Food52 acquires home décor brand


The Schoolhouse website heralded its acquisition by Food52.

NEW YORK — In a bid to be the next-generation cooking and home company, Food52 has entered into an agreement to acquire home décor and lighting company Schoolhouse for $48 million in cash and stock. The food and lifestyle company has also raised an incremental investment funded by its majority investor, TCG.

Schoolhouse, founded by Brian Faherty in 2003 and based in Portland, Ore., is known for its “modern heirlooms” with products ranging from iconic lighting to exclusive clocks, prints and rugs that are locally manufactured in a brick factory. Food52 said it plans to preserve the Schoolhouse brand, retain its existing jobs, and keep the company’s roots in the heart of Portland, while expanding its product assortment and storytelling across Schoolhouse’s channels.

Schoolhouse President Sara Fritsch will lead the company alongside Food52 Founder and CEO Amanda Hesser and Food52 President Claire Chambers.

“We’re admirers — and longtime customers — of Schoolhouse, and we feel a powerful kinship with their mission,” said Hesser. “They’ve been helping people find joy and comfort in their homes for nearly two decades. We’re also excited to be part of the community they’ve built in Portland, a city known for its bounty of creators and innovative companies.”

Food52 launched its Home52 vertical in 2020 and six months ago purchased the tabletop brand Dansk. With Schoolhouse, it said it is acquiring valuable manufacturing, retail and design experience, and will expand its footprint in home categories such as lighting, soft goods, wallpaper and hardware.

Both the acquisition and investment are being funded by TCG and will triple Food52’s valuation since TCG made its initial majority investment in 2019, the company said. The Schoolhouse acquisition is anticipated to close before the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions.

“The partnership with Amanda [Hesser] and the team at Food52 has been fantastic,” said Mike Kerns, a General Partner at TCG, who is on the Food52 Board of Directors. “The company’s performance has exceeded our expectations, and their prospects for the future in this massive category are brighter than ever. We are thrilled to be doubling down on our investment.”

Food52, which has grown its revenue 2.5x since 2019, will use the capital to fund brick-and-mortar retail, a pantry brand and the build-out of its creative studios. It pledged to be “ubiquitous in the retail and media landscapes” and noted its “pioneering approach” to commerce, content and community.

“Very few brands are as obsessed with thoughtful design, quality products, and empathetic service as we are, and Food52 is definitely one of them,” said Fritsch. “We share with them a passion for living well at home and for serving our employees and community. With our shared values guiding us, we look forward to chasing our collective potential.”


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