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Director of People



People & HR
Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Food52 is a next-generation cooking and home company, named one of the World's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company, with a monthly reach of more than 30 million people. The digital hub challenges the models of traditional media and retailers, combining content, commerce, and community around the belief that the kitchen is the heart of the home and that food is the center of a well-lived life. Food52 connects a global community of experts and amateurs, supporting them with inspirational, helpful content — recipes, videos, podcasts, cookbooks, and more — and outfitting them with products that make them happy. In addition to a curated Shop that features hundreds of makers, the Food52 family of brands includes the lighting and lifestyle goods company Schoolhouse and the heritage home brand Dansk.

Schoolhouse is dedicated to the preservation of American manufacturing, thoughtful living, and purposeful design. From iconic lighting to one-of-a-kind homewares, our mission is to provide a new generation of heirlooms that inspire people to create unique, meaningful spaces in which to live and work.

Dansk is an inspired home brand created in 1954 by Ted and Martha Nierenberg to bring the elegant simplicity and natural materials of Scandinavian design to the American market at reasonable prices. The mission of the Dansk brand is to preserve Dansk’s heritage, revive many of the exceptional designs from its archives, and collaborate with leading designers around the world to create new products that will someday be passed through generations.

About the Role

The Director of People will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of human resources, talent acquisition, employee relations, performance management, training and development, and organizational development. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or designee, the Director of People will play a critical role in shaping our company culture and ensuring that we attract, develop, and retain top talent.

This is a hybrid position with the expectation of working 3-4 days per week in either our Brooklyn, NY or Portland, OR office.

Key Responsibilities

  • Strategic HR Leadership: Develop and implement HR strategies and initiatives aligned with the overall business objectives. Provide strategic guidance and counsel to senior leadership on all people-related matters.
  • Talent Acquisition and Retention: Lead the talent acquisition process, including sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding top talent. Develop and implement retention strategies to ensure high-performing employees are engaged and retained.
  • Employee Relations: Serve as a trusted advisor to employees and management on employee relations issues, including conflict resolution, performance management, and disciplinary actions. Ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations.
  • Performance Management: Oversee the performance management process, including goal setting, performance evaluations, and feedback mechanisms. Implement strategies to drive employee performance and development.
  • Training and Development: Develop and implement training and development programs to enhance employee skills and capabilities. Identify training needs and opportunities for career development.
  • Organizational Development: Lead initiatives to foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Implement organizational development strategies to enhance employee engagement, morale, and productivity.
  • HR Operations: Manage day-to-day HR operations, including payroll, benefits administration, HRIS management, and compliance. