Revelry Labs

Unleashing Human Potential with Technology

Amanda Phu, Entrepreneur, Chef, Dog Lover, & Product Manager

Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Lafayette and I moved to New Orleans around early 2008. When I first moved here, I didn’t really have my professional career going yet, but I got into the technology field kind of starting from the bottom up. I worked in a help desk position then I moved into an analyst role then into a QA role and then finally into product management.

I think my career path has given me this really great trifecta, because those positions are all working pieces to the puzzle of being able to understand all aspects throughout the process and help me be a better product manager.

Who are you, and what do you do at Revelry?

I am a Product Manager at Revelry. I originally applied in November of 2019; went through all of my interviews and then things got put on hold when COVID happened.

During that time, I started my own food meal prepping business, Nola Phud, doing healthy meal prepping, catering, and private dinners. Revelry reached back out to me at the end of March 2021 and within 2 weeks, I started my first day!

What was your path to Revelry?

I did a lot of research on Revelry before I applied and knew I wanted to be a part of the team. I read the ins and outs of the website, blog posts, team members, and processes. Right after I applied I saw that Revelry was attending an INNO event so I showed up and came up with a pitch the night before so I could showcase my skills and put a face to my name.

At my previous job, we built internal products and I like the services side of things and being able to work with different partners on different projects. It keeps things interesting instead of doing/working on the same thing over and over again. I came from a company where processes weren’t really a thing. I love that we have the ability to do things our way but we still have a process and structure and that’s what makes things work so well at Revelry.

What mobile device do you use and what apps would someone find on your home screen?

I have had an Apple iPhone as long as I’ve had a smartphone and pretty much have all Apple products: iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and MacBook.

For apps, I used Instagram a lot for my food business and Spotify for music. I have a Revelry folder for all of our work apps because I am constantly checking in on things even outside of office hours or when on PTO (even though it’s discouraged). Last but not least, I have an Amazon folder for my Ring, Ecobee, and to shop on Amazon because I pretty much purchase everything that I possibly can through Prime to get it delivered to my doorstep.

​​Do you have any pets?

I do! I have 2 dogs: a 4 year old, 7 pound maltese/shih tzu mix named Fiona and a 9.5 month old, 65 pound chocolate goldendoodle named Kobe. I always wanted a small dog and a big dog and Kobe sure is a big boy.

What are your favorite things to talk about?

I could probably talk anyone’s ear off about food or music. I’m very passionate about food. Cooking has always been something that I’ve done as a hobby. It originally started at the age of 17 when I thought cooking was just dicing up some chicken and adding it to a box of Pastaroni.

I can say that I’ve evolved a lot since then. At first I would cook hearty comfort foods – spaghetti, gumbo, étouffée, or simpler meals. Then I started cooking healthier or fancier dishes working on the presentation to make it look pretty, to make it taste and look good. I also love to cook at home and make my own creations, but I also love to find and try new restaurants.

In regards to music, I’m obsessed with the electronic duo Odesza so much so that I have a tattoo of their logo. I’ve seen them six times (so far). One of my favorite stories is that before they got popular, I saw them at One Eyed Jacks here in New Orleans for $10 and now they sell out at venues all over, including Red Rocks, which I attended and has been my favorite and best live show thus far.

Tell me a little bit about Nola Phud and how you came up with the name.

Nola Phud is a local healthy homemade “gourmet” meal prep service. I don’t like using preservatives so I make as many things from scratch as I can, all of my marinades, sauces, dressings, etc. are all homemade. I say gourmet because it’s not just chicken and rice with green beans. I like to get really creative and even though it’s in a little black plastic container, garnishes are everything.

Cooking has always been a personal passion, so I’d post what I was cooking on my personal Instagram, but then I didn’t want to annoy people with all these pictures of my food. I had created a separate Instagram account a couple of years ago and never used it once. I always said if I had a food business, I would do a play on my last name (pronounced foo). Back then I tried to claim “Phud” but it was already taken so I just slapped Nola in front of it.

I started posting a lot during quarantine and my followers were increasing. One of my friends asked me to meal prep for her, I told a few people and within a couple of weeks, I launched my website and things picked up quicker than I expected. I had some ideas of expanding prior to my job offer at Revelry, I might revisit it in the future but I’m content with having a “normal” schedule again.

Did you have aspirations to be an entrepreneur before you started Nola Phud?

I think I’ve always had a pretty creative mind and my brain doesn’t ever turn off so I’ve always had ideas bouncing around in my head. I started Nola Phud because of COVID and people had always encouraged me to start a business around food and I finally had the time.

What’s your favorite thing to cook at home?

My go-to is always sous vide filet steaks. I even make my dogs a bland steak for their birthdays and Christmas or New Year’s. My favorite kitchen tool is my sous vide precision cooker. It cooks everything so perfectly.

What are your favorite restaurants in New Orleans? One or two hands.

My go-to is GW Fins and I always get the Scalibut. I also love the Veal Roberto at Vincent’s, everything at Tito’s Pisco and Ceviche, especially the octopus and Tallarines Verdes Con Bistec, and the Feed Me at Luvi.

What is something you would teach the uninitiated about product management?

First, project and product management are different. I think it’s easy for people to confuse the two.

I’m in a Facebook group called Women in Product, and I saw a cool thread the other day that asked: “What’s the difference between product and project management?” In the simplest form, products equals the what and the why, engineering equals the how, and project equals the when.

Do you have any other tech experience?

This is very old school but I still remember when I was in computer class in 5th grade; we had a project to make a very simple QBasic program and this was also back when Who Wants to be a Millionaire was popular, so I ended up making a full blown game with life lines and everything.

I know SQL from my analyst days and basic HTML. I am interested in learning more about coding so I can have that skill set and also apply it to make myself a better Product Manager to be able to understand all aspects of software development.

What are your favorite slack channels?

I think everyone’s favorite channel is probably #watercooler.

I always wanted to work from home and had heard that people who work from home could get bored with not having the office interactions. I didn’t think that would be applicable to me because I like to be in my own zone and focused but I’m starting to relate so #watercooler definitely gives us the ability to have that office chit chat.

I also like looking at the #crypto channel. I’m not super big into crypto, and this may sound contradicting but I do have some crypto miners set up in my garage.