NEW BRITAIN ‚Äď ‚ÄúThe key is to not just be an influencer, you have to branch off and become your own mogul,‚ÄĚ says popular YouTube food reviewer and city resident Daymon Patterson, aka ‚ÄúDaym Drops,‚ÄĚ who is encouraging others to follow their dreams as he has, which has recently led to him opening his own restaurant.
Patterson is known for his entertaining, high-energy food reviews which have earned him 1.33 million subscribers on YouTube. Born and raised in Stratford, Patterson, now a New Britain resident, cites the TV show "Man vs. Food" as one of his biggest influences.
He got his start in 2009 when he was working for a Walmart in Rocky Hill and one day decided to start filming his reviews of whatever food he ate during his lunch break, from mom and pop restaurants to fast food chains. This has led to appearances on talk shows and invitations to try new menu items before they become available to the public. Patterson has only continued to build his career from there.
‚ÄúIt's great to have a YouTube and social media presence ‚Äď everything is starting to pop,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThe key is to not just be an influencer; you have to branch off and become your own mogul. You will have a million people saying ‚Äėlet me manage you.‚Äô They can open doors, but you have to keep it going. You have to sell yourself and look at your social media life like a job interview. I was doing retail management for 15 years and I can sell myself better than anyone else can sell me.‚ÄĚ
In 2012, Patterson‚Äôs review of Five Guys Burgers and Fries went viral. Then, a ‚Äúsongified‚ÄĚ version of the review, created by The Gregory Brothers, brought in millions of views. Additionally, the review was repeatedly up-voted on Reddit, bringing in additional views.
Following that review, Patterson was given a deal for a six-episode series, "Best Daym Takeout," which aired on the Travel Channel in 2013. This led to Patterson appearing on Dr. Oz and Jimmy Fallon and collaborating with Rachel Ray.
Patterson has been flown out to the corporate headquarters of Taco Bell, McDonald's, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Little Caesars to try out new food items before they are released. One such item Patterson was allowed a sneak peek (or taste) of was KFC's Nashville Hot chicken. In 2016, KFC brought him out to the official launch of that item in New York.
Last year, Patterson began a series where he would review the best reviewed restaurants in the area and the worst, according to Yelp.
‚ÄúIt gave emphasis to a lot of ‚Äėmom and pop‚Äô restaurants,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúSometimes a restaurant that was rated one of the best in Connecticut would only get a 2 from me and other times one of the worst rated would get a 4 or 5 from me. Sometimes, people left bad reviews because they had bad service one day or it was too long of a wait, but the food is good. Sometimes, they were actually as good or bad as most reviews said.‚ÄĚ
Last week, Patterson became the owner of the MofonGo location at 144 B Broad St. in Windsor. MofonGo was founded in New Britain by Vincent Placeres in 2017. Placeres has since also opened a location in Hartford.
Patterson first met Placeres while trying his food at ‚ÄúThe Kitchen Eatery & Lounge,‚ÄĚ which has since closed. Placeres is now focusing on growing MofonGo, which combines popular Spanish and American flavors.
‚ÄúDownstairs at The Kitchen was a storage hub and I said to him, ‚Äėlet me invest and do jazz nights there,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Patterson said. ‚ÄúWe did Daym Drops‚Äô Cellar with Jazz every Friday night.‚ÄĚ
Since then, Patterson had received major commercial deals, one for Popeye‚Äôs chicken sandwich and two from Burger King. He has also begun work on a TV series, ‚ÄúProject Daym,‚ÄĚ which will see Patterson traveling around to try different foods and meet with area chefs. It was during the filming of this series, which Patterson said will air next year, when Placeres contacted him again.
‚ÄúI told him that I wanted to buy in and have my own establishment,‚ÄĚ Patterson said. ‚ÄúHe said that he had an opportunity opening up in Windsor and I went for it.‚ÄĚ
Patterson explained MofonGo incorporates plantains, also known as cooking bananas, into a lot of its food.
‚ÄúThey chop them up and mash it into a bowl,‚ÄĚ Patterson said. ‚ÄúWhat you add from there heightens the flavor. They usually have rice and beans and you can also add shrimp and pork and then we add MofonGo sauce.‚ÄĚ
Patterson said most menu items are $10 to $12 and can easily feed a family for an affordable price. He plans to debut a menu item exclusive to the Windsor location, the ‚ÄúDaym Drops Soul Bowl,‚ÄĚ within the next two weeks.
Patterson plans to continue his YouTube reviews while working at MofonGo. He has also set up an area in the restaurant to meet with fans where he will review items from MofonGo‚Äôs menu.
‚ÄúI will never stop doing YouTube,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI wouldn't be here without YouTube.‚ÄĚ
Patterson‚Äôs plans for the future include going into real estate and flipping homes with his wife. He also plans to begin a podcast with Connecticut auto dealer John ‚ÄúJohnny Mac‚ÄĚ Mocadlo.
‚ÄúHe started a podcast and was looking for a co-host,‚ÄĚ Patterson said. ‚ÄúWe started talking and we‚Äôll be filming the first episode next week.‚ÄĚ
The podcast, "Dirty Little Details," will be for listeners 18 and older.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôll talk about relationships and how we interact ‚Äď the good, the bad and the ugly,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs going to be crazy, high-energy and fun.‚ÄĚ
Patterson‚Äôs advice to others is to ‚Äúkeep dreaming and dream bigger.‚ÄĚ He encouraged people to believe in themselves.
‚ÄúThe opportunities are endless,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúNo one is being held back from becoming a better version of themselves. If you‚Äôre being held back from one avenue, travel down the next avenue. You have to let go of your fear and not be afraid to fail. I failed for years to get here. I didn‚Äôt mind falling because I knew how to get back up.‚ÄĚ
WHERE TO WATCH
Patterson uploads his reviews every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on his YouTube channel, which can be found at youtube.com/user/GhettoNN.
For more information, visit daympatterson.com or search Daym Drops on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.