For local foodies, the Cupboard Magazine hopes to satisfy a craving for writing that revolves exclusively around the pleasures of the kitchen and table.
In its first issue, released this month, the Stamford-based publication features broad culinary topics like choosing olive oil, baking apple pie or brewing coffee, and ties them to local vendors and artisans, including Olivette in Darien, Silverman's Farm in Easton and Zumbach's Gourmet Coffee in New Canaan.
"We're trying to create a global perspective with a local focus," Bob Lupinacci, founder and editor-in-chief, said. "Much of it (the magazine) has to do with the back story of food, appreciating the nuances. We thought there was a real void in the information about food in Fairfield County."
The Cupboard Magazine seeks to carve out a niche between national culinary publications and county-wide magazines, which don't focus extensively on food, he said. The magazine is a product of his long collaboration with Lori Levenson Bailey, founder and publisher. The pair worked together on the trade publication Hair Color and Design, which distributed 65,000 copies in the U.S.
Creating articles for the Cupboard Magazine is a group of eight or nine freelance contributors, valued more for strong writing skills than for deep knowledge of the food business. So both writer and reader are becoming better versed in the subtleties of food through these stories, Lupinacci said.
"We're so much about discovery, so we feel that can only be illustrated when it is part of the story," Bailey said. The Cupboard Magazine, issued through direct delivery to 20,000 Fairfield County residents for its initial launch, is recruiting subscribers through an online presence, but the publication remains firmly rooted in the world of print media, Lupinacci said. Eventually, the founders want to see the magazine distributed on newsstands and in stores.
Kevin Coupe, editor of themorningnewsbeat.com and a veteran of attempts to start print-based food magazines, thinks the Cupboard Magazine might be a good fit for a slightly upscale grocer like Whole Foods. But he stressed the difficulty of getting into such places, and maintaining a print presence in an increasingly digital field.
"It's one of the hardest things you can do, because it's really valuable real estate," Coupe said of placement in stores like Whole Foods. "I think their (the Cupboard Magazine) audience is for people that are serious about food but not hard-core foodies."