In episode 441, Rob Finkelstein teaches us about supplier diversity and its importance in the recipe development/food photography marketplace.

We cover information about how to know if supplier diversity applies to you, which companies are looking to fill their diverse quota, how to get certified as a diverse supplier, and how it benefits you as a blogger.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Contract Legalese
Website | Instagram

Bio Rob is a lawyer, practicing for over 20 years in NYC. In 2017, Rob decided to pursue his passion for baking and went to culinary school for pastry arts. After graduating, not wanting to leave the law, Rob got started blogging at Cinnamon Shtick which was also his entry into food photography. He worked with a number of brands and came to represent lots of food photographers in connection with their contracts and business setups. They all inspired Rob to create an online course about contracts specifically for food photographers. Rob also spent more than 10 years as a volunteer with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) where he was Chair of Supplier Diversity for New York and also a Co-Chair of the National Legal Industry Council, facilitating opportunities for LGBT-owned businesses with majority-owned companies.


  • The conversation of diversity needs to expand into food blogging.
  • Companies willing to expand who they work with intentionally use supplier diversity
  • This is a way to help you get an introduction to more business opportunities but a solid pitch is first and foremost
  • A company that works with a minority food blogger helps them be more diversified so make them aware of your certification
  • You can get certified by multiple organizations if you fit into the categories
  • Most brands want diverse-owned businesses, so be strategic about your leverage.
  • LinkedIn and Google can help you find businesses that work with diverse professionals.

Resources Mentioned

National Minority Supplier Development Council

Disability: IN

National LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council


Click for full script.

EBT441 – Rob Finkelstein

Intro: Food bloggers, hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional.

I’m Megan Porta and I’ve been a food blogger for over 12 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported. 

The questions you hear me ask in this episode are genuine, sincere questions because I literally had no idea what supplier diversity was before I had this chat with Rob. Rob is from Contract Legal Ease. He also has a food blog called Cinnamon Shtick. He brings this very important topic to the table about supplier diversity. He explains what it is, how you can get certified in it as a food blogger, and how it’s going to help support your business. Whether you’re a minority, LGBT, or maybe you have a disability, and speaking to the masses here, most of us are women. So if you’re a woman, if you fall into any of those categories, listen to this episode. I think you’ll be really pleasantly surprised. This is episode number 441, sponsored by RankIQ. 

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Megan Porta: Rob Finkelstein is a lawyer practicing for over 20 years in New York City. In 2017, Rob decided to pursue his passion for baking and went to culinary school for pastry arts. After graduating, not wanting to leave the law, Rob got started blogging at Cinnamon which was also his entry into food photography. He worked with a number of brands and came to represent a lot of food photographers in connection with their contracts and business setups. They all inspired Rob to create an online course about contracts specifically for food photographers. Rob also spent more than 10 years as a volunteer with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, where he was the chair of supplier diversity for New York and also a co-chair of the National Legal Industry Council, facilitating opportunities for LGBT-owned businesses with majority-owned companies.

Rob, your third time on Eat Blog Talk. I’m so grateful to have you back here. How are you today? 

Rob Finkelstein: I’m doing well. Thanks so much. 

Megan Porta: I’m getting used to having these chats with you. I was just saying before we recorded, we need to set up a weekly call now. It’s so fun. 

Rob Finkelstein: Completely. I’m hoping I’ll get like my fifth time, like a jacket or something.

Megan Porta: That’s funny. Okay. So your last fun fact was great. The raspberries. You’re not a raspberry guy. I remember this one. So do you have another one to share with us? 

Rob Finkelstein: I don’t know how fun it is. It’s more a fact of my own history. When people meet me, they’re like, no, you didn’t do that. I’m like, yeah, I did. I was on the sailing team in college of all the random things in the world. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh, so how was your experience with that? Did you like it? 

Rob Finkelstein: I went to summer camp growing up, so I did a lot of sailing there. That was my background. I thought it’d be a fun way to meet other people and it was. I didn’t think it through though, because I went to college in New York City. We were sailing on the Hudson River in the winter. It wasn’t enjoyable. 

