I’ve taken all my hobbies and made them jobs. It’s fun, I wake up and I’m happy to do my job.

For this Keyo user feature, I got to sit down with the founder of LikeFood and the man behind @feastbobo, Jared Bobo. We caught up over coffee in the second-floor lounge of the beautiful new Robey hotel on Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park and got to learn more about how this serial entrepreneur got his start.

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If you had to tell someone what your job is, how would you describe it?

I’ve definitely dabbled in a lot of things, from real estate to owning a graphic design business. I’ve always been heavily involved in the restaurant community, it’s what I’ve evolved to now. You name it, I’ve sold tshirts on ebay, I’ve always been selling something. A lot of hustles.

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial nack and when you have a love for something but you can’t really find a job that you want to do so you have to create it. I’ve taken all my hobbies and made them jobs. It’s fun, I wake up and I’m happy to do my job.

What brought you to Chicago?

At the time of graduating, with a degree in advertising from Western Michigan University, the economy was not that great, especially in Michigan. It was either go home and risk not ever going away, or just take that chance and move to another big city.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I’m not sure if there is a typical day for me, but I tend to plan my days weeks in advance but my calendar revolves around the social media management business for now.

What inspires your work?

I’m interested in everything, I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist but I know a little bit about a lot of stuff. A Jared of all trades, I’ve always prided myself on being well rounded. Diversifying what I do daily drives me, it keeps things interesting. I’ve never been the type of person to sit in a cubicle. Any situation that will allow me to create, develop, and take ideas, however that may come about, that’s what I’m interested in. Taking my hobbies and creating jobs out of them. It’s a long journey.

What are your tools of the trade?

Typically I use a scheduling management tool like Hootsuite and I just schedule out the months. But primarily, just using the instagram app directly from my phone. Laptop, camera, phone and a scheduler app.

For cameras, I’m a Sony guy, I recently purchased a Sony A7Rii 42mp, I just wanted to go as high as I can go in the field of photography. A MacBook Pro is essential. I’ve been an Apple fan for quite some time, I’ve had all the iPhones. They were the early adopters of tech, they were listening to what people wanted and that’s why they are the leaders now.

How did you start LikeFood?

I wanted to get involved in social media management for businesses. Unfortunately it’s not a field you can just read up on, you have to actually trial and error, figure out what works for the industry. Things that work for the restaurant industry don’t necessarily work for retail, sports, or other industries. So I had to create my own accounts to do A-B testing. What ended up happening is it took off and what I realized is I can create a business out of this. Even though this wasn’t my main goal. I fell into it literally.
We started in Chicago and have now launched in CHI, NY, BOS, and LA. Planning to expand as the years come. We started about a year and a half ago and now collectively @LikeFood has over 200k followers.

Do you remember your first cell phone?

It was a flip phone, digital reading only, couldn’t even save numbers. I purchased it myself, I don’t know why I needed it, I didn’t have anybody to call, but I just wanted to have one. I was in Middle School, signed up for it myself, prepaid minutes and all.

Did you imagine that old cell phone evolving into the modern versions we use now?

Of course, I remember those cell phones and computers and wondering at what point are these going to evolve. I needed something faster. I’ve been waiting! Especially computers. Back in the day it was all about speed. Back in dial up days you were waiting for an image to load line by line. I think in the last 4 years computers have started to get to the point where there are what I would have liked to have seen then.

Would you consider yourself an early adopter of technology?

I would say so, I always had the latest gadgetry, even if I didn’t have a necessity for it. I spent all my savings on the latest thing that came out, like the Palm Pilot. I didn’t need it, there was no reason to have it and it very quickly they become obsolete.

What do you do for fun? (other than work)

Everything is surrounded by work, or at least I try to involve it. I always enjoy entertaining and interacting with people. I even consider that field testing, understanding what people like, what’s the new curve, what the new trends. Often times I have to convince myself that this is for play, not for work.

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I believe in a keyless/card-less future.

Any favorite spots in Chicago?

I love Cup & Spoon! I really enjoy Tango Sur and Mad Social. I love tacos, I could probably eat tacos everyday. My favorite is El Patron, but my friend recently opened Holy Taco and I stand behind their product.

What’s your dream car?

To not need one! I am really on the electric wave. I would love a Tesla Model X, I’m sick of paying for gas, I just want to charge and go.

Where do you see technology going?

I see everything combining. On social media platforms, you often find these inventors coming up with these stand alone apps that are cool and unique but they end of failing because there is not enough integration. They are not targeting the mass, I see them being able to play together to progress as an industry.

Why did you sign up for Keyo?

Convenience. To be able to use my palm to pay, it’s a no brainer. I believe in the product, I didn’t have to be sold on it, I understood what it meant. It’s innovative. I believe in a keyless/card-less future. I’m always acceptive of change. I don’t like to be complacent. The evolving of that is definitely welcome in my book.

What has been one of your favorite gigs/clients?

A lot of these things I wouldn’t even call it a job. I do a lot of things pro bono, getting involved in philanthropies and volunteering. I’ve been involved with Hashtag Lunchbag out of Hyde Park. They make sandwiches for the homeless, it’s a great community of individuals that come together, different suppliers donate food and we do an assembly line making sandwiches, someone writing inspiring messages on cards to put in the lunch bag, people doing designs and doodles on the bags.

What does Chicago mean to you?

I’m still trying to come up with words to describe that. It hadn’t meant anything up until I moved here. I just kind of knew about it, you always hear about the violence, which I think is a little over-inflated even though I know it happens. As of now, it means everything. My livelihood, where I intend on living the rest of my life, possibly. Definitely a big supporter of the city of Chicago, I never thought I’d move out of Michigan but now it’s the reverse, I don’t think I could move back. The vibes here, you don’t get this anywhere else. I’ve been to a lot of cities but the way the city supports and sustains itself, the different pockets of neighborhoods, the environments, the businesses. The restaurant scene is vibrant and budding and this opens up lots of opportunity for me.

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