Food52 is 10 years old! To celebrate a decade of all things kitchen and home, we're rolling out our top recipes, tips, and stories for another victory lap, along with some of our very favorite memories over the years. Go on, take 'em in!
When we first started our Shop back in 2013 (as Amanda and Merrill write here) we thought we had it figured out. We’d fill it up with beautiful and practical things made by interesting, passionate people who shared the same values as us. We’d present the right mix of products on the site and see how they were received—and if they did well, we’d keep them.
Turns out it wasn’t quite as straightforward. But it’s been more interesting and rewarding than we ever imagined it would be. And bigger. So much bigger. What started off as a carefully curated 80 products, is now over 3,000. We went from offering kitchen goods that help us cook well and eat well, to expanding into everything you could possibly need for the home.
Over the last six years, our makers—designers, woodworkers, ceramicists, and more—have become essential to making Food52 what it is. We’ve had the pleasure of working with artists who were ahead of their time and nudged us into doing the same—like Dot and Army, seller of the hugely popular Unpaper Towel, for whom sustainability has always played a big role in product development.
We've grown our businesses together. Our relationship with Hawkins New York, for instance, began when we were a small shop and they were shipping glassware out of their home, from off the kitchen table. Since then, we've both expanded considerably; they now have brick and mortar locations in Hudson, NY, Los Angeles, and Manhattan—all of which we'll find any excuse to visit.
And we’ve built rewarding creative partnerships along the way, too. Back in 2015, the very popular ceramicist Jono Pandolfi stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us to create the first ever Food52-branded dinnerware, bringing tableware preferred by top restaurants in the country to your tables. It's relationships like those that eventually gave us the confidence to launch our own brand, Five Two, last year. So not only do we curate the best, but we make some of these products ourselves now too.
In honor of Food52's 10th anniversary (yup, that's right, we turned 10 years old this year!), we've rounded up our memories, old and new, of some of our earliest partners. All the way back to the time when vendors would call on Amanda and Merrill at their homes and spread out their wares on any surface they could find—beds included. We also coaxed our team of buyers into picking their favorite products—no easy task. Here are 10 of our over-350 makers, and the products we love almost as much as we love them.
“Each ingredient in a Creekside Farms wreath is hand-picked by a small team from their fields in Monterey. These ingredients are then worked into unique, one-of-a-kind designs for Food52. Living in a small apartment in New York, I don't always have room for the 10-ft Christmas tree I've always dreamed of. Instead, I style my door with a holiday wreath from Creekside, and it gets me in the spirit early on in the season, making the holidays slow down."—Aja Aktay, BUYER, HOME & VINTAGE
“When we first reached out to Hawkins New York, we were a small shop, and they were shipping glassware out of their home. We’ve grown to being close friends and partners, true to our humble beginnings together, and continue to develop exclusive lines with them, as well as visit their beautiful Hudson abode any chance we get.” —Jojo Feld, SENIOR DIRECTOR, MERCHANDISING
“Bake, braise, sear, roast, deep fry, or sauté—Staub cookware does it all! And to top it all off they look pretty enough to go straight from the oven to table (which mean fewer dishes to wash after). My Staub actually never leaves my stove, it lives there ready to assist with my next culinary endeavor.” —Peter Themistocles, BUYER, KITCHEN & PANTRY
“Jennifer's been with us since the beginning of time! The company is named for her maternal grandparents; Dot, her grandmother, taught her mom how to sew, who passed on the skills to Jennifer. Dot & Army is still very much a family affair—Jennifer has her whole family, including her kids, helping to pack and ship these products out to customers.” —Casey Simring, BUYER, TABLE
"Zoe and James, Farmhouse Pottery co-founders, contacted Amanda back in 2013 with samples, quickly becoming one of our earliest vendors. We've been visiting them up in Vermont ever since. The brand has its own ceramics studio that employs local potters and focuses on supporting local farmers and artisans—and this commitment shows in their collection of home goods. " —JF
“Olympia Provisions is an Oregon-based charcuterie maker that uses Old World techniques (think natural casings and antibiotic-free meat) to achieve the tastiest piece of meat you'll ever eat. Besides being an unofficial sponsor of almost every Food52 office happy hour, this salami has a special place in my heart— my boyfriend gifted the Salami Bouquet to me when Food52 hired me!“ —Louise de Verteuil, ASSOCIATE BUYER, KITCHEN & PANTRY
“During our first studio visit with Kim, we spotted the pinch bowls drying on her shelves, and instantly fell in love. No one was selling them at the time, so we discussed special glazes and that elegant gold dip (that’s now a Food52 exclusive) and voila! When it came time for future collections with Kim, we made sure that gold dip was a part of those as well.” —JF
“Beth at Coppermill Kitchen recalls bringing her first delivery of vintage into Amanda's apartment, spreading all of the rare and precious antiques across her bed, and then shooting each piece right there. Her copper has been a longtime staple in the shop and as a vintage buyer, I can't help but feel like we are channeling Julia Child with every copper collectible we sell.” —AA
“The spoon rest from Pigeon Toe Ceramics is without doubt the most used item in my kitchen. Not only is it beautiful and my countertops now mess-free, but it has saved so many paper towels from going into the garbage. I now have several of these!” —JF
“The simple elegance of Jono Pandolfi's dinnerware will never go out of style. And with their durable shapes, designed for everyday use, you’ll be able to use these pieces forever. I reach for my Jono Pandolfi Pasta Bowls for every meal; finding ways to use it even when a bowl is not required!” —CS