Food52 is the well-established and dynamic media and merchandise business that has a big reputation in the food and home space. According to the company, it generates about $30 million in revenue annually. And in 2020, its monthly reach exceeds 24 million people. As they explain, “We wanted to create a buzzing place for others who do what we do all day long: talk about food! Since we started Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?), tens of millions of cooks and eaters have found their way to the site.”
Food52 Co-founder & CEO, Amanda Hesser is this month’s Media Guru. Formerly the food editor of the New York Times Magazine, she went “from baker and chef to top food writer to entrepreneur. Now she’s sharing her culinary expertise with the world,” said a profile of Hesser in Inc. The company is known for its innovation in product development, for example, using feedback from over 26,000 home cooks to make cookware and tools they’d really use.
The founders, who started in 2009, are both still with the company, but sold Food52 to The Chernin Group for $83 million at the end of 2019. The company says that this buyout values Food52 at more than $100 million. The two co-founders had raised around $20 million in funding, including a debt round.
According to Recode, the purchase by Chernin fits with their strategy, as they have “been buying and building a stable of internet companies aimed at distinct audiences, all of which rely on revenue streams beyond internet advertising.”
Hesser will talk about the methods and strategy of her success as well as challenges as they were growing and going forward.
Media Guru events are well-known for their “no speeches, no Power Point” promise: Just compelling one-on-one conversation with a fascinating personality making news in the media business, followed by Q+A.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
Co-founder and CEO of Food52
Before co-founding the company, Hesser had built a very foody career as a top food writer at The New York Times and a New York Times Magazine columnist as well as a book author. Then, in 2008, she took a buyout from the Times. She said at the time, “I figured, well, my husband and I have a mortgage to pay, kids to feed, and the economy is tanking–it’s the perfect time to start a company!”
Hesser has been named one of the 50 most influential women in food by Gourmet, played herself in the Nora Ephron film, Julie & Julia, created the Twitter app Plodt. She has been a two-times James Beard Award winner: once for Publication of the Year in 2012 and the year before for the Essential New York Times Cookbook.
Hesser received a BS in Economics/Finance from Bentley University and a Graduate Diploma from L’Ecole de Cuisine Lavarenne.
CEO at DailyFX
Gretchen Grant is CEO of DailyFX, a leading digital publisher on foreign exchange, commodities, and indices. DailyFX’s parent is IG Group, an $800 million financial technology company publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. Previously, Gretchen was Senior Consultant for Quantum Media. Just prior, she was CEO, Vila Media, LLC, the online business of Bob Vila. Adept at creating vision along with business discipline, she piloted the company from start-up to consistent profitability.
Grant enjoys mentoring start-ups for Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. She earned her M.B.A. at Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Economics at Yale University.
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