Behind the Scenes of Food52's First Makers Conference

October  3, 2015

We spent a day hanging out with some of our makers, and had a blast!

Welcome to the Maker's ConferenceEveryone was welcomed into the Food52 office for the first Makers Conference bright and early!

Amanda and Merrill kick off the conference Christina
Our founders, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, kicked off the day with a few laughs, and Christina DiLaura, our Vice President of Commerce, acted as the day's emcee!

Everyone got a beautiful notebook from Poppin so they could jot down what they learned.

A full house, a few yawns, and lots of Stumptown Coffee!

A delicious breakfast spread and fresh juices from Red Jacket Orchards.

Our makers enjoyed treats made in our test kitchen by Test Kitchen Manager Derek Laughren

Dip & Scoop's Dina Berrada and Simo Bennai chatted with Kate Coffey from Chocolate Twist, while Merrill hung out with Jennifer Zamudio from Dot & Army and Carol Bildahl from The New Clothesline Company.

Liddabit Sweet's Liz Gutman and Los Poblanos' Aimee Conlee enjoyed breakfast.

The first panel of the day featured Lauren Drell of Sweetgreen, Mark Simmons of Design Within Reach, Ethan Trask of One King's Lane, Fernando Music of Partners & Spade, and was moderated by Joanne Zaiac of DigitasLBI.

Lauren and Mark chatted about brand identity while the audience listened in. 

Our second panel of the day featured Jesse Liu of Poppin, Dana Loia of Dana's Bakery, Shannon Malone of Warby Parker, and was moderated by Michael Mosca.

 Jesse and Dana spoke about planning for inventory and meeting year-round demand. 

The audience pitched in. 

The third panel, All Things Distribution, featured Rick Field of Rick's Picks, Kiel Mead of Areaware and American Design Club, Claire Mazur of Of a Kind, and was moderated by Patrick Ramsey of AERIN.

Kiel and Claire discussed finding the right brand partners. 

Salad, salami, and sweets set out for lunch, with beautiful (and green!) Verterra plates ready to be filled. 

 Sausages from Olympia Provisions and coffee treats from Stumptown Coffee. 

  Jason Durhan from Ricks Pick's chatted with Dip & Scoop's founders, while Linda Kim of Pulse Roasted Chickpeas caught up with the makers behind Red House. 

 Early Growth Financial was on hand during lunch to help answer our makers' questions on finance and business. 

Food52's Haley Priebe and Cynthia C of Two Red Bowls led a workshop on utilizing social media for small businesses.

 Liddabit Sweet's Liz Gutman, Marie Sussingham of Maison Boissier, Matt and Britt Witt of Red House, Jennifer Zamudio of Dot & Army and Trudy Cane of lookslikewhite listened in. 

Across the office, another group chatted about the importance of packaging and package design with Ryan Becker of Coty.

 Jennifer Zamudio of Dot & Army and Sarah Kacek of Bee's Wrap shared their own experiences designing their packaging.

Hannah Dworkis of General Assembly gave makers the low-down on small business law. 

Kim Gilmour from Fisheye Brooklyn and Amy Stringer from AHeirloom joined the conversation. 

 Food52's own Alexis Anthony and James Ransom led a workshop on styling and photographing product. 

James talked with Janae Cameron of Turnco about composing beautiful photos. 

Moderated by Julie Yoo of Scripps Networks Interactive, our fourth panel on investment featured Terry Romero of Kickstarter, Andres Mowak of Snowe, and Juli Kaufmann of Fix Development.

The final panel of the evening, on thriving at life and work, featured Virginia Sin of SIN, Daniel Holzman of The Meatball Shop, Simon Isaacs of Fatherly, and Stephanie Jackson of Union Square Hospitality Group

The moderator was Food52's own Bridget Williams. At the end, everyone celebrated a birthday!

 Delicious food from Tacombi kept the crowd going after a long day, and fueled everyone up for a lovely cocktail reception. 

 Margaux Kent of Peg & Awl chatted with panelist Terry Romero, and Britt Witt of Red House laughed with Food52's Christina DiLaura.

The winners of our Food52 trivia contest (Eden Delaune of Arrowhead and Dina Berrada of Dip & Scoop) collected their prizes. 

We had so much fun getting to know more about our makers (and getting to try some of the delicious treats they make)!

Of course, no good conference is without gift bags! Ours were filled with wonderful goodies to celebrate the incredibly talented makers in our Shop. 

All photos by Alyssa Ringler

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • maggie zembruski
    maggie zembruski
  • Mary
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


maggie Z. July 24, 2016
Is this conference happening again in the fall? If so, what is the application process to attend? My husband and I recently purchased our third generation farm and launched Growing Greener: food and farming education platform. [email protected]
Mary December 29, 2015
I would like to be at the next conference. Please let me know when you have details. I do a blog for Jamaica and the Diaspora. Please reach Mary at