Five years have passed since I sat down to write my first letter from the editor. At that time, I knew I would be delivering a magazine that people would like to read and one that would help move the local community forward. Little did I know the impact it would have in a relatively short time.

The first shipment, 15,000 copies, was delivered to my garage and barely fit. I had no concept of pallets; let alone how many pallets were needed for 15,000 magazines. I quickly overcame the storage challenge along with figuring out how to deliver the boxes! For this issue I will be receiving 60,000 copies, probably 20 pallets, and am happy to say they are no longer in my garage.

Interest in the magazine caught on faster than I had imagined. Readers would contact us. Farmers, food producers, chefs, educators … so many people were taking notice. This only showed that there was a home for the magazine. We would become the voice of the greater Boston local food movement.

Over the course of the past five years, the role of the magazine has grown and changed in so many ways. It has become a tool for food producers to connect with each other, whether to source an ingredient for their product or to find kitchen space to share—or someone in the same situation to commiserate with.

Through our articles and photographs, we have given names and faces to the individuals behind the packages or counters where we shop. We are proud to say that we have nurtured a food culture that cares about the community and the individuals in it, not just the products being produced.

On Friday, May 5th, I had the honor of attending the James Beard Awards dinner along with Edible Communities founders Tracey Ryder, Carole Topalian and a few other Edible publishers. We were there because Edible Communities was being honored with the first-ever Publication of the year award. The experience was incredible and now, weeks later, I still get emotional as I think about it. A special thanks to the James Beard Foundation for their action.

While this award was national recognition for the work done by Tracey and Carole, it also acknowledges the cumulative work done by close to 70 Edible publications across the United States and Canada and all of the writers, photographers, editorial staff and publishers who make up our Edible Communities.

I wish I could individually thank everyone who has played a part in making Edible Boston such a success.  Whether you are a reader, advertiser, writer, photographer, farmer, baker, educator … a special thank you. You are all playing a part. I raise a glass to you all!

Ilene Bezahler