When we began discussing the possibility of northforker.com back in 2012, the big question was always: “Who is going to do all this work?”
We had no doubt that with the North Fork’s changing demographics — fewer natives and more newcomers — a website aimed at reaching second-home owners and visitors to the North Fork was something we needed to pursue. We recognized the stories published in our Southold, Riverhead and Shelter Island newspapers, while exceptional, were no longer enough to reach everyone interested in our communities.
It was also important for us to dedicate as much coverage as possible to the food, wine, outdoors and arts scenes that attract so many to this place, often referred to as heaven on earth. And so we launched the website in May 2013.
By our second year in operation, around the time we hired former editor Vera Chinese to oversee day-to-day editorial operations, we knew we’d launched a product with staying power. By 2016, the conversation began to shift to how we could expand the Northforker brand with a print magazine, which we launched exactly one year ago this month.
Now entering its second year, we’re pleased to announce that northforker magazine will publish 10 times in 2018, with the first issue hitting newsstands beginning March 1 and another one coming out roughly every four weeks for the remainder of the year.
While we’re sad to sail ahead without our captain Vera — who left the staff in December for an exciting new opportunity elsewhere — we take comfort in knowing she helped us build a product that could support a growing staff and a host of freelance contributors.
From the beginning, our director of sales and marketing, Sonja Reinholt Derr, has been the biggest champion of the northforker concept, along with owners Andrew and Sarah Olsen.
While I’ve been involved in planning and creating content for northforker since its inception, I took over day-to-day management at the start of this new year. Two key staffers — reporter Cyndi Murray and multimedia content producer Krysten Massa — are also working every day to deliver the best possible lifestyle content to our homepage, your email inbox, social media feeds and, of course, newsstands. Much of what you read and watch on northforker.com is the work of these two talented journalists.
Three more key players on our staff are essential to the look and feel of this magazine: creative director Eric Hod is the quiet force behind the design; consulting editor Jane Lear develops many of the story concepts and provides feedback we use to get better with each issue; and brand strategist Michelina Da Fonte’s organization and attention to detail keeps the trains moving on your escape to the North Fork.
The work of several freelance contributors — most notably photographer David Benthal and wine writer Lenn Thompson — has also proved crucial to the success of northforker, as have the efforts of our sales and art department teams.
As we enter our fifth year in existence, we finally know the answer to the question we asked ourselves in the beginning: It takes a team to grow a product like northforker.
We appreciate the continued support of our readers and advertisers and look forward to providing you with more northforker than ever before in 2018. Pick up a copy of the March issue today.