In Our Spring 2016 Issue

By Jon Gast | Last Updated March 01, 2016
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Spring 2016 issue of Edible Door

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

EAT YOUR VEGGIES: THE POWER OF ONE PHONE CALL

With the publication of this spring issue, Edible Door is now three years old. In some ways it seems like three months and others it seems so much longer.

Similar to when you have children, it’s difficult to remember those times before they came along. Edible Door is so much like that for us.

I felt it was a good time to review exactly what this publication is all about and how it came about.

With my wife Leslie and former Advocate colleague Gina Ward, the launching of Edible Door was really a leap of faith. Nothing like it had been published in Door County or Northeastern Wisconsin, for that matter.

It took only one phone call to convince us that joining the wave of publications under the Edible Communities banner was something we needed to seriously investigate.

That phone call was to Tracey Ryder, who with partner Carole Topalian, took an even more significant leap of faith a decade earlier when they launched their first Edible publication in California.

They explained to us over the phone that Edible wasn’t initially intended to be the widespread phenomena that it became. Tracey and Carole simply saw it as a newsletter for area farmers. Regional and national publicity about their little “newsletter” sparked an onslaught of inquiries about how to start one of their own.

Edible Communities was born with independent owners and publishers spreading the stories relating to the farm-to-table movement.

“That business model in publishing didn’t exist before we did it,” said Ryder in a recent interview for a story that appeared in the Santa Maria (Calif.) Sun. “We couldn’t find another company that had licensed magazines, locally owned and operated, and everyone working together symbiotically. I love farmers! The whole premise of starting Edible was because we love farmers, that was it.”

‘We couldn’t find another company that had licensed magazines, locally owned and operated, and everyone working together symbiotically.’
– Tracey Ryder, co-founder of Edible Communities magazines

That model has grown to become the largest publication in the country dedicated to the localfoods movement. We are now one of 90 Edible publications across the United States and Canada with a total combined annual readership of 18 million.

It’s ironic to note that while Edible Communities has grown so large, many of the publications that populate it are small. They carry on a grassroots campaign to promote the local growers and purveyors and we strive to do exactly that.

That initial conversation with Tracey and Carole was especially surprising to me since it underscored the diversity of ownership within the Edible movement.

Tracey told us that the considerable publishing background that Gina and I brought to our new magazine was unusual within the Edible movement.

The typical Edible publisher came from a variety of professions all attracted by this sustainability movement. That becomes especially apparent when we attend the annual publisher’s conference that will be held later this year in Chicago.

While we brought a publishing background into our Edible Door venture, it quickly became apparent that we needed to better understand the movement that Edible was supporting both in terms of farm-totable concepts and the healthy lifestyle it promotes.

Most importantly, now three years after we made the decision to join the Edible movement we know that we’ve made the right choice. The support we’ve received from advertisers and the positive feedback from readers has us moving into our fourth year as energized as ever to support our locally-sourced restaurants, growers and markets that are feeding the movement.

-Jon Gast, Co-Owner/Editor of Edible Door

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