HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - If you aren’t on the video sharing app TikTok, you don’t know of the latest social media sensation right here in the Coastal Empire.
Izola’s Country Cooking in Hinesville started off on TikTok with just a few views, but that quickly changed overnight. The owners say through the app they’ve not only been able to share their food with their followers but also reach people from across the state, country and the world.
Izola’s Country Cooking has been in Hinesville for 11 years. You can expect Southern homestyle cooking from family recipes when you walk through their doors, along with some followers from TikTok.
Owners Glenn and Lori Poole say their teenage son convinced them to make an account to reach a younger crowd.
“We did about two videos and then I was like ‘Well we didn’t get any views’ and he said ‘Dad, you’ve got to keep posting,’” said Glenn Poole.
And keep posting they did.
The Pooles say overnight, things changed.
“Cause when it first started — was it December when that truck driver came in? — she said she lived in New York but she had gone to Florida, I guess she was doing loads and she said I’ve been following you on TikTok. And she said ‘I got close enough,’ she said ‘I was on I-95 going back north’ and she said ‘I veered off the 30 minutes to come eat’ so we did a TikTok with her so I think that was kind of the start of it,” said Lori Poole.
They have nearly two million likes and over 130,000 followers on TikTok.
“It’s just constantly pinging with people, comments and followers.”
Patrick Whiters is one of the Izola’s employees you’ll see in a number of videos. He says the response online has been unexpected but he enjoys sharing their food with the world.
“The biggest thing for us as what we’re going through here on the line, we’re giving you a taste without actually tasting everything that we have on the menu so you can see visually before you walk through those doors. ‘Oh wow! This is what they’re serving today.’ Ninety percent of the people, they eat with their eyes so they can see the product beforehand, it draws attention,” said Whiters.
“Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, we’ve had people call from New York. We’ve had people call from Hawaii asking about the place,” said Whiters.
“We are honored to have all the followers and all the people that are coming to see us because it let’s us give to you some of our food that we were raised on and ate every day and TikTok has really changed things for us,” said Glenn Poole.
The Pooles say this experience has been humbling to see so many people come and want to eat their food. They say TikTok has become apart of their family too.