Megan Porta: Oh, boy. Yeah. Do you sail anymore or are those days done? 

Rob Finkelstein: Those days are done. Now people can sail for me and I can sit back and enjoy.

Megan Porta: I’m with you on that. Sounds good to me. 

Rob Finkelstein: It’s too much work. 

Megan Porta: Yes. Oh, I love it. Oh, great. Another fun fact. You came up with another good one. 

Rob Finkelstein: Thanks. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. Let’s see. Okay. Okay. So today we are talking about supplier diversity, and you are going to educate me 100% on this, and I’m excited to be educated on it. First of all, tell us what your experience in supplier diversity is. How do you know about this topic? 

Rob Finkelstein: Okay, great. I actually have been immersed in it in the last 15 years or so. I’ll go into it and explain what it is, but basically, I fell into it because for me when I was working at another law firm, they were asking us to try to start bringing business and all of that. I’m like, okay, where am I going to network? What am I going to do? So I just found different LGBT organizations and there was one really for gay professionals. It turns out that the organization is the sole certifying body of LGBT-owned businesses. We’ll get into all that more and why that matters. But there are basically all these other organizations out there that certify diverse-owned businesses. I got pulled into it early on, and then when I started my law firm in 2013, it was incredibly important to me to make sure that my law firm was certified because both my partner and I are gay, and we wanted to make sure that we had that because it’s a way to market ourselves and try to drum up business.

It’s always been important to me in that respect. In New York, the national organization of the LGBT one has a New York office and runs different programs and stuff in New York. I chaired that for five years and ran all their supplier diversity programming and stuff. I also, for five years, led the legal industry for the entire organization nationally. So I’m well immersed in it and I get it. As an LGBT-owned business, I totally understand what it’s all about. The reason why I actually suggested this as a topic for your podcast is because it really became abundantly clear to me at Tastemaker conferences last year, that this is just missing from the conversation. There are some very good heated conversations about diversity and inclusion and all of that, but there was no talk about real solutions. I don’t think this is the solution, but it’s a solution that I think can help a lot of people out. So that’s why I wanted to get this information out there to all of your listeners.

Megan Porta: Yeah. Amazing. I love hearing about your experience with it and just that you’re immersed in it. Also, I love that you saw a gap. Okay, we’re having the conversation, but what do we do? So you’re bringing this topic to the table, which I think is amazing. So can you just define supplier diversity for us?

Rob Finkelstein: Sure. So basically a diverse supplier is a business that’s at least 51% owned by an individual or a group of people that have been historically underrepresented. Underrepresented due to ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability, included in that are also veterans. It’s really an initiative that’s undertaken by businesses to engage suppliers, vendors, whatever you want to call all of us, that are certified as diverse. So what these large businesses do, both national and global brands, they’ll have these supplier diversity initiatives. That means that they are actively seeking to engage a certain percentage of their budgets with diverse suppliers.

So for example, if a marketing budget for a company, let’s say they have, I don’t know, 100,000 in their budget for the year and they’re going to allocate a certain percentage of that to really find diverse-owned businesses to work with. That’s so important for all of us because most of us as food bloggers fall into this umbrella of diverse suppliers, either because we’re woman-owned, you’re LGBT-owned, or minority-owned. There are so many different factors here. But given that most bloggers are, in fact, women, it’s such a smart thing to do to get certified, to try to get in and get business with these big organizations. But I do want to emphasize, though, that this is really more: most brands, most companies, their supplier diversity initiatives fall under their marketing umbrella because it’s a way to try to get their procurement because it’s a way to get those suppliers in. It doesn’t mean you’re going to get business just because you’re certified. I just want to be crystal clear about that. This is another feather in your cap to try to get you the business. I’ll tell you, it’s a way to get those introductions that we’re all looking for. People that we deal with brands, and they’re in the marketing umbrella, may not even be aware that their employer has a supplier diversity program. It’s a great opportunity if we’re certified when we’re talking to them, Hey, this is what I can do, I can develop recipes, I can do all these photos, I can do these videos, and blah, blah, blah. I’m efficient, I’m quick, you do your whole pitch. Then at the end, and by the way, my business is certified as whatever it is. Women-owned, LGBT-owned, minority-owned, whatever it’s going to be. That might strike up a conversation with that marketing person and say, What are you talking about? You can educate them on it. They can go back to their marketing people and their more senior management and to the procurement folks who will be super excited because they’re looking to fill that. For them, it looks good. I think most businesses do it because they think it’s right and they want to engage diverse owned businesses. But let’s call it what it is. It looks good for them. It’s a way for them to try to hit other markets. That’s the beauty of it.

