Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Makes Allrecipes So Special - A Love Letter from an Allrecipes Community Member

From the moment I clicked on the link that brought me to Allrecipes.com, I knew I had discovered something special. It felt comfortable, like sitting in the kitchen laughing and sharing recipes while drinking coffee with a good friend.

Let's just say, it was love at first click.

Throughout my tenure as a brand ambassador I have been impressed by the caring and generosity of Allrecipes. Then came the invitation to attend their 15th anniversary celebration! Talk about a gift of a life time!

It was a party, a celebration, and a behind the scenes look at what makes Allrecipes tick.


July 26, 2012 - The front desk at Allrecipes.com (Photo by Penny Lane) 
From the moment I walked in the door Thursday afternoon I knew something was different about this company—people were happy! They practically skip to work with a grin on their faces. They were truly happy to welcome us—not dreading the invasion of visitors while we toured the offices. Then came the Happy Hour party! Unlike the typical office parties I have attended, everyone REALLY was having a good time—not just pretending, killing time with fake smiles—waiting to be cut loose to run home. I felt like I had just arrived at a reunion of long lost friends.

Marianne and Doug, Allrecipes Brand Ambassadors, in the AR kitchen (Photo by Penny Lane)
Indeed there were hugs and squeals of laughter all around the building. People greeting each other with such enthusiasm it brought tears to my eyes more than once. The AR employees knew us! They read our blogs, they surf The Buzz—they use the site and they love it as much as we do!

Karen Binkhorst, a personal chef and caterer, did a fantastic job in the AR Kitchen. The food was fresh, delicious and so well presented that you almost hated to disturb the glorious trays of artfully arranged goodies.
Cheesecake Tart with one very plump Northwest blackberry (Photo by Penny Lane)
Friday morning arrived bright and early—after having only 4-1/2 hours of sleep for the third day in a row, you would have thought I would been dragging my buns out of bed—but NO, I was up at the crack of dawn, excited about a full day at Allrecipes.

July 27, 2012 - Allrecipes Allstars gathered in the café meeting area (Photo by Penny Lane)
We arrived at AR about 8:00 AM and they already had breakfast ready and waiting for us! After eating and gabbing some more (we were never short of conversation) we were treated to an introduction to Allrecipes by William. William has the best job in the whole world! His entire job is devoted to making AR the happiest place on earth. Imagine a company that is so totally committed to their employees complete happiness and well being that they have employed a person, full time, to make that happen! The Allrecipes culture is more than just having fun, which they do by the way, it is really about acceptance, inclusiveness, caring and allowing each employee and member the right to be an individual. They accept people for who they are.

AR's core values are not just a "Mission Statement." They are totally dedicated to preserving and cultivating their culture. Those same values shine through their product—the Allrecipes website. No wonder so many people love this site—AR loves and cares for its employees and its millions of users. They care about our opinions and they care what people think.

It's no wonder I fell in love at first click!

That said, I arrived with your list of questions and suggestions. I had typed up a synopsis from my blog "Seattle Bound," and to be honest, I wasn't sure what the reaction would be. Not only were those suggestions warmly received by the Allrecipes staff, they were welcomed.

Now keep in mind that nothing happens over night and not everything on the 'wish list' is possible to accomplish, but they were really excited to have your input!

There are certainly changes on the horizon that comes with growth. This is a good thing! I did  express my concern that since Allrecipes has been acquired by Meredith it might lose its "Home Cook/Community" focus. I was assured by everyone from the president on down that AR is committed to maintaining its commitment to 'home cooks and the Allrecipes community.'

Heck, they must be doing something right—Allrecipes continues to be the #1 Food Site in the World!

I will do another blog about the Allrecipeeps I met, and all the other fun stuff and adventures. I just really wanted to share with you my impression of Allrecipes itself.

Posted by Penny Lane, Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador

Disclaimer: I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position), and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Penny Lane. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Baking Nana aka Penny. This blog post was written in support of Allrecipes.com.

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