Five and a half years is a long time.
It was long enough to witness the pregnancy and birth of our daughter, and watch her grow into her beautiful preschooler self. Long enough to build a small following with a little foodie website (no one was more surprised than us!), and learn so very much about South Jersey food and the people who grow it, cook it, sell it and eat it. Long enough to discover ourselves as writers, venture out of our little nest in cyberspace, and contribute to various publications we’d never dreamed we would see our bylines in.
Yet, now, after five and a half years, there is a discomfort for Eating In South Jersey, much like the discomfort of a grown child who is restless and needs to leave the home they have known and move on. Try as we might, we simply cannot sustain the amount and quality of content that we would like with the time, money and manpower that we have at our disposal. It has been causing a prolonged disruption to our family life/work balance for a while now. We attempted to solve the problem by switching to a paid-subscription model (since the advertising model didn’t work), thinking we could hire quality writers to provide increased content and part-time employees to do the endless logistical and technical legwork required to keep the site going…but it was a gamble that did not pay off as we had hoped it might. So once again, we are at a crossroads. We could follow the model that many other sites do (paid content, restaurants as advertisers, etc.), or post sketchily (as we have been for the past few weeks) and let the site become less than we would be proud of…or, like a good parent, we could recognize when it is time to let go. Knowing who we are and what we want to contribute to this world, we think the sign posts are clear.
So it is with much sadness that we are announcing that we will no longer be posting on our website, effective immediately. We will be leaving the existing content up to be perused at everyone’s leisure free of charge until the end of November. To those of you who have subscribed, we will be refunding your money in full (the last few months are on us, loyal readers).
But are we done for good? Not by a long shot!!! You can still read our foodie posts and reviews on our friend and colleague’s site, Jersey Bites. We will certainly post things of interest from time to time on our Facebook page and will keep on tweeting away on Twitter (@EatingInSJersey and @lhowardfusco). Our time will now be free to contribute to more publications…and we’ll even float a rumor that we might even have a few locally-minded foodie books in the works.
Tears will be shed around our household, yes… but, in the words of Joseph Campbell: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” We are truly grateful for your readership and support over the years, and we hope you will be on the lookout for us as we transition into the next chapter of our food-writing lives.
In Service and Gratitude,
John and Lisa Howard-Fusco