So if they’re working with a minority food blogger and a particular cuisine or something, they want someone who’s actually involved in that cuisine. Maybe I grew up with it or whatever it is. It helps them get that perspective for their own marketing. So it’s a win for them. It gets our foot in the door. You’ve got to pitch yourself and do everything you’ve got to do anyway. It’s just, as I said, it’s a feather in your cap to try to get the business. From my experience, it helps to maintain business. 

Megan Porta: How do we get certified? Is that hard to do? 

Rob Finkelstein: No. So it depends on who the owners of the business are. So I’ll just use myself as an example here. So my law firm, we’re two gay guys. We started a law firm. So we went and got certified by the LGBT certifying entity. The process is not complex and their process is built upon the process that was put forth by the women-owned certifying entity. It’s really a lot of paperwork. You’ve got to show that you’re an actual business. They generally ask for your financials for the last year, really just to see that you are in fact a real business. That’s really mostly it. In the LGBT space, you have to get some attestations from other people certifying that you’re a part of the LGBT community. Women-owned, you’re just certifying that you are in fact a woman. So it’s pretty straightforward to do. Of course, there’s a fee involved. I don’t know how all the organizations work. I know with the LGBT one if you’re a member of the organization, which there are affiliate chambers throughout the country, or actually the world, if you’re a member of that, they waive the fee to get certified. So they definitely want all these organizations. They want all these diverse-owned businesses to get certified. 

So the organization, the LGBT one is the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Their initials are NGLCC because it used to be called the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, but they changed the name several years ago to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The women’s one is the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, which goes by the acronym of WBENC, W B E N C. The minority one is the National Minority Supplier Development Council, which also goes by its initials, which are NMSDC. So if you’re a woman and you’re a minority, you can get certified by both those entities. If you’re also, LGBT, you can get certified by all three. You can do whatever you want. Whether it’s worth your time and worth the while, that’s up to you, but it’s great to have at least one of them. At the end of the day, the brands generally do not care which one you fall under. They generally just want diverse-owned businesses. My own personal opinion is if you’re pulled into one more than the other, I would say go for that. Especially when food bloggers are in a space that is so female-dominated. Maybe if you do fall under the umbrella of a minority or LGBT or one of the other ones, maybe you want to do that because it could set you apart from all the other women out there. You’ve got to be a little strategic. 

Megan Porta: Most of us are women, so it’s like we’re in this sea of everyone looking the same. I think we talked about that at Tastemaker, too. So anything different outside of just being, Honestly, a white woman, is going to probably be a little bit more diverse.

Rob Finkelstein: Yes. Yeah. That’s why I think if you do fall under one of those other umbrellas of minority, LGBT, veteran, disabled, any of those umbrellas, go for it and leverage that certification to get your foot in the door with these brands because that will set you apart from the standard Caucasian woman that’s out there. That’s not to say, brands are still hiring everyone and you’ve got to pitch and make yourself look good and all that, but it helps them. They will allocate whatever they spend on you to fulfill your services. They will allocate that spend to their supplier diversity spend and it’s a win for them. They fulfilled their quotas or whatever numbers they were trying to hit. But it also, as I said, it’s just such marketing for them because now they’re getting someone who’s immersed in that community and helping market to that community. So it really just is so beneficial.

