Food52's Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs on their community media model

Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs worked together for five years before cofounding Food52 in 2009. That was enough time for them to recognize a gap in the online landscape. Americans were getting more serious about food and cooking as rewarding pursuits and social opportunities but the internet had yet to reflect that movement.
"We felt that aside from food blogs, which were really exploding, there was no platform for real people to have a say, to share their knowledge and expertise, to have a social experience with one another," said Stubbs on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast.
Their answer was a website that serves as a content publisher, a forum and a good place to shop for pots and pans. And people do turn to the site for kitchenware: Food52's revenue comes roughly 75% from commerce and 25% from ads, Hesser said. The Chernin Group recently paid $83 million for a majority stake in Food52.
In our latest podcast, Hesser and Stubbs discussed the 19th-century antecedent to crowdsourced recipes, the majority stake acquisition taken up in Food52 by the Chernin Group and a few straightforward recipes that everyone should know.