I left a publishing career 16 years in the making to become a director of WeFiFo. Perhaps the transition from books to food is not an unusual one – and I don’t have to look far to find companion souls, WeFiFo’s founder and CEO previously ran a hugely successful book business – but it feels like an adventure to me.
Books are as various and as beautiful as snow. The book world however is small, vital, well intentioned and slightly stuffy. It has its innovators and trailblazers but you are never far from wafer-thin margin and a thousand me-too book jackets. Oh and cake. There is altogether too much cake in publishing. Perhaps I’ve found my theme.
I’ve swapped baking books for baking, coffee-table books for coffee and narrative non-fiction for the opportunity to help rewrite the story of how we eat. But of course the books will be stirred into a lot of what we do – whether it’s book tours at our supper clubs, finding nurturing and representing new cooking talent back to the book trade or marketing recipes and new cookbooks through our eager-to-experiment foodie network – the page and the plate will infuse our approach and our future.
WeFiFo is easy to explain. It’s what happens when people that love to cook seek an audience for their food beyond their immediate circle of friends. It’s what happens when you get paid for doing something you love but without having to leave your home.
The Big Picture reasons as to why WeFiFo was irresistible to me concern my firm belief that how we eat, where we eat and why we eat the way we do are as vital questions as anything we may ask ourselves. The social, financial and ethical benefits to earning from the food you love to cook, to meeting new people, to cutting down on food wastage, to combating loneliness are as important as they are exciting.
The simpler and more memorable reason is because YOU CAN GET PAID TO MAKE CAKE. Publishing would be proud.
WeFiFo is easy to explain. It’s what happens when people that love to cook seek an audience for their food beyond their immediate circle of friends. It’s what happens when you get paid for doing something you love but without having to leave your home. It’s a place where can you meet new people, get renewed confidence after being away from work, run your own business, blend the story of your life with the flavours of home cooked food.
I believe in WeFiFo. I have lived my life in books. I see the next chapter of my life as kneading the two worlds together to make something toothsome, something that will make the world a better place, something just a little bit naughty.
WeFiFo. Your place or mine?
[Photographs: Timothy Tyndale]