Could 62-year-old Eric Thorkilsen, formerly with Martha Stewart Living and This Old House magazine, show AOL’s Patch the way it should have been scaled? That’s one of the underlying and very intriguing questions that frames Tim Loh’s recent piece in Greenwich Time about the Edible Feast CEO.
From a home office in New Canann, CT with a great view, Thorkilsen watches over a network of 90 U.S. and Canadian regional magazines covering the topic of locally grown, farm-to-table food. The company launched a decade ago in Ojai, CA as Edible Communities; Thorkilsen bought a controlling interest last year and currently manages a virtual staff of 15. There’s also a 13-episode PBS spinoff in the pipeline:
“We’re trying to be the go-to, first leader in this space,” Thorkilsen says. “If we do our job right, we’ll be important to the marketers that want to reach those households. And it’s not just about food, it’s about the cars they drive, it’s about the appliances they have, the kitchen cabinets they buy. It’s everything.”
Thorkilsen started his media career in the 1970s in the circulation department of Time Inc. He was part of the small group of people who helped launch People magazine and he tells Loh that he had hoped to expand that publication’s purview, way back then, to a related TV show, bore Entertainment Tonight beat them to the punch. For this latest professional chapter, he can thank his wife, who in 2008 brought home a copy of Edible Hudson Valley.
There are also some fun details in the article about Thorkilsen recently traveling to the Manhattan home office of his graphic designer Ronnie Peters to take part in the operation’s weekly conference call. Read the full interview here.
[Image courtesy: ediblefeast.com]
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Kickstarter Feeds Food Policy Blog Civil Eats