Megan Porta: Then you mentioned disabilities too. Is there an organization for that specifically? 

Rob Finkelstein: Yes, I believe they changed the name a few years ago. It is DisabilityIN. 

Megan Porta: DisabilityIN. Okay. 

Rob Finkelstein: Yeah, and if you Google anything, I don’t know all of them out there. Those are the biggest players, the ones that I’ve mentioned, those are the biggest players in the space, but there are other ones, too. I believe there’s an Asian one. Whatever sets you apart, get onto Google and search it out with supplier diversity and see if there’s a certifying entity out there, because it could be very beneficial. 

Megan Porta: What about mental health issues? Would that set you apart, or does it need to be a defined disability?

Rob Finkelstein: I think it needs to be a defined disability, and if that falls if your mental health falls under disability there, then maybe that would be the certification to get, but I haven’t heard of one just for mental health itself. 

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Megan Porta: All right. So let’s say food bloggers are working with brands and they just want to know if the brand is a professional with supplier diversity connections, how do we even find that out? 

Rob Finkelstein: Google, Linkedin. All the obvious places go and just search it out. I will tell you from experience both with my law firm and with my blog and having you know, run stuff locally in New York and all of that. More often than not, people within a company do not really know that there’s a supplier diversity program. There are supplier diversity professionals at these companies there. In some of these companies, it’s more than one person. It just depends on how big the company is and what they’re doing. But this is like a real full-time professional job. It is a big undertaking to do this. So there are people out there and you can find them. I will tell you, they get inundated with emails and it could take them months to respond and you’ve got to wait it out and be polite, email them every once a month or something just to follow up and be persistent. But don’t get frustrated if it takes a while for them to get back to you. They are busy. They’re all usually very stretched out.

But one of the beauties of these organizations is that they all have annual conferences as well as other events throughout the year. Depending on where you are, where you live, and what’s going on locally, I’ll, I can tell you in New York, there’s a lot going on. I ran programs where I brought in supplier diversity professionals from corporate partners and we did panel discussions this way people can learn more about how to get involved, and how to get known to these supplier diversity professionals and engage with them. But then because it was just a room of 50 people, everyone would mingle after. It was one on one FaceTime with these people. And people made those connections and started getting business. So go to those events. The annual conferences, I’ve only been to the LGBT one, but I’ve been to it for the last 10 years. They’re amazing. All the corporate partners are there. By corporate partners, the supplier diversity folks who work for these corporate partners are there. That’s your opportunity. It’s a great thing to just go and get in their faces and say, Hey, this is me. This is what I do. I will tell you, especially right now, I cannot believe that there are any food bloggers going to any of these conferences. When I started raising it within the LGBT one, they were like, Oh, that’s interesting. Let me connect you with our marketing department. That’s great. That’s what you want. Because now the Supplier diversity professional knows that you’re out there. They know that the services that I’m providing are going to fall under marketing. They’re going to connect me with that marketing person, but now that supplier diversity person can keep track and go follow up with that marketing person and say, Oh, did anything come of that? Do you hire Rob? Did you not? If they did, the supplier diversity person says, great. They can keep track of the spending so that they make sure it gets allocated. That actually helps educate the companies internally about these supplier diversity programs. But going to the conferences and those events, they are key to success in this. That’s how you get FaceTime with the supplier diversity people.

Megan Porta: It’s so interesting that they keep so busy, but yet certain parts of their organization don’t even know they exist. 

Rob Finkelstein: Part of it is, that their jobs are insane because they are constantly traveling. So a supplier diversity professional for any big business, they’re going to all these conferences. So there are at least five or six annual conferences. So they’ve got to go to all of those. Then there are other local events and other things that they have to take part in. So they’re doing all that. They have to keep track of all the numbers and the spending and everything else. A big part of their job is to educate internally. There’s only so much time in a day. So that’s part of the gap. One of the things that I try to encourage diverse-owned businesses to do is to, when you meet someone at a business, try to educate them about their own supplier diversity program, if they’re not aware of it, because it goes a long way.

