Food 52

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.


Comments (Archived):

  1. bsoist

    I haven’t seen Food 52. I’ve been looking for something like this. Online recipe stuff often feels like a big trap. I’m hoping this one is better. Our menu needs are complicated too, so I’m hoping for some help there.

    1. Gotham Gal

      These recipes come from home cooks. They work!

    2. Charlie

      Food 52 indeed is a beautiful site full of wonderful, though mostly quite challenging, recipes. Inspiring! However, if you are interested in highly personalized weekly meal recommendations and sale-smart shopping, try DinnerTime, at The web app handles all the ways families are different, taking into account time, budget, skill of the cook, allergies, health concerns, and tastes, as well as automatically using ‘what’s on sale this week’ from more than 12,000 grocery stores in the U.S. With more than 10 million meal combinations to meet any families needs, healthy and delicious.

      1. bsoist

        My first reaction when I read the second sentence of your comment was “nope, I’m not interested in that.”And normally I would not be up for hijacking the comment thread here for this, but after reading the rest of your comment I wonder if you are up for the challenge. Our dietary restrictions are complicated. Look me up and send me an email.

  2. Susan Rubinsky

    I’ve been a big fan of Food 52 for many years. I didn’t know you were an investor but when I read this, I thought, “Of course.”

  3. Alison Winer Dinerstein

    I remember when they first started and thought they had the BEST meatloaf recipe on the planet. Yes, meatloaf. It is incredible how they have grown over the years. I’m still impressed and use them as a resource all of the time.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Even meatloaf works..

  4. daryn

    Huge fan of Amanda and Food 52!

  5. kbb

    Food 52 does everything thoughtfully. Everything is well-crafted and well-curated. They create passionate attachment, and trust.