Food52 turned 10 this year (ICYMI), which got us to reflecting on the past—how we started, how far we've come, and everything we've done with our community along the way. In our first 10 years, we grew from two employees (see above—hi, A&M!) to 92, collected over 50,000 recipes, moved five times, won quite a few awards, and even baked with Cookie Monster. Below are some of our very favorite moments. If the next decade is this good, we sure have a lot to look forward to.
Amanda meets Merrill.
The two team up for The Essential New York Times Cookbook, the 1,000-plus recipe project that inspires them to launch a startup called Food52.
A&M score a deal for The Food52 Cookbook.
With publisher Bob Miller and Harper Studios (an old imprint of HarperCollins). The recipes will come by way of community contests, which means that Food52 is a go. Go, go, go!
We write our first blog post.
About butter, naturally.
The internet is abuzz about our upcoming launch.
After we post a video tour of Amanda’s kitchen, Serious Eats tells its readers: “They're beta-testing now.” (Check out our new site! And that nifty logo!)
On September 15th, Food52 officially launches.
Drinks on us!
We crown our first contest winners.
“Your Best Layer Cake” gets three entries, including one from Amanda, who comes in third (don't sleep on the recipe, though—her family-famous chocolate dump-it cake). Merrill's sister takes home the gold with her not red velvet cake.
Congrats, Seven Fires. Over the years, our judges have included chefs and writers like Yotam Ottolenghi, Rachael Ray, Dominque Ansel, and more.
Amanda recommends “the little pot that could.”
And asks readers to share their own favorites. Ten years later, we’re still chatting about what makes good cookware great with our community. (Only now, we have our own little line that could, Five Two.)
Food52 publishes “Will You Marry Me?”
What?! It’s for Merrill—and she says yes.
Kristen, our resident Genius, writes a behind-the-scenes post.
This "convinced A&M they could trust me with writing (a lot) more and eventually a column," Kristen remembers. "My big break!"
Pierino, a much-loved late community member, shares The Case of the Promiscuous Romesco.
It won our stale bread contest and was one of 169 cheeky recipes he shared on the site.
We graduate to working in our first "real" office.
Full speed ahead to Dogpatch Labs, a coworking space. We claimed four desks, but continued staging photoshoots in Amanda’s bedroom.
Our Hotline is live.
It was originally known as—get this—Foodpickle, and we are still answering your questions about sour milk and then some. To date, there have been over 35,000 posts. (Psst: Did you know our editors go on-call every Thanksgiving?)
MrsLarkin (aka “scone lady”) publishes her first Food52 scone recipe.
They’re butternut-sage and we still think about them every fall.
The very first Genius Recipe publishes.
We redesign the site and our community isn’t psyched about it.
Critiques include: “The new site is neither relaxing nor joyful to use” and “This bums me out!” But you stuck with us! And we never forget that.
Food52er enbe writes a Hotline post.
To gauge interest in a Food52-style Secret Santa. This sparks our first ever Holiday Swap—a tradition we still keep up! (You can read all about it in The New York Times.)
We post our first photo (Kristen pouring, hm, vanilla extract?), snapped by James Ransom , with the caption, “Something Genius is coming.” To date, it has 42 likes and one comment (posted a month and a half ago, reading "wow 2011 🤟🏻").
We move to a new co-working space.
Amanda summarized the space as "a little Being John Malkovich-y." But it had some pretty cool Julia Child wall art and we stayed there for two years.
We publish The Food52 Cookbook.
With 140 winning recipes from exceptional home cooks. That's you!
We take a victory lap.
We win a James Beard Foundation Award for Publication of the Year and 100% couldn't have done it without you.
A&M write columns about not-picky eaters.
In “Amanda’s Kids’ Lunch,” she shares what she makes for Walker and Addison (say, cream cheese and radish sandwiches for lunch, strawberries on the side). Meanwhile, Merrill’s baby, Clara, conquers finger food (like clementine segments and gouda chunks).
MrsWheelbarrow schools us on how to smoke salami.
One of our O.G. community members, she’s since gone on to publish multiple cookbooks (on pie, not salami).
Our most popular recipe—like, ever—publishes.