Megan Porta: Yeah. Wow, this is so interesting. Okay, so once you get certified, obviously you can educate the brands you’re working with, I have the certification. What else do you do with that? Do you get some sort of badge or what does this mean and what can you do with it?

Rob Finkelstein: You’re a proud member. Yeah. T I only know from the LGBT one cause that’s the only one that I qualify for, but they actually give you a, it’s a PDF certificate. I forget if they’re good for two years or four years now, I forget what they do, but you have to renew it every, whatever it is. Whether it’s a year or two years, whatever it is. You just submit your documents again, because they just want to see that you are still in business and that’s all they’re looking to do to make sure you’re still out there and that you’re still majority diverse-owned, meaning at least 51% owned by whatever the diverse classification is. But once you have that certification, put it out there. The brands that are knowledgeable about supplier diversity, they’ll notice and it will make it more memorable for them. That might entice them to get in touch with you. Or if you get in touch with them, they’ll have a better understanding. Oh, okay. For me. I put it on my blog. My blog is Cinnamon Shtick. If you go on there in the right-hand column, I have it on there that I’m certified by NGLCC. This way, it’s just out there. I’ll tell you, it’s helped me. It’s helped me maintain some business, which I was really surprised about. But when I started my blog, it was one of the first things I did, was I got certified just because I thought, okay, that will differentiate me from everyone else. It worked. 

I got work very early on from a brand and they didn’t know that I was certified. They hadn’t really explored my blog. They just saw me on Instagram. But once they made that connection, they were really excited. I actually put it out there on social media. I put it on Instagram that I’m certified and that got me a little more buzz. So it’s all about marketing. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. This is so interesting. I’m super intrigued. I can see this being very popular because people do want to be diverse, right? We want to be inclusive and this is a huge thing right now. So I absolutely love this topic. We’re all women. I know some food bloggers who have disabilities and there are so many categories that I’m thinking that people fall into as we’re talking. 

Rob Finkelstein: Yeah, and again, I just wanna emphasize this doesn’t mean you’re going to get business, but it’s a way to get your foot in the door so that you can have an equal footing to stand up and pitch equally with the Caucasian woman who is doing the same thing. If you’re doing this as well or even better, and you’ve got the diverse check mark for you, that might be helpful for the brand. 

I will tell you from my own experience with my law firm, we were contacted, I guess it was like five years ago, by an Ivy League university to really just pitch in to do some work and I was like, how did they find us? We’re a two-person law firm. They googled and they saw that we were certified. That was important to them and so it came down to us, a woman-owned law firm and a huge global law firm. We got it because the certification helped us get our foot in the door, and then we went in and dazzled them and they were impressed with our knowledge and what we do. So it’s been a phenomenal relationship. We would never have gotten our foot in the door without that certification. So it can be so valuable. It’s the same thing, as I said, with the food blogging space. I got ongoing work from one client because they were like, Oh, that’s great. They were happy with my work. So that helped maintain the relationship. 

Megan Porta: So this really can lift up our space as a whole, I think, right? Just from what you’re saying. 

Rob Finkelstein: It can. It’s a little tricky in our space because it is so female-dominated that, if every single food blogger goes out and gets certified by WeBank, the women certifying it could be, then there’s no differentiation with respect to the bloggers at that point, but it’s helpful for the brands. Because then generally brands will only allocate spend to a diverse-owned business if they’re certified. They’re not going to just take your word for it that you’re a woman-owned business. It’s still very helpful for the brands to be certified, but within the food blogging space, just with the respect of food bloggers and some people feeling left out because they are diverse. They might be women, but they’re also diverse on top of that and they’re feeling discouraged or whatever. That’s why I suggest that they get certified. Whatever other certifying entity would work for them other than just the woman one because that might be a way to leverage and set yourself apart from all the women food bloggers. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. What else are we missing? This is such an interesting topic and I’m just going to have to lean on you a little bit to tell me if we’re missing anything in this conversation. 

