The co-founder and COO of Feedr, the food tech ‘cloud canteen’ startup, talks about all things online.

Lyz Swanton, the co-founder and COO of Feedr, the food tech ‘cloud canteen’ startup, has always been a foodie. As a child, she mostly ate seasonal fresh farm food in her native Vancouver and as an adult, she is making a living out of sustainable food.

In 2016, Lyz and her friend Riya Grover founded Feedr, an online platform where companies can order group meals from a carefully curated selection of healthy vendors across London. They are on a mission to help us eat healthier during the working day using smart technology and the spare capacity of some of London’s most interesting restaurants and food stands.

Today, she talks about the daily newsletter that is both witty and informative and her most recommended Instagram book club.

My favourite website… Smitten Kitchen - I found Deb Perelman's small blog a number of years ago when looking for simple recipes based on what I had in the fridge. Since then, her site has served as basically an online "Joy of Cooking" for me. I can consistently find reliable, simple recipe ideas for what's in my fridge. I am terrible at meal planning, and cook based on what I have on hand most of the time, so I love having a go-to that I know and trust.

My favourite app…Feedly - And not just because it sounds like Feedr! I have it set up to screen my top news sites and topics and it helps me stay in the loop on the topics I care about in an easy way without having to go to multiple sites. I like to keep up on both North American and European stories.

My blog of choice…The Startup on Medium - This is a curated blog from Medium editors featuring a wide range of authors and has a huge variety of content. Some is great and some not so great, but I find enough gems to keep me coming back.

My internet hero… Ellen Degeneres - I'm not sure if she counts as an internet hero or a multi-media hero, but she came out as gay on national TV at a time when that was still a career-destroying move. She then managed to not just come back but grow a daytime show into a truly multi-media empire, with everything from a parlour game app to regularly hosting the funniest food critic on the internet (Kalen Allen). She's managed to stay relevant, while always being positive and quietly building a massively successful personal brand.

My favourite podcasts... How I Built This - As a founder I find it incredibly inspiring to hear the stories of other founders I respect for what they've built. When I listen to Freakonomics Radio, I feel like I always learn something new. It helps me to get out of my day-to-day of running a business and think about bigger global topics.

My most recent buy online... a new brass circular planter from - My flat is filled with plants. They brighten the space bringing colour and life. I loved the planter as it has this great standing half-circle for a climbing plant. I've yet to get a plant to properly climb up it, but that's the next challenge!

Book just downloaded/ read… I just started The Paris Wife by Paula McLain - A fiction novel about Ernest Hemingway's marriage to his first wife, Hadley Richardson, and their life and love in 1920s Paris.

Favourite tweeter… Honestly, I am not on Twitter that much. I don't really engage with it. I know it's an interesting way to find links to other things from smart people, but I somehow never got into the habit of interacting with people there. I think a photo or a story is worth a thousand words. Instagram takes up enough of my social media time, and I get my news and content from following other interesting people on Medium.

Favourite Instagrammer… I follow a lot of comedians and love their snippets of daily life and humour as I go about my day. Amy Schumer is always a fave and a ton of London and international food sites. I have recently started following Reese Witherspoon and her bookclub Hello Sunshine. I love her book pictures and the odes dedicated to all things reading.

Social media allowed me to meet… So many of Feedr's great vendors. Many of our vendors are young businesses themselves, and they rely on social media to spread their brand. We get a number of direct reach outs from new vendors via our social channels, especially Instagram. It's a great way to quickly see what they do and whether they would be a fit for our community, and easily connect with them to launch on the platform.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to… The Hustle - Short, snappy, and written with humour, it keeps me up to date with current events without being dry.

Pet hate about life online… Everything needs to be digestible within seconds. I still really enjoy long-form journalism and reading full books. I get frustrated when people try to reduce more complex ideas, stories, or truly interesting topics into bite-size stories and miss the rich detail that truly informs or inspires.

Stand out online memory… The day we launched the very first Feedr website. I know it's rather obvious, and we have definitely built and destroyed about five other versions of the site since then, but nothing quite matches the first day you get your first real website live.

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March 2019