Crock-Pot Brown Sugar & Balsamic-Glazed Pork Tenderloin. What are you waiting for?
The Shop opens for business.
Except, it wasn’t called The Shop—it was called Provisions. We offered 260 items across 80 makers and celebrated with a face cake. That November, we think it’s a good idea to sell heritage turkeys, lose one person’s order along the way, and, um, never do that again. (Don’t worry, we found a consolation bird just in time.)
We host our first-ever holiday pop-up shop.
Snacks and drinks included, but of course.
We move to a new office on West 30th St.
Thanks to a chockfull Zipcar minivan and plenty of gumption. In this space, our company grew to 40 employees.
We start selling paper plates—made of porcelain.
From designer Virginia Sin. They now come in white, black, grey, and blush-pink.
Molly Yeh teaches us how to make a funfetti cake—from scratch.
One of our way-back-when contributors, she’s since gone on to publish a cookbook and host her own Food Network show. Go Molly!
We make—and eat—a lot of cookies.
After baking cookies for all of NYC, we distribute them via food truck and our first large-scale Shop pop-up in Union Square. (Amanda makes Chewy Vanilla Spice Cookies With Chocolate Chunks. Merrill makes Soft Chocolate Almond Cherry Cookies and prevails—she spikes her cookie in the end zone.) That same month, the one and only Cookie Monster visits our offices.
We launch the Burnt Toast podcast.
In the three seasons since, we’ve covered topics like margarine (and its relation to Napoleon III), Twin Peaks’ Kyle MacLachlan making cherry pie, food fights, and toast, burnt and otherwise.
We move into YET ANOTHER new office.
That we’re still in! Though we’ve now stretched out to four other floors in the building.
And our new office gets robbed.
We lost several laptops (but thankfully none of our desk snacks).
We create our first co-branded product.
With potter extraordinaire Jono Pandolfi, a master of earthy dinnerware.
We reach 1 million followers on Instagram.
Ahem, quadrupling our following in one year. In the years since, we’ve grown to 2.4 million.
We grow to be 52 employees–strong.
“And no, that's not by design,” Inc. notes in a business profile.
We take Brimfield, an antiques market, by storm (or by one cornhole game at a time?).
Our app, (Not) Recipes, is born.
It lives a happy but short life, leaving us in 2018 to go live on a farm upstate.
Community member Kitchen Butterfly publishes her classic Nigerian jollof rice.
It’s still one of our most-searched-for recipes.
We host a party for our annual Piglet cookbook competition.
With—wait for it—cuter-than-puppies piglets! Oink.
We launch German holiday decor.
It took two full years for A&M to convince our skeptical Shop team—and they sell like hotcakes, in June no less. Also this year: We start selling salami bouquets (flowers, who?) and find out that our community loves cured meat as much as we do.
A&M take the Today show by storm.
They make lots of crispy chicken and spread the word about the Frywall, which we still swear by for splatter-free meals.
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We launch our best-selling product.
Of all time: the stackable bodega glasses. And, yes, they’re still available.
We join forces with Bloomingdale’s.
And open our own little Food52 shop in the Bloomie’s flagship space on 59th St in NYC.
Meet Five Two.
Our own line of products for kitchen, home and life. Made by us, made with you. Since launching, we’ve created products like a double-sided cutting board, silicone straws, stoneware mixing bowls...and we’re just getting started.
Our cookbook club turns one.
We throw a potluck to celebrate. (Oh! They grow up so fast.) If you want to join the fun (how could you not?), head right this way.
We hop a train.
We make commuting in NYC less horrible by posting our very first subway ads.
And then a plane.
We partner with Jet Blue, so you can fly joyfully.
Our latest book, Dynamite Chicken, hatches.
The anti chicken cookbook–chicken cookbook.
We set up a pop-up shop at the Oculus in NYC.
It’s full of brand-new Five Two products and good vibes. Check it out from November 23rd through January 5th!
A month-ish after we turn 10, something big happens.
We take on a majority investment from TCG Capital, which gives us more room to grow (and more to look forward to for the next 10 years).
It’s the future and we still can’t get over how nifty butter keepers are.
Because some things never change.