Rob Finkelstein: No, it’s really, this is really just like a very broad overview of it. There’s not too much more to learn. I suggest that anyone out there who’s interested in getting certified, go look up those organizations. Just search, women-owned, diverse-owned, whatever, just Google supplier diversity. You’ll find all the organizations. Again, the biggest ones are WeBank, NMSDC, and NGLCC. Those are really the biggest ones out there, but there are other ones like DisabilityIn, and I believe there’s one for disabled veterans as well. I forget the name of that, but if you Google it, you can find it. But it’s really not a complex thing to do. I can tell you just from my experience in New York, we have ongoing networking and different kinds of programs. So it’s all LGBT professionals networking with one another and all of that. But people from the corporate partners show up and there’s always the supplier diversity folks who show up on behalf of the corporate partner. So those are the people that we want to engage with. That’s amazing. So it can be really good. You never know who you’re going to meet and where it’s going to lead. We’re in a very niche area of the world here, that’s how you’re going to meet people also. So it’s worth getting involved with those organizations just because they do have other events and there are events where corporate partners, meaning supplier diversity people, are there. So I think it’s worthwhile. Generally when you pay for the membership for the year, then they seem to waive the price of certification. So it’s definitely worthwhile. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. Yeah. I appreciate that you brought this topic to the table. I think it’s really important and a lot of people will have their ears perched tuning in. So thank you for that, Rob. We appreciate you. 

Rob Finkelstein: Yeah. No, again, it’s not a huge solution to the problem, and there is a problem, and anyone who says otherwise is just covering their eyes and their ears. But I think one proactive thing that people can do is to get certified and leverage it, use it, and educate. If you’re contacting someone through social media or contacting a brand, you’re dealing with someone who’s just really probably running their social media stuff and may not be aware of a supplier diversity program. Mention it to them. Say, hey, whatever your pitch is, in the end, never lead with the fact that you’re certified. You want to lead with what you can do for them and your general pitch. But at the end of it, say, by the way, I’m also certified and that could really help your brand’s supplier diversity spend for the year. It’s worth doing. 

Megan Porta: Yeah, definitely. 

Rob Finkelstein: It’s a way to just compete with everyone else. Honestly, especially if you are a minority and you can get certified by NMSDC or the LGBT one, that’s a way to differentiate yourself from the white female out there. 

Megan Porta: The sea of women. 

Rob Finkelstein: Yeah. It’s tough. As I was sitting at Tastemaker, I was like, wait a minute, there is something people can do. But it is complicated because it is predominantly women. So everyone already falls under that umbrella of being able to get certified as a woman-owned business. That’s why I suggest, that if you fall under one of the other umbrellas, I would go for that to really differentiate yourself. But it’s tough because it is predominantly women, whereas, in other industries, that’s usually not the case. 

Megan Porta: It is so weird, isn’t it? Yeah. 

Rob Finkelstein: Yeah. Yes. But I think it’s something people should be aware of and take advantage of because, listen, I have a very small following. My photography and stuff are still okay. It’s not great. I can develop recipes, but I’ve been able to get work. It’s been helpful to be certified because it’s helped me to maintain some of those clients, and they’ve been amazing to work with, so it’s great to have.

Megan Porta: Oh, good. I love that you’ve had a good experience with it. Then, like you said earlier, it’s just like a way to get your foot in the door with some people, some brands, right? Which is what a lot of us want.

Rob Finkelstein: It’s what we want and it also, helps the brands. You’re going to help educate those brands. We all get frustrated. Listen, it’s important to me because I worked for a law firm for 11 years at a law school and I experienced it. Yes, I appear as a white male, so that, people think, oh, you’ve never had any issues. Yeah, I have because I was out and it was an issue. I get it. I’ve been there and it’s not fun and it’s horrible. That’s why it was so important to me to find a way to be on equal footing and not be treated poorly or anything. I think it’s so important. I think it’s, especially in this space where there really is an issue with the white woman getting a lot of work and a lot of other people saying, Hey, I’m here too. This is a way to get your foot in the door.

