With the last editions of FOUR going to print for 2014 as I am writing this, mythoughts turn to what we have achieved in what has been a crucial year for us. Having now completed the third year of business, I are extremely proud of how we have grown into a global brand and exceeded all the targets we set in our initial three-year plan.
I remember making those first calls to clients on the first issue of International and no one could quite understand the concept of an extremely high-end food magazine, distributed on private jets, first class/business class commercial flights, five star hotels, private members clubs, etc. The publication was about to become one of the world’s new start-up titles – in an industry that expects 9 out of 10 new magazines not to survive. Some of those people couldn’t get their head around the concept, yet now they are some of our biggest partners and this makes us extremely proud. We set out three years ago to be the Vogue of the food industry and I believe that we are achieving this. We wanted to be the only point of reference when it comes to high-end gastronomy.
2014 was the year where not only did we obtain personal satisfactions but the industry recognised and appreciated FOUR by awarding us the Gourmand Award for the ‘Best Food Magazine’ in the UK and a finalist in the award for the ‘World’s Best’. As one wise man once said to us, don’t think you have achieved something simply because you have won an award, as you can buy an award. So even though it was a great achievement, what matters to us and the team at FOUR, is what the clients who invest in us over the years and the readers really think and feel!
This year, FOUR wanted to give a recognition to some of the best upcoming chefs from around the world, so alongside some of the most influential journalists and industry leaders, we collated a list of over 40 names from all corners of the world and then whittled it down to a Rising Star in 4 areas: in Europe, in North America, in Latin America and in Asia & Australia.
The Rising Star Award is an initiative that, along with our partners Gaggenau, Les Concierge and Creutz & Partners, we will invest heavily in over the next few years as we believe in shining a light on what the youth of the industry is striving for and achieving. The format will change in 2015 into something quite unique and innovative so watch this space!!
When attending events, meetings or just out and about, I amasked what I do, and the amount of people who read, know of and follow FOUR on our various social networksis quite impressive. Considering we are a niche title, the praise we receive for what we are doing and the barriers we are breaking in the publishing world is humbling.
So, we just wanted to take a moment to thank firstly the staff we work with. They say if you want to be successful, hire successful people and sit back and watch. I’m not saying we do thatbut the team we work with are passionate, driven and live and breathe this brand. A special thank you to the : Kerry Spencer (USA, International, Asia Editor), Eva-Luise Schwarz (Germany and ECKART Editor), Manuela Xillovich (Italy/Cracco Editor), Sophie Cater (Online Editor/Assistant Editor), Simone Miché (ex-Assistant Editor), Daisy Scott (PR Manager)and Pieter Stander (Chief Designer). Everyone on the sales team and a big shout to Mathew Walvish (Sales Director), Pramod Rao and Andreas Pichlkostner.
Secondly, I would like to thank the people who believe in our brand and listen to our crazy ideas, specificallythe whole team at Gaggneau, Nespresso, Creutz & Partners and Les Concierge.
An extremely loud and wide shout out to all the contributors from all around the world that make this ambitious project possible, if it wasn’t for your knowledge and hard work, our USA, Asia, Italy, Germany and International titles would never go ahead. Just to mention a few that have worked with us from the beginning: Andrea Petrini, Steve and Panos (Studio 21), Tom Parker Bowles, René Riis, Sophie Hull, Melinda Joe, Bruce Palling, Severin Corti, Ingo Scheuermann & Jean Cazals. Thank you!
Last but not least, the readers and subscribers of FOUR:Thank you! Without an audience we are nothing! Please keep reading, following and letting us know your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. We will strive to improve ourselves always, for you!
HUGE things to come in 2015, which will take FOUR as a brand beyond publishing! Keep reading, following and believing in us.