Which is to say: The popular Twin Cities food blog will shut down next month after nine years in business, co-founder James Norton announced Monday. The main reason? Norton just accepted a new job as food editor of The Growler, the free monthly beer/food/lifestyle magazine found throughout Minnesota.
Launched by Norton and Aaron Landry in 2009, just as the "foodie" movement was gaining steam, Heavy Table seized on a growing interest in all things food -- from food trucks to mom 'n' pop shops to fine dining. At the height of its powers, the website attracted 200,000 monthly visits, Norton writes via a farewell post, mostly locals seeking restaurant reviews, previews, openings, closings, in-depth features, and food-porny photos.
That loyal following helped crowd-source $22,000 to create 2013's The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food, a book largely crafted by Heavy Table contributors. Norton and his wife, writer/photog Becca Dilley, co-authored two books -- 2009's The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin and 2014's Lake Superior Flavors.
Heavy Table, which is technically on "hiatus," leaves behind almost 7,000 blog posts, including the highly informative Checklist Project, a series of deep-dives into neighborhood food scenes and the personalities behind them. The website also helped organize annual events like Chef Camp ("summer camp for adults who love food," writes City Pages) and North Shore Nosh (a curated tasting tour by Lake Superior).
"None of this would have been possible without the support of our readers, our advertisers, and the chefs, servers, owners, farmers, purveyors, and others who make the Minnesota food scene the powerhouse that it has become," Norton writes. "I am profoundly grateful to all of you; the past 10 years have been a gift."
We reached out to Norton, an occasional CP contributor, for more details, but, honestly, he did a pretty damn thorough job with that farewell post -- check it out!