Megan Porta: I think as a white woman, I know I’ve experienced in the corporate world, just not having equal footing and some really bad, icky memories of just pay and all of some other things. But I think we can emotionally relate to that as white women, even though our space is flooded with, we all look the same. But we can still remember those times that we were on unequal footing, and it wasn’t fair, and it was hard, and yeah I even get emotional thinking about it. Oh gosh, that stirs up some yucky memories. 

Rob Finkelstein: I hear you. That’s why I don’t even want to talk too much about it. I know. I don’t want to go back to those times. Yeah. They were not fun. You’re in a corporate environment, and you expect better behavior. It’s just Oh my God. Honestly, I think these days things are a drop, not much, but a drop better than they were 20 years ago when I was first starting out at a law firm. But yeah it’s not fun. This is a way, to really leverage who you are, which I think for these brands is so important, especially when you are developing recipes and taking photos and a way to market to people who relate to you. That’s what the brands really need. They don’t need to market to the white woman. They’ve been doing that for the last number of decades. They need to market to everyone else as well, and it’s a great way for all of us to get in there and do that. 

Megan Porta: Oh, I love this. I feel like I could keep going, but I’ll stop there because I could get into a subtopic, but this was great. Is there anything we’ve missed, Rob, before we start saying goodbye? 

Rob Finkelstein: No, I think we really gave the umbrella, and maybe I can help you with the show notes and so that we have links to all the organizations. 

Megan Porta: Yeah, that would be amazing. 

Rob Finkelstein: I think that would be helpful for people to take a look at. Look also locally for the same organizations. When you go on their websites, I think you’ll be able to find if there’s something local, if they have a local chamber or whatever they call it, because it’s definitely worth getting involved. 

Megan Porta: Yes, definitely. Thank you again. Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us with today, Rob?

Rob Finkelstein: My words of inspiration, I’m going to go back and put my lawyer hat on and just say this: contracts are sexy. I think that’s something people need to bang in their heads because people get so nervous about contracts and signing them and reading them and they throw their hands up, so they avoid them and no, they’re sexy. If you can just give me one second to explain that. People think of contracts as a dirty word. It’s not. The dirty word is dispute. That’s the whole point of a contract, is to avoid a dispute. Think about it. When you’re negotiating a contract, you’re getting it all out there, the wants, the needs. You might have a little push and pull here and there. Maybe even a little argument over it. But, on that day, you’re going to come to terms with an agreement. You’ve hashed it all out. It’s before you entered into a relationship, if you did that with your partner, you’d probably avoid a lot of issues down the line. That’s the point. That’s why I’m saying they’re sexy. That means you sat down with your client and hashed it all out. You came to terms and you have a roadmap of how your relationship is going to work. That’s why I say contracts are sexy.

Megan Porta: You made a compelling case. Yes, I think we do need to rewrite that script in a lot of our brains because a lot of us don’t think that. But I’ll repeat your words when I have to write a contract next time. Thanks for that. We’ll put together show notes. We’ll put all those links that we talked about so you can go reference those if you would like at contractlegalease3 since this is your third time. Your jacket will be in the mail after time number five, so you have two more times, Rob. Remind everyone where they can find you online and social media, etc. 

Rob Finkelstein: Sure, so all my contract-related stuff is at, which is also the same handle on Instagram, Contract Legal Ease, E A S E at the end. My blog is Cinnamon Shtick, which is also on social media at Cinnamon Shtick. 

Megan Porta: Thank you again so much for being here, Rob, and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode. 

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Pinterest image for episode 441 what is supplier diversity and how it impacs the recipe development/food photography marketplace with Rob Finkelstein.

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