I have been receiving a bunch of 2016 wrap-ups from the companies I have invested in. When I got Food 52’s I went through the info a few times. I was much more involved at the very beginning as that is my sweet spot. I was and still am impressed with how Amanda and Merrill had a vision, a path and a process for growing their brand. Through the years they have listened to the investors and others but at the end of the day they trusted their gut and built what they believed is the right business.
I went back to see when I invested in that business. It was May of 2010. They began as a place where people shared recipes and enrolled in their best recipe contest but now they are so much more but of course that was always the plan. They have added products and some are exclusively theirs, video, partnerships with companies and chefs who do live Facebook events, “not recipes” Instagram, put out another book that is sold in multiple places, created a holiday swap from 14 countries, gave advice on starting an art collection and info on how to care for items in your home and they were acknowledged from Crains and Inc 500 for what they have built. Food52 essentially moved from a food site to a life style brand while growing the company to 65 people.
Seeing what they have accomplished is one of the best things as an investor. I love the journey more than anything else. It takes time and a shit load of energy to build a company from a seed of an idea. People who come back constantly to Food 52 love everything about the site. The data is there. I happen to love the site too but more than anything I am standing in the front of the room continuing to applaud for these ladies everyday. I just love what they have built.