The Power of Self-Publishing in Food Media

At the beginning of 2020, Alicia Kennedy saw her freelance income evaporate almost overnight: An anchoring contributing editor job was discontinued, and her wages at a contributing writer position were reduced. She had been toying with the idea of star…

At the beginning of 2020, Alicia Kennedy saw her freelance income evaporate almost overnight: An anchoring contributing editor job was discontinued, and her wages at a contributing writer position were reduced. She had been toying with the idea of starting a newsletter—one that might offer readers something more substantial than an abandoned TinyLetter newsletter she enjoyed years back. So she began writing From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy, her weekly dispatch on food, politics, media, and other musings, and less than one year later, the newsletter is second-most popular in the food category on the publishing platform Substack. With around 1,700 paid subscribers (and another 13,000 who opt for the free version), it has become Kennedy’s main source of income.

As more food writers and recipe developers become fed up with traditional outlets, both food media "celebrities" (those with highly bankable followings in the hundreds of thousands) and freelancers like Kennedy, who felt there were too few opportunities for her work, are finding success in publishing content in newsletters and through other independent channels. Kennedy, whose newsletter often covers climate change and labor practices, was finding many outlets felt this work "complicated" or politicized the conversation around food: "I felt like I couldn’t say anything of any significance in them," she said in a phone interview recently.

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How a Self-Taught Baker Became a Pro Bagel Consultant

Making bagels is sort of like practicing law. At least, it is according to lawyer and full-time “bagel consultant” Beth George.

The 57-year-old is the mastermind behind Fair Lawn, N.J.–based BYOB Bagels (the acronym is for both “Build Your Own Busines…

Making bagels is sort of like practicing law. At least, it is according to lawyer and full-time “bagel consultant” Beth George.

The 57-year-old is the mastermind behind Fair Lawn, N.J.–based BYOB Bagels (the acronym is for both “Build Your Own Business” and “Be Your Own Boss”), a bagel-focused consulting firm that has helped open more than 60 bagel shops across five continents.

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Food52’s First (& Hopefully Only) Quarantine Awards

The year 2020 sucked for so many reasons. But one area it shone was in the creativity and kindness of the food and small business community. We saw laid-off chefs launch their own pop-ups in restaurants that couldn’t stay open for service; other restau…

The year 2020 sucked for so many reasons. But one area it shone was in the creativity and kindness of the food and small business community. We saw laid-off chefs launch their own pop-ups in restaurants that couldn’t stay open for service; other restaurants cleared out the dining rooms and opened up onto the street to create a market of local home and kitchen goods, some selling meal kits so regulars could make their favorite dishes at home. Chefs donated hundreds of lunches and dinners to health-care workers and opened their doors to share family meal with unemployed service workers. Small businesses selling condiments and spices faced supply-chain delays and limited product launch opportunities, yet found ways to keep their customers engaged; a museum where guests used to eat together created virtual spaces to share a meal and a conversation.

It’s with all this brilliant work in mind that we wanted to share these stories with the Food52 community, superlatives-style. Allow us to present: the first (and hopefully, only) Quarantine Awards.

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The 6 Best Alcohol Subscription Services (& How to Choose the Right One for You)

Drinking preferences are as varied as people: A glass of port by the campfire at sunset, Coronas and limes on the back patio every Saturday night, weekly cocktails with hand-crushed ice from the bar that calls itself a House of Mixology, or no drinks a…

Drinking preferences are as varied as people: A glass of port by the campfire at sunset, Coronas and limes on the back patio every Saturday night, weekly cocktails with hand-crushed ice from the bar that calls itself a House of Mixology, or no drinks at all.

And more often than not, knowing what your drinking style is—and learning how to navigate the wide world of drinking for yourself—can be confusing. Which cocktail should you master? Which wine is the best wine? What even counts as an artisan brewery? There are just so many options.

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Big Things Are Happening at Food52

Dear Food52ers,
You’ve been with us as we set out to become the very best resource for everyone who sees food as the center of a well-lived life—a place where people feel welcome and connected, where you can get exactly what you need, be it a new reci…

Dear Food52ers,
You’ve been with us as we set out to become the very best resource for everyone who sees food as the center of a well-lived life—a place where people feel welcome and connected, where you can get exactly what you need, be it a new recipe or a new dish rack, where the meaning of home and good food are explored to infinity.

And today, we’re thrilled to share some very exciting news: We’ve taken on a majority investment from TCG Capital Management, to help us grow. (You can read the news here.) This means we’ll be able to create more of the things you love, like stories, recipes, videos, and podcasts; open pop-up stores across the country; kick-start new partnerships; give you best-in-class customer care; and dream big about the future—with you.

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