For our second, amazing Women Wednesday post, we introduce Dominek Tubbs.
When I first met Dominek, I had just recently moved to New York. I was bartending at a new spot that opened up in Harlem called Hexagon Lounge. She came in, ordered a drink, and stayed low-key even when she busted out her camera to take pictures.
A little while later, Dom, another woman at the bar, and I started talking about life goals. Dominek was talking about her blog, this other woman was talking about the new comedy series she was starting, and I was talking about the hopes of launching my own blog one day. That’s when I realized that this city, and Harlem in general, was buzzing with women of color that were success driven.
I went home and checked out the blog address Dominek had given me of her site and I determined that she was going to be my go-to foodie for all things delicious in Harlem – and in the city as a whole.
Dominek is a New York City blogger that centers her content on memorable drinks and food throughout the city. Just recently, I met up with her at a new spot she found in Harlem called Bean & Barley and dived into her story over Rosé and an Old Fashioned.
Dominek’s Food Journey
Dominek is a self-proclaimed “military brat,” traveling throughout the entire world, from North Carolina, Portugal, and a lot of places in between as a child. Around 15 years old, she and her family traveled back to the States to St. Louis, Missouri, where she considers “home.”
When her future husband slid into her Twitter DM’s, her traveling continued. She moved from Philadelphia to New York City, following new job opportunities for the two of them. Because of her constant traveling, she turned to Yelp for all of her needs.
“I would be living in the city for 30 days. I would be stuck in the middle of North Carolina. I need to know: ‘Where do I get my nails done? Who has the best happy hour?’ I would just read everything on Yelp. It got to the point where I said I should probably pay this forward and actually leave reviews.”
As she became an avid Yelp reviewer and a Yelp Eliter (which basically means you have officially written enough great reviews to enjoy some perks ), one of her friends reached out to her and asked for her to write on their blog, The District Confidential about all things food.
“I had to learn that writing for Yelp and writing for a site is two different types of viewpoints.”
After a year and a half of writing on their blog, she decided to branch out and begin a site of her own. Dominek started her own blog called Dom N’ the City. Dominek is known as the go-to guide for eating your way through New York City. Let me tell you, her recommendations will not let you down.
Dominek’s love of food comes from her mother, who is a chef. Her mother taught her not only the correct way to prepare things but how to taste and appreciate them as well. She carries that knowledge and love throughout every culinary experience she has. She also shared that her mother’s career inspires her to provide resources to small, local business owners. Especially business owners of minority and color.
“So many businesses don’t understand the power of social media and incorporating influencer marketing.”
Dom N’ the City is filled with brilliant reviews and positive suggestions of not only her local community, Harlem, but New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Don’t be surprised if the blog is Harlem heavy, though. Dom believes it’s important to support and show love to the community that you live in. No complaints here, since Harlem is full of delicious cuisine. She even provides at-home suggestions to brighten up your personal kitchen life.
If your mouth isn’t watering from the photos Dominek takes, keep reading.
Living in New York City
I was incredibly surprised to find that Dom was against moving to New York when the opportunity presented itself. After finally adjusting to Philadelphia, she was hesitant to move away from her solace. For the first year in the new city, she felt like a tourist in her own home. Soon after, she began to fall in love with New York, and especially in love with Harlem.
“There is nothing like Harlem. – It has a neighborhood feel to it. I have no desire to live anywhere else in New York City.”
One thing Dominek encourages everyone to do is just take a minute to breathe, especially living in a such a busy and demanding city like New York. I couldn’t agree more. Whether it’s sitting on a park bench for an hour, reading a book on the train, or even sitting on your fire escape, it’s important to find your quiet time.
“I’ll close my blackout curtains and just sit in the dark. It’s my way of disconnecting myself from work and connecting myself to my personal life.”
…She even told me she gets a little rush off of letting her phone die in the middle of the day.
Dom has admitted her favorite snack in New York City right now is Waffle and Dinges. These snacks are basically crepes on steroids. It’s a fresh, hot waffle, and you can put whatever topping you want on it – like Nutella, strawberries, whipped cream, you name it. Take the B/C train, get off at the 81st stop, grab you one, sit on a park bench in Central Park, and enjoy.
What’s Her Definition of Success?
Dominek not only wants her blog to be a blog, but a brand and lifestyle as well. Dom N’ the City has also begun to branch out into Lifestyle posts, like her recent post on self-care tips.
“Some people think that self-care comes into play when your world falls apart. but it should be well before that to keep your world from falling apart.”
Dominek is in the process of applying for her LLC license while also diving into restaurant consulting and planning influencer dinners for restaurants. What’s so inspiring to me about Dom is that she is fully invested in the brand she is creating for herself- she’s working her ass off in multiple areas to achieve her success.
“Success for me is not a dollar amount. Being financially stable is very important, but so is being happy with what you do.”
While Dom is tirelessly working to get out new content for her blog every Tuesday, she also works in Marketing Operations at a small startup company. She is determined to give 100% to her full-time job as well as 100% on her blog. YES, this woman is 200% of pure motivation. As a short-term goal, Dom wants to be able to make her full-time job a part-time job and work for herself part-time as well.
What’s Her Inspiration Right Now?
I swear when I asked her this she looked me dead in the eye and said, “Making sure my friends are eating good and not making poor food choices.” Then, she gladly educated me and shared some of the most brilliant at-home recipes. She even tipped me off to the best Trader Joe’s in the city.
(It’s at the corner of W 93rd and Columbus Ave and that seafood pasta recipe was on point!)
She also said building her brand and her own business was inspiring her as well. She states that when she goes to a lot of food PR events, there is barely any diversity.
In the “food critic” pyramid, the majority of the foodies and influencers are women, yet men dominate the culinary and critic world. From there, there is hardly any sort of racial diversity within that pyramid.
Within the United States, the number of male critics is more than double that of female critics. If you broke that down to a race comparison, it would probably be tragically laughable. This is exactly why Dom’s journey is so inspiring, watching her continually rise and begin to dominate the food world as a black woman.
“Anything I put my name on, I give it 100%. I don’t do any half stepping.”
What’s Her Advice To Women?
As a beginner blogger, I expressed to her how insanely difficult it was to not only start one, but keep organized and on task. She admitted she came up with every excuse in the book to not start her blog. I know I’ve done the same thing. “I need to lose 5 pounds first.” Or, “I need to get a real camera.” Even, “I need someone to organize my blog for me.” What helped her get started, she said, was looking at all of the inspirational people around her with similar blogs.
“Before you jump into something, you always want to see what other people around you are doing. Not to mimic it, but to allow it to inspire you.”
We began to talk about women in a similar space, whether it be creative or in a corporate setting. We both agreed upon the fact that in most settings, especially in corporate settings, the spaces are dominated by men. Dominek has worked in Sales for 15 years and has always found herself or seen other women having to work twice as hard to keep up.
“We have to stay in the office later. And sometimes we feel like we need to water down our message, and what we want to share with people. Because if we don’t, we come across as aggressive and emotional.”
Her advice to women?
Ridding your life of negative influences is extremely important. Negativity will overpower any positive energy in your space and it’s necessary to let that positivity work its magic and motivate you.
“Keep your circle close, make sure they are loving and positive. and work hard and bust your ass.”
- Eat good
- Drink Beautifully
- Bust your Ass
- Find Your Support System
- Follow Dom (on all her social media channels to keep up with her foodie wisdom.)
And if you don’t live in New York City, stay tuned on her blog for guest city review spots, at-home kitchen advice, and some glowing lifestyle tips.
*ALL OF THESE GORGEOUS PHOTOS WERE TAKEN AND BELONG TO DOMINEK*