2017 CLARE ELLIS
PUBLISHER, STONE PIER PRESS
I have a very strong personal aversion to the phrase ‘people don’t read anymore.’ So when Clare reached out to post their current internship openings with us, I couldn’t hide my excitement about her new, mission-oriented publishing company, Stone Pier Press. It can be hard to hold onto a sense of optimism or faith that the world will keep spinning in the right direction, but books are an endless source of inspiration, a constant that never fails to provide comfort as well as new ideas, and that’s a rare combination.
Stone Pier Press is hiring! Check out their internship opportunities.
When did you know that you wanted to work in food?
I love gathering with friends and family around a dinner table, but for me, food has always been political. Reading Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in 9th grade forever changed the way I think about a hamburger, and spending time in college with Frances Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet (me and everyone else) flipped me to mostly vegetarian. Over the years I’ve reported on food and nutrition and done pro bono work for farmers, food filmmakers, and farm animal welfare organizations. My ‘aha’ moment – the reason I set up a publishing company committed to promoting good food – came from my involvement in climate activism. I was floored by how little attention is paid to the role of animal agriculture. By promoting solutions – that is, highlighting what each of us can do to promote a healthier, greener, kinder food system, Stone Pier Press hoping to help change that.
How did you get your current good food job?
I got my current job by creating it for myself. But no way could I make this work without the kindness and competence of my partner, Faith Lemon, who agreed to come along for the ride and – among other things – raise the funds we need to succeed.
How did your previous work or life experience prepare you for a good food job?
I’ve been on the creative side of publishing for my entire career – as a journalist, editor, marketer, and entrepreneur. It didn’t seem too much of a stretch to make my publishing effort mission-oriented.
What was the greatest obstacle you had to overcome in pursuing your Good Food Job dream?
We’re only in our first year and still dreaming! But book publishing’s cash-up-front business model is certainly a challenge. We’re looking for additional sources of revenue, including launching a good food news bureau, which will also help us be more effective as good food activists.
Name one positive thing that a former employer taught you that you continue to appreciate?
Consider constructive feedback a gift.
What can you identify as the greatest opportunities in food right now?
Opportunities include clean meat technology, which will soon give us affordable, cruelty-free meat and regenerative farming practices, which offset climate change by capturing carbon.
If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?
Seeing millions – okay billions! – of people get excited about eating a primarily plant-based diet.