Executive Briefing

How Food52 became the most interesting acquirer of consumer brands

And: The thinking behind Harry’s first brand acquisition.

Schoolhouse president Sara Fritsch and Food52 CEO Amanda Hesser
Schoolhouse president Sara Fritsch and Food52 CEO Amanda Hesser / Photos courtesy Food52

In its first decade, Food52 nailed the content, commerce, and community trifecta, growing from a food- and recipes-focused digital media startup to an e-commerce store for the kitchen and home.

For its next, Food52 — majority owned since late 2019 by the investment group TCG — has also become an acquirer worth watching. 

Last month, the company announced that it was buying Schoolhouse, a Portland-based company best known for its lighting and home products, for $48 million in cash and stock. Last May, Food52 acquired Dansk, the almost 70-year-old cookware brand.

These weren’t the biggest deals of the year, but they were two of the most interesting: Instead of, say, buying a complementary digital publisher or another multi-brand e-commerce store, Food52 bought two mature companies — with strong brands — that design and sell physical products.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

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