Valentine's Day

That Time Our Co-Founder Was Proposed To—on This Website

February  6, 2017

Valentine’s Day is next week, and whether or not you like the holiday, you’re sure to be charmed by our Food52 Love Connections: All week long we'll be sharing one heart-warming story a day about relationships (romantic and otherwise) fostered through our site. And we’re not starting small—today’s story might be the biggest love connection of them all, the tale of our co-founder Merrill's engagement:

This proposal was one of the biggest surprises of my life—I truly had no idea it was coming. And it never would have happened at all without some serious help from Amanda.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Jonathan had been planning to ask me to marry him for a while, but apparently decided that morning (I can't remember exactly why) that he needed to do it that very day. He drove to his mother's house in New Jersey, where she gave him one of her rings to use as an impromptu engagement ring.

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This was the early days of Food52, so after dinner—like every, every night—I was tapping away on my computer on the sofa, catching up on email. Jonathan was right next to me, also tapping away. Unbeknownst to me, however, he was not working but emailing Amanda.

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Top Comment:
“What a sweet story!! Thank you for sharing; this gave me a smile. So happy for your happiness!”
— Kayleigh

Together, they plotted: he sent her the text and photo, and she built and published the post. Once the post was up, Amanda sent me this email:

The only hiccup was that I was deep in the middle of writing an important email myself when hers came in, so I didn't see it right away. Jonathan sat next to me for a full ten minutes, waiting for me to read her message while I wrote and rewrote the same email four times. Finally, I read her email and clicked through to the post.

It took me a minute to grasp the situation; I still thought someone had hacked the site until I turned and saw Jonathan next to me, holding the ring. I promptly burst into tears, and said yes.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
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  • Wei-Yann Chen King
    Wei-Yann Chen King
  • Kayleigh
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Alexandra S. February 6, 2017
Love this!
ChefJune February 6, 2017
Can't believe you never shared that with us until now. Such a lovely story. <3
enbe February 6, 2017
So sweet!
Wei-Yann C. February 6, 2017
Really sweet proposal! Many more years of happiness to you both :)
Kayleigh February 6, 2017
What a sweet story!! Thank you for sharing; this gave me a smile. So happy for your happiness!
Katharine M. February 6, 2017
Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!