brunch’ took off.”

Mitchell’s influence is undeniable—when she rates a restaurant favorably, crowds flock there, and business booms. “It’s not about the money,” says Mitchell, who works in tech by day. “I get to do this for fun without the pressure of deliverables.”

In basic terms, an influencer is essentially someone who creates content online, and has a large enough following to sway buying behavior. While all influencers are content creators, not all content creators wield influence. According to Marketing Hub, the industry ballooned from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $21.1 billion in 2023. 


Influencer marketing has seen a significant rise in Walnut Creek, especially since the pandemic, when Instagrammable photos and videos of the city’s outdoor dining scene went viral, drawing new visitors from across the Bay Area.

“I bring a different demographic to Walnut Creek,” says Mitchell. Havana and LITA are among her favorite places to eat, but whatever the spot, her followers trust ‘Boozie Brunch’ for recommendations.

 Mitchell clarifies that not all her food reels are just for fun. “Sometimes people want me to do a paid promo, a new restaurant alert. Other times, I just walk in anonymously; the owners don’t know. It’s a push and pull to stay authentic. Besides the time it takes to create good content, I spend between $2-3K a month on meals out.”

She collaborates with other influencers like Stockton-based 'Dude Where’s My Taco' for events, like their wildly successful Rn Brunch, which tours restaurants around Northern California. “It’s a daytime party,” says Mitchell. “A DJ comes in, and people dance and sing to their favorite tunes. After a few mimosas, it turns into a soul train. The one we hosted at 1515 sold out in 3 hours.”

With so many content creators vying for the top influencer spot, how does Mitchell stay ahead? “A lot of people are trying to replicate what others are doing, and they end up sounding the same. I do things differently. I want to connect with my audience, to be authentic. It’s about engaging with people. And if I can help restaurants, especially small businesses, thrive along the way, even better.” Just tell them Boozie sent you.

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