Food websites are a dime a dozen. All those who love to cook or eat know how these websites look and feel. Some have recipes, some how-to videos, some merchandise. But it took a strong friendship between two foodies and former chefs to start a food website that stands apart and generates substantial revenue.
Friends Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, co-founders of cookery website Food52, gambled that creating the website they wanted to use but couldn't find could be the recipe for a business success story, according to a BBC.com feature in The Boss series.
In 2008 the two New Yorkers were disappointed that there wasn't a one-stop website for food lovers that they liked, a place that contained everything from recipes to cookery videos, a cookware shop, culinary articles and travel guides.
"We - as two people who love cooking, are homebodies, love our homes - didn't feel well served," says Amanda. "We didn't feel like there was any place that really spoke to us, and gave us everything we needed."
At the time if you wanted recipes you typically went to one website, says Merrill, and if you wanted kitchen equipment you went to another, and so on.
So the two food writers and trained chefs decided to launch Food52.
Today the business partners say their company has grown into a virtual cooks' community of 12 million people around the world, who trade recipes, buy cooking utensils and dinnerware, watch video tutorials, and swap tips and ideas.
With annual revenues said to be about $30 million (£23 million) last year, the New York-based firm extensively uses social media and YouTube to connect with users, and also produces its own physical books.
There are several reasons for its success. It has a young team who are the "eyes and ears" of Food52. It uses social media and connects deeply with customers. But, above all, it's the enduring freindship between the two co-founders that has brought the website success.
Image credit: Food52