Louisa Kasdon and Ilene Bezahler, powerhouses in the Boston food community, have joined forces to launch The Food Voice. The women call the platform “New England’s hub for the progressive food movement.” It will focus on events programming, print magazines, and social media.
“This is about social issues advocacy, and it’s an umbrella organization,” Kasdon said.
Kasdon is the founder of Let’s Talk About Food, a Boston-based organization that programs events connecting the public with food professionals around issues pertaining to education, sustainability, and policy. Bezahler publishes Edible Boston, a quarterly magazine that celebrates local food and its workers, and To Market, which examines sustainable food system solutions in New England.
Through this new umbrella venture, Kasdon and Bezahler plan to tackle complex regional subjects such as how immigration policy affects the food industry, sustainability, and culinary training.
“We’ve worked together and collaborated without any formal merger for six or seven years. Over time, we realized that we worked really well together. There’s no competing. We complement each other, with me having the magazines, and Louisa is good with planning. We thought we could combine our companies and have a broader reach,” said Bezahler.
She also hopes that the partnership creates a legacy framework.
“Louisa and I have both been running our companies ourselves, we’ve grown these wonderful companies, but neither of us are spring chickens,” she said with a laugh.
The partnership formally launched in July, and the duo debuted a Kickstarter campaign in September with plans to reach $60,000 in the coming weeks. With these funds, they aim to create a Let’s Talk About Food podcast and to organize various New England-based events. The Food Voice will also continue to publish Edible Boston and expand To Market, which focuses on broader regional issues. Kickstarter donors can earn rewards like classes and tastings with prominent chefs and industry professionals like Jody Adams and Jeremy Sewall.
Kasdon hopes The Food Voice amplifies important conversations around food and engages an even bigger audience of thoughtful consumers and eaters.
“We hope that we’re in a position — given the fact that we have an editorial platform, an event platform, and an advocacy platform — to help other good things [happen]. It doesn’t have to originate through us. We want to be the mulch that helps it grow,” she said. “We hope to be the regional hub for all things food. We want to connect people, and now we have the bandwidth to do it.”Kara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.