Product Design

The Secret Ingredient of Five Two? You, Our Community

We're kicking off Five Two Day by sharing the community feedback that shaped the whole line—each and every piece.

Photo by Rocky Luten

At its heart, Food52 is a community of cooks (and eaters!)—all of us who work here included. We understand the everyday triumphs, ordinary frustrations, and daily needs of the kitchen. How many times have we cursed our potholders for not being sturdy enough to withstand the heat of our Dutch ovens? Or wished for a pan with a built-in strainer so we weren’t constantly searching for ours just as the pasta timer dinged?

None of our Five Two products would exist in their current (glorious!) form without specific tips from you. Today, on our annual holiday of the line’s launch, we’re celebrating the people behind this uniquely community-powered collection of products. Five Two was born of our desire to make all of us happier at home—what better way to ensure that products actually solve problems and grant silent wishes than to ask the people who will be using them? Practical advice and input from our Food52ers is woven into the details of every product.

Here are a few of our very favorite, most notable community comments and requests that transformed the initial product designs into what you see today in our Shop.

Cutting Board

“A board to chop on, yet also elegant enough to serve as a platter for appetizers, cheese, charcuterie, etc.” Austin Banach, a fellow multi-tasker

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I would love to purchase the bamboo cutting board, but I do not like to purchase items made in China.”
— Deb

“As a design lover who is often found in the kitchen, I am always looking at the intersection of form and function. A beautiful cutting board is essential!” Athena Calderone, founder of EyeSwoon

“Have you considered bamboo? It’s strong, sustainable, and looks fantastic.” Tia, eco-minded just like us

Fun Facts: More than 66 percent of people wanted something mid-weight: We made ours light enough for serving, but solid for chopping. Over 60 percent said “easy to lift” was the most important design feature, so we tapered the edges—it’s a cinch to grip.

Kitchen Towels

“I want them to feel soft to the touch—I love when towels wear in over time.” Nila, a big fan of happy hands.

“I’m always looking for a lightweight, absorbent towel that can dry my wine glasses without streaking or leaving lint.” Ally, all for a fuzz-free glass of Pinot.

“I’ve never met a dish towel that’s smart and good-looking, too. They say you can’t have it all, but I’m super open to the prospect.” Mary McNulty, who’s in for a great surprise once she shops our towels.

Wooden Spoons

To kick off the design process for our wooden spoons, we turned to social media to see what features your dream spoon would have. You answered (and sent photos of your favorites)!

“Smoothness is important. And a bowl shape deep enough to hold some broth or sauce for taste-testing.” cooksalot, master of recipe-refining on the fly.

“A long handle and an oval shape, nice and brown from years of service…I never put it in the dishwasher!” Elisa Prega, sworn protector of all wooden spoons.

“Any shape will do. I love watching my spoons develop character.” bobplustwo, vocal proponent of uniqueness (we couldn’t agree more)

Aprons (With a Built-In Bonus Tool!)

“I can never find my pot holders. It’s like tape when you’re wrapping presents. It’s so perfect to just have something attached that you can grab with one hand or two, to move something off a burner.” Heidi, whose brilliant suggestion changed our apron game

“As a tall thin guy, aprons are usually all wrong with bibs hitting me at sternum height and overall length barely making it to my knees. Also: Cooking in the Deep South in the summer a.k.a. fried chicken season means the last thing I want is a too-heavy apron kicking my sweat into overdrive.” Nicholas Hite, no longer schvitzing over chicken

“I may be the only one who does this but I use the bottom of my apron as a potholder to grab pots to bring to the sink to drain. It would be nice to have a thicker potholder material down at the bottom sides of the apron.” Lisa Michalakopoulos, certainly not the only one who does that

Fun Facts: More than 60 percent of you asked for a mid-weight fabric so spills won’t seep through to your clothes, which drove us to source a durable 100 percent cotton twill with reinforced stitching that comes in 4 cheerful colors.

Oven Mitts & Pot Holders

“I want to handle whatever I’m wrangling without fear of fumbling or getting burned. Too thick, and it’s easy to poke a hole in a baked good. Too thin, and the heat goes right through.” Michelle T., now confidently baking cakes

“I use pot holders as oven mitts—and they double as trivets...Machine-washable and stain resistant, PLEASE. Susana, whose wish has been granted

Fun Facts: You asked for full-wrist protection, so we made our oven mitts longer to protect your forearms at the stove, oven, grill—basically, anywhere the heat is on.


“I’m looking for cookware that is well-made, durable, and versatile. Cookware that will stand up to whatever I need it to do.” R, a community member who can now stop looking.

“I dream of having a cohesive collection that looks nice together. Ideally, they could even be hung in the kitchen for easy access, to free up cabinet and drying-rack space, and to show what beautiful pots and pans I have. Sarah Glowa-Kollisch, a home cook whose kitchen is about to get brighter.

Fun Facts: Over half of our community members asked for lids, so we made ours in tempered glass that’s lightweight, tight-fitting, and oven-safe up to 390°F. Why glass? So you can keep an eye on what’s cooking.

As we celebrate five years of our Five Two line, we pause to appreciate the input and time (and humor and wisdom!) from everyone who’s weighed in our product design. Without you, Five Two wouldn’t exist. Here’s to many more years of collaboration and beautiful kitchens!

Any Five Two design feature you're especially excited about? Tell us all about it in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • SM
  • sheila kappler
    sheila kappler
  • Deb
  • Caroline Sloat
    Caroline Sloat
  • Smaug
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


SM February 19, 2023
Can you create a spice rack for a pantry shelf? :)
sheila K. May 2, 2021
Do you ship to Canada yet?
Deb May 2, 2021
I would love to purchase the bamboo cutting board, but I do not like to purchase items made in China.
Smaug May 2, 2021
Maybe just as well- bamboo is extremely hard and slippery.
Caroline S. May 2, 2021
Thanks to right back to you for your vision and energy and a beautiful line of useful products.