On December 28, 2008 I slept in. Our family had left for the holidays the evening before and it was time to be lazy. Dana woke up 2.5 hours earlier than me that day. She came up with the idea and then launched WellPreserved while I slept.
And our lives changed forever.
Dana and I are planners. We’re thinkers. We are probably even procrastinators. But that morning she decided to launch a blog. We had never spoken about it, never planned it. I went to sleep without one and by the time I woke up I was a blogger (I had previously ‘ranted’ online in the mid-1990’s but that’s another story for another day).
We have posted every day since that day. 1,500 consecutive days of posting. If one was to start the same streak today they would arrive at day 1,500 on March 15, 2017.
The truth is that we didn’t plan to write this much – the idea would have been laughed at. It’s been an amazing run and one that we’re really proud of. It’s changed our life in so many ways; we eat completely differently, both have had complete work makeovers because of it and we’ve met so many wonderful and amazing people. It’s a global community of people who are passionate about what they eat that continues to inspire us.
The Story Behind The Story
The journey has had its challenges. Dana is a graphic designer who specialized in food packaging and works for herself. As our commitment to support more local and small farms and businesses, she has had to make difficult decisions about her work. I adore her convictions and we’ve plotted new ways to create income while walking away from many of the businesses that once sustained us financially. She is truly the bravest person I know and I adore and love her for it.
The journey has been wildly unexpected and had the predictable highs and lows that all of us experience in pursuit of living our lives. I am honored to have cooked shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the people who I consider as my food heroes, humbled to have lost more than 50% when respectfully mentioning hunting in 2009 and just as shocked to gain followers when discussing it in 2012. WellPreserved transformed from a project to a lifestyle to part of our lives. Daily posting has been a significant part of that (good and bad) and it’s a bittersweet moment to be walking away from it.
We are more committed than ever in trying to fight the good fight and help be part of a community that inspires others to join the revolution that supports better food that nourishes our bodies, our families and our communities.
All Good Things Must Come to an End
We’ve had a lot of long discussions about the future of WellPreserved over the last year. We’ve been very open with ourselves and had input from some dear friends and loved ones. We’ve considered more options than we can remember and they’ve ranged from opening a bricks and mortar business all the way through to considering closing the site and walking away.
I’ve been immensely proud of the endurance it’s taken to get to 4+ years of daily posting. It’s something that made our site different, something I could use to convince myself that we had something unique. It was a shield as much as it was a trophy. It was an anchor; it kept us in a safe place where there was no danger of the open seas. It also kept us in one place.
This weekend will be the first time our blog will not feature new content since the morning I slept in. The streak will end at 1,504 days.
But this is not nearly the end of WellPreserved. It’s a new beginning.
WellPreserved: A Vision for the Future
So today, I find myself excited to share news of our future.
`Too many young Chefs want to move on to the next thing before mastering the current thing they are working on. The thing about the next thing is that there will always be a next thing.` Chef Thomas Keller, 2009
I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on those words above. We have a lot of good content from our past that needs to be refined and want to be selective on what we bring to you coming forward. It’s time for us to dig deeper into content, recipes and techniques and not just chase the next thing.
In recent months we’ve done a lot of work on the functionality of the site (we shared some last week). We want to make it more usable, accessible. There will be some new features coming over the coming weeks as well.
We will continue to add content 5 days per week (Monday-Friday). I’m hoping regular readers have noticed that we’ve tried to take better photos that help inspire more cooking, sharing and community. We will have a higher focus on photography including updating some of our past photos that aren’t at all exciting.
We’re launching a weekly newsletter (the official announcement will be tomorrow but if you’ve read this far you deserve to know!). You can sign up in the top-right corner. It will be sent Saturday mornings (starting this Saturday) and include original content (including a kitchen tip of the week and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the stories behind our stories) as well as a round-up of weekly posts, links to other projects we love and other seasonal recipes. We sincerely hope you’ll sign up.
We’ve started to move towards more events and will be extending the amount of classes, events and other products in our little store. More info on these will come soon.
We have a few other surprises stocked away for now as well.
Words of Thanks
Thank you all for supporting us, for reading and especially for commenting, liking, sharing coming to events and supporting our store. Without people doing these things, WellPreserved could not be sustained. It’s been a heck of a run and we’re looking forward to bringing you higher quality moving forward!
Request for Help
The battle for real food has just begun. While there has been some progress, the challenges are bigger than ever. Continue to cook for those you love (and like) and celebrate all that is fantastic about cooking with whole ingredients. I know you don’t need our encouragement to do it – but know that it motivates us to be part of a community that holds these values dear.
Sharing, commenting, liking and interacting with our content is what helps us grow this community. It is also a vital part of bringing even more vibrancy to it. If you have ideas on how we can make this more interactive or useful for you, please let us know (no idea is too big or small) and we’ll see what we can do.
Last thought: this post was supposed to be posted tomorrow. I checked my math and realized I had made a mistake and miscounted so it’s a two-post day! I’m happy that this announcement happens to come on my Mother’s birthday – happy birthday Ma! We’re so lucky to have such supportive families…