Candice Danae: The creator who went viral for cooking for her sister every day
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Venus and Serena. Beyoncé and Solange. Tia and Tamera. These iconic sister duos make having a sister seem like the greatest gift in the world. Sisters are like built-in best friends that walk with you throughout life. They’re there when you need advice, a shirt to borrow, or a cover when you need to sneak out. Even when they’re annoying, they’re still a person that you know you can depend on.
In the case of Mari Monet, this is something she knows all too well. Her sister, Candice Danae, the culinary creator and “little sister” behind the TikTok account, @mariandcandicee, and Instagram account, @candicecooksatl, cooks for her sister every single day. Yes, every single day. I asked.
Imagine waking up each morning knowing that you’re going to have a full-course meal prepared for you and all you have to do is walk into your kitchen. Honestly, even the nation’s most popular meal delivery services could never. From lobster and waffles to classic, soul food this dynamic sister duo is creating content and meals so good that even the world’s top chefs would be impressed. Gordon Ramsay, I’m talking about you.
Armed with a community of more than 1.5 million followers, a newly-released cookbook (more on that later), and a ring light and iPhone, Candice and Mari are carving their own path as creators and putting their sisterhood at the forefront. I recently interviewed the duo to learn more about their relationship, how they went viral, and their path to becoming creators.
Content, Cooking, and Collabs
Candice and Mari were both born and raised in Pittsburg, Pa., and have been experimenting in the kitchen since the early stages of their lives. Candice, in particular, learned how to cook from their mother and made many of her recipes for her family members and close friends.
“I have been cooking since I was nine years old. My whole life has been cooking in the kitchen. At first, I was just making food only for my friends and family. Eventually, I started selling plates out of my home—mainly soul food and seafood and I sold out every single time. After moving to Atlanta, I wasn’t able to sell food to my regular customers. I was contemplating what to do next”, says Candice.
Mari, the older sister who enjoys the meals, was the reason the duo went viral on TikTok back in the Fall of 2021. She posted a video of Candice preparing a breakfast of pumpkin-spiced pancakes (Mari’s favorite, which she also calls “Can-cakes”), scrambled eggs, and skillet potatoes. What really drew people in, aside from the sight of a drool-worthy, well-seasoned meal, was the caption—My little sister cooks for me every day. This TikTok, now with more than 7.8 million views, gained thousands of comments in which people expressed how much they wanted to taste the food and how they wished their own siblings showed that level of appreciation for them.
“I had no intention of making this video trend. My sister was cooking me breakfast one morning and I, being the annoying sister that I am, just started recording her. I was just going to keep it in my drafts but I ended up quickly [deciding to post it] and made the caption ’my little sister cooks for me everyday’. I put my phone down, ate, and continued my day and totally forgot I even posted it. Later that night, I got back on TikTok and it had around 2,000 views which was more than average for me. The next day, my sister was scrolling on her TikTok and saw the video. It was getting a lot of attention and she was confused because she didn't [know I posted it]. I logged back into the account and my notifications were blowing up. My sister and I just laughed it off. We were reading the comments and there were so many people that were surprised that my little sister was cooking for me. It was insane! I really thought it was a normal thing to do for your siblings. The next day, my sister made dinner and I recorded her again. [That video] blew up, gaining us lots of followers”, says Mari.
This eventually kicked off a multi-part video series where Mari shares the dishes that Candice cooks for her. They have since expanded their content into other series like Everything But A Plate in which Candice makes recipes and plates them in unusual dishware—think spaghetti and meatballs in a mini bathtub—or Name That Restaurant, where she recreates meals from popular restaurants. Fans of their content have praised the duo for their close-knit relationship, even claiming Candice as a sister of their own. Some have even proposed marriage.
While Candice and Mari aren’t necessarily focused on marital partnerships at the moment, they are keeping partnerships with brands top of mind. The sisters have collaborated with brands like Olipop, Dan-O’s Seasoning, and Simulate—the company behind plant-based nugget brand, NUGGS.
With several partnerships under their belt and an authentic bond that only sisters can have, Candice and Mari are building a name for themselves and inspiring a community of creators and family chefs across TikTok and Instagram. Once the sisters began publishing content more regularly and growing their audience, they noticed that other users on the platform wanted to jump in on the fun as well.
“I started seeing other people posting [their own version of our] videos—plating for their sisters, husbands, boyfriends, or kids. It was funny to see something like that and how many people were inspired to do the same. People were telling us to never stop and how they loved my sister’s food ideas because they helped them choose what to cook [at home],” says Mari.
“Every time we posted a video, it would average over a million views which has helped us get more creative with our content because we know that all of our supporters want to see more,” says Candice.
Now, the sisters are focusing on expanding their brand beyond social media and in the process, are learning a lot about what it takes to be a creator and how to manage relationships with brands.
From The Desk of the Creator
From The Desk of the Creator is an ongoing series in my interviews that includes direct insights from creators on how brands, influencers, and creators can work better together.
- What advice do you have for brands that are wanting to partner with creators or influencers?
Candice: My advice for brands reaching out to creators is to research their social accounts to see which platforms would be best for the kind of content they want and the audience they want to attract.
Mari: My advice is to be mindful of the creator or influencer's time and how much work is put into making great content. It's not easy juggling different brands and trying to make the best content for every brand the right way.
- What advice do you have for creators or influencers that are wanting to partner with brands?
Candice: Create your rates based and [stick to them]—do not go below your rate. Additionally, put your best effort forward when creating content. You want to capture people's attention so that brands will want to collaborate with you.
Mari: Never let anyone sell you short. Know your worth and the hard work you put into your content.
- How can creators stand out on social media platforms?
Candice: Create content that keeps the people interested. Always have something new.
Mari: Be original. It sounds cliche but I see a lot of people steal content and try to make it their own and eventually run out of ideas.
- What have you noticed in the content creation space that you would like to see improved on?
Candice: I have noticed a lot of content taken from creators without credit.
Mari: I would love to see more content creators of color get the recognition they deserve, in addition to brand deals.
What’s Next For Candice and Mari & Where To Find Them
Candice and Mari are officially in their growth era. They just released a cookbook, appropriately titled—”Our Little Sisters Cookbook” which features over 60 recipes from their videos. They are also manifesting that it will hit number one on Amazon. Additionally, they are expanding their presence on YouTube and have other exciting projects in the works that we should all be on the lookout for.
“Stay tuned,” says Candice and Mari.
In the meantime, I will begin my campaign to get invited over for dinner at Candice and Mari’s place because something about eating nachos out of a Tonka truck really has a certain kind of je ne sais quoi. If you’d like to follow Candice and Mari and see more of their content, click the links below.