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Crowdsourced cookery site Food52 fuses content with e‑commerce with the launch of Provisions store

New York-based start­up Food52, the crowd­sourced cook­ery web­site co-found­ed by food writer Mer­ril Stubbs and erst­while New York Times food edi­tor Aman­da Hess­er, moved into the e‑commerce space this month with the launch of its new online shop, “Pro­vi­sions.” Mar­ry­ing an online shop to web con­tent is a rel­a­tive­ly new devel­op­ment in the e‑commerce world, as many job­bing e‑commerce man­agers can tes­ti­fy; and when that web con­tent cen­ters on deli­cious food, Hess­er and Stubbs can bank on stom­ach juices guid­ing their cus­tomers’ click­ing fingers.

Why food­ie e‑commerce man­agers will love Provisions

The Pro­vi­sions store is clev­er­ly inte­grat­ed with the Food52 web­site. As Hess­er explains, “If you want­ed to make a cock­tail, you might need a cock­tail shak­er, you might need a how-to on what kind of ice you need, how to crush it, or how to make a sug­ar syrup for your cock­tail. You also may need glass tum­blers to serve your cock­tail in.”

That’s the kind of advice that Pro­vi­sions deliv­ers in the form of links and images right under the rel­e­vant item on Food52. The prod­ucts avail­able from Pro­vi­sions also link back to rel­e­vant arti­cles and recipes on Food52 and, even­tu­al­ly, the advice, recipes and Pro­vi­sions prod­ucts will be inte­grat­ed across the entire Food52 site.

A short his­to­ry of success

Food52 was born in New York in 2009 with the express aim of cre­at­ing a new com­mu­ni­ty for food­ies – peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate­ly inter­est­ed in mak­ing culi­nary delights but who aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly pro­fes­sion­als. Brave­ly tak­ing on estab­lished giants in the food recipe space like, its can­ny fusion of crowd­sourc­ing and cura­tion helped it gain the trac­tion that oth­er new con­tenders in the space had failed to devel­op, giv­ing them all a new home in the process.

Hess­er says that she and co-founder Meris­sa Stubbs soon found that the site’s strong edi­to­r­i­al voice, dis­tinc­tive tone and visu­al impact was the key to mak­ing crowd­sourc­ing “effec­tive and scal­able.” Aspir­ing e‑commerce man­agers can hard­ly fail to be impressed by its suc­cess: ear­ly fund­ing came on the back of a book deal with Harp­er Collins, fol­lowed in 2010 by a $750,000 seed round. Then in ear­ly 2013, with plans to move into e‑commerce already clear­ly in site, Food52 bagged a tidy $2.75 mil­lion in Series A, much of which has gone into fund­ing the e‑commerce venture.

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