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After identifying our a particular tree at Zuhoski Farms on Oregon Road in Cutchogue, we returned with decorations and photographer David Benthal to capture the North Fork at Christmas, northforker style. (Credit: David Benthal)

For those of us at northforker, 2018 marked a year of tremendous growth and hard work.

We expanded from four issues to 10, while also introducing a new long-form monthly video series and several other multimedia projects, including a monthly podcast.

The result, from what we’ve been told, has been an increased awareness and appreciation of our brand.

Last month, I received a letter from a reader named Nancy. She told me a cute and relatable story about trying to explain the North Fork to friends and family down south.

They had a hard time moving past the idea of this region being anything but New York City, she told us.

“Oh, so you live in one of those big high-rise apartments?” one friend asked her. 

In October, she came across a copy of this magazine. It was our harvest issue.

“Ahh,” she thought. “Here’s the SHOW to my TELL.”

So recently, when she sent gift packages of locally sourced products to her friends, she included copies of our magazine.

“What better way to share some of the stories and pictures of this beautiful place?” she remarked in her letter.

It’s as fine a compliment as could be paid to us and we appreciate it greatly — especially at this time of year, as we reflect on recent accomplishments and the things we’re grateful for. Thank you to Nancy and all our other loyal readers, who inspire us to come to work every day and celebrate this community.

On a personal note, I also wanted to thank the northforker staff and contributors who helped us in this milestone year.

First off, a giant thank-you to Andrew and Sarah Olsen, who own our company and often contribute their ideas, but also give us the freedom and the resources to pursue ambitious goals.

There are also a number of full-time staffers whose hard work enables us to deliver content 365 days a year through a number of formats. I often credit Sonja Reinholt Derr, our director of sales and marketing, as the earliest champion of northforker, and a person who really helped me see the need for it early on, when I had doubts that we could pull it off. Associate content director Cyndi Zaweski, brand strategist Michelina Da Fonte and multimedia producer Krysten Massa spent more time this year than anyone developing ideas and content for our web and print products and social media. In the latter part of the year, we added a second multimedia producer, Kaylyn Ahrenstein, who, along with graphic artists Steven Dorney and Michael Versandi, helped us launch Northforker TV. 

On the magazine side, our creative director Eric Hod and photographer David Benthal deserve much praise for elevating our brand to new heights aesthetically.

Thank you also to our copy desk staff — Decia Fates, Jill Johnson and Luke Sisson — for saving us from making so many potentially embarrassing mistakes throughout the year.

I also wanted to thank all of the many freelance contributors who helped make 2018 a special year, most notably Jane Lear, a former editor at Gourmet magazine who served for much of the past two years as a consulting editor and writer on the magazine. Her advice and contributions have been a major factor in our success.

And, of course, without our sales staff, this magazine wouldn’t exist — but I’m sure they would deflect the credit to our advertising clients who truly make it all possible.

We’ll be back Feb. 28, 2019, with the first of 10 new issues. Until then, we’ll see you at Happy holidays!

Grant Parpan

Content Director