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"It's a chicken salad."
If this phrase sounds familiar, you've probably heard it as a catchphrase in thousands of videos on TikTok and Instagram over the past few weeks. All Sound features a trade between deli Nisha Godfrey and owner Wael Herbawi at the East 81st Street Deli in Cleveland, Ohio.
“You better come here and get one of these,” says Nisha.
"What's that?" Wael replies.
"It's a chicken salad," says Nisha firmly.
While the sound, coming from one posted on TikTok, has more to offer@81stdeliAccount, this exchange seems to be catching the attention of creators and social media influencers.
The video has 20.5 million views on the deli's account and 2.1 million views on Nisha's account. However, what makes this sound so special is the essence of Nisha. It's the stern but fun way of inviting you to order this chicken salad that really speaks to you. So much so that not only do Cleveland-area residents flock to the deli for their own chicken salads, but fans from Texas and other states also flock to Nisha's request.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm on the lookout for good food, especially when I have ita larch, so I had to drink my tea with what was in Nisha's salad.
„Es ist Salat oder Spinat, aber ich bevorzuge Spinat. Dann Hühnchen, geriebener Käse, Tomaten, Zwiebeln, Gurken und Bananenpfeffer. Wenn sie frische Pilze und schwarze Oliven haben, füge ich diese auch hinzu. Wenn sie keine Croutons haben, mache ich sie normalerweise mit Flamin' Hot Doritos als Taco-Salat“, sagt Nisha.
Well, as someone who identifies as a protagonist in their own life, I love seeing that same type of energy in other people. Between the yellow floral dress Nisha wears (with matching fingernails) and the now-infamous finger-over-mouth placement, you'd think Nisha was just an everyday influencer, walking us through a day in her life. Rather, Nisha Godfrey is, in her words, just a "working mom" who happened to be in the spotlight.
I reached out to Nisha to find out more about her rise to virality and how she's coping with her newfound internet fame.
become Mrs. Chicken Salad
Although the internet now knows Nisha, 39, as well knownmillisecond. chicken saladÖThe Chicken Salad LadyLike the icon who made East 81st Street Deli famous, she considers herself a "normal" Cleveland woman.
"I literally go to work, go home, go on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and lie in bed with a glass of wine," says Nisha.
By day, Nisha works as a Direct Support Professional (DSP), helping people with intellectual or developmental disabilities transition from life in institutions to nursing homes and return to their communities. This type of work requires a deep knowledge of people, empathy and connection with others. Given Nisha's roots, this has always come naturally to her. Ever since she was little, she remembers always wanting to entertain people and tell stories.
"Growing up, I used to joke with my friends and family that I was going to be famous. I watched movies and wanted to be [a star],” says Nisha.
Nowadays, influential girls would definitely consider the vocalization of a young Nisha's hopes and desires as suchmanifest🇧🇷 Last September he posted his first TikToks:one of themShe shared how she had a story to tell despite being new to the platform. With a knack for connecting with people and a desire to be in the spotlight, TikTok seemed like an appropriate place to channel her inner child's dreams.
Little did she know it would be the platform that would catapult her to stardom. One day after coming home from work, he decided to visit the deli and order a chicken salad.
"The salad was so beautiful that Wael wanted to do a TikTok, and we did."
Though Wael posted the video to the restaurant's TikTok account that day, it wasn't until later that it blew up.
"I was super surprised. My daughter came up to me and told me it was viral on TikTok and that she needed to see the video. It was only 100k views but I was scared to read the comments because I looked like a hottie but once I started reading the comments it was pure love. I couldn't believe what I read. You were so nice.
Some fans of the video thought she made the salad look like the best food in the world. Others shared how much they loved the sound of her voice. One fan even shared that the video felt therapeutic.
As the video began circulating on TikTok and Instagram, creators began using its sound to create recreations and their own memeized versions of the video. Even celebrities like itLizzo,Tia mower,lori harvey, mior from miamijumped on the trend. That visibility has made Nisha and East 81st Street Deli famous. According to a recenttoday's article, social media attention helped boost sales at the deli. The owner, Wael, says he's gone from 40 to about 300 salads a day.
if you ask me it is herDieHour.
With a torrent of love from her new community, which has rapidly grown from 107 to over 90,000 followers in just a few months, Nisha is confident that she can make any of her dreams come true.
The challenges of being a TikTok star
When internet personalities go viral, it often seems like everything happens overnight. Without support, it can be difficult to secure the resources needed to maintain a personal social media presence.
That's why the Nisha community is everything, especially when it comes to negativity on platforms. While feeling supported by her community on TikTok, Nisha shared that Instagram is where she's hated the most. The trolls captured the video to comment on their weight, which was affecting their mental health.
“For a while my anxiety was 3000. I sat at home all day and cried. It would be confusing. I don't know how celebs handle it. I'm just a TikTok star so I can only imagine how they feel reading hate comments. Now I like to do it the Beyoncé way. If the comments are negative, I will not read them.
People just don't know me on Instagram. The one who knows, knows I'll take the shirt off my back and give it to someone else. I'll give someone my last dollar. It seems damned if you do, damned if you don't. I can be myself on TikTok. I don't have to comb my hair. You have to look neat on Instagram. It's not my real life,” says Nisha.
althoughHassOn Instagram, her TikTok followers inspire her to continue this journey. In the meantime, her family members moderate her comments so she doesn't have to deal with negativity as she continues to raise her daughter and pursue her day job.
“That also influenced my work. Trying to work with the phone constantly in hand [is difficult]. Sometimes I have to tell my boss that I have to leave work early to go to the newspaper. My colleagues take me off. I've told my boss I don't want to quit, but I feel overwhelmed because I can't focus on my work. I feel like I need a [talent] manager.”
While Nisha is willing and able to meet these challenges, she knows that the support of her family and community will help keep her focused on achieving her goals. Leave a thank you note for these people:
"Thanks. I love you. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I love my TikTok community. They want to see me win.”
What's next for Nisha and where can she be found?
now himQueen of the Chicken Salad ArmyHe's trying to navigate his way through fame and build a presence that will last a lifetime. So far, brands in the beauty industry have sought partnerships, but she has more in mind. As a plus-size woman, she works with inclusive brands like FENTY, Yitty, Dermologica, Fashion Nova and, in her words, "everything Beyoncé likes."
Until then, Nisha is enjoying this viral moment. He recently announced the launch of his online merchandising shop:...is superior🇧🇷 The range includes t-shirts, hoodies, aprons, stickers and bags, all with graphics showing his infamous words from the video or his face.
In the meantime, she wants the world to know she's ready for thissafe in your pocket🇧🇷 She sees herself traveling the world judging food and is even open to acting and voice work. As she enters this new world of influence and potential entertainment, Nisha knows she's only from here and is open to whatever experiences this journey will bring her.
Whatever she decides next, I know it will beSuperior.
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