Joey Conicella joined ChatterBlast Media (CBM) this past November as the agency’s Clients Services Manager, and he’s already found his way into the hearts of both new and old clients—not to mention, ours. Paige Montes, CBM’s Editorial Assistant, grilled Joey about everything from facial hair to whether or not he’ll bring her snacks.
PM: You’ve worked at CBM for about three months now, but you did a lot of city hopping before ending up here. Tell me a bit about your background and how you landed back in Philly.
JC: I’m from the area. I went to college in Florida where I met my husband, and then we moved out west together in San Francisco. Lived out there for a few years. I was homesick, moved back to Philly, lived in Center City for a while, and worked at Philadelphia Magazine. We moved back to Florida and started our own business down there, the Yum Yum Cupcake Truck. We were there for almost 5 years. That was the longest we were somewhere. Now we’re in our thirties and it’s time to settle down, start that next chapter. And we wanted to be in Philly, we knew, for the rest of our lives.
PM: Since you owned Yum Yum Cupcake Truck, I think it’s safe to assume you have a sweet tooth like the rest of us here.
PM: What’s the sweetest lesson owning a dessert truck taught you about branding?
JC: It’s all about the customer. The brand has to reflect the people that actually come and buy your product. We started our brand as one thing, and it really evolved into who our customer became. When we started Yum Yum, we thought we were going to have these really cool, hipster, urban customers, because we had a food truck. But ultimately, it was 32-year-old suburban moms, and they just adored Yum Yum, Alex and I, and the cupcakes. So the branding changed. It started out very tongue in cheek—kind of like gay drag queen, vintage pop culture, and then it evolved into a more family friendly brand.
PM: And Alex is your husband?
JC: Yes, and he was the baker. I can follow a recipe. He creates recipes.
PM: So do you plan to bring in cupcakes?
JC: As soon as we get moved in and settled, Alex is already talking about making birthday cakes for everybody here. Don’t tell anyone though. It’s a surprise.
PM: Well, you did say baking’s not your forte. Luckily, that’s not your role at CBM. What accounts do you manage here?
JC: They gave me really fun ones. I manage Reading Terminal Market, which having been in the food business for 5 years, I’m really excited about. I also help out with Unite Fitness, which is neat because they’re another local, small business, growing. They do a lot of great branding work, which I appreciate. I help out with PHS and the flower show, and I’ve been watching what PHS has been doing from Florida, so I’m excited to get my hands dirty with them. We just started working with Frankford Candy Company, which again, as a big fat sweet tooth guy, I’m really excited about.
PM: What’s your biggest social media pet peeve?
JC: Stalking. Not saying I don’t stalk, but if you met somebody and you interact with them on a daily basis, and you won’t friend them, but you’ll look at their stuff—just friend them. Just follow them.
PM: So you could say sometimes it’s good to be a follower. But, of course, everyone still has their Twitter guilty pleasures. Who’s the most embarrassing person you follow?
JC: I follow, and I’m not embarrassed by it, all the housewives. I follow some of the villains, too. I follow Kenya Moore from Atlanta. She’s so annoying, but her personality transcends her Twitter account, so it’s just as entertaining as her on TV.
PM: She’s quite the public persona, as is your much-talked-about ‘stache. If you had to market it, what would be the brand voice of your mustache?
JC: It would be stately. It would be distinguished. It would be no-nonsense. I think my mustache is not on social media. I think it’s doing op-ed pieces in the New York Times. I’m trying to bring him on to social media. He doesn’t go on rants on Twitter. He’s not very visual on Instagram. We need to find him a blog or some sort of HuffPo outlet. He’s an old soul.
When Joey’s not searching for the perfect client, you can find him searching for the perfect giraffe figurine. Apparently, we all need to check out some estate sales. Just ask Joey—he’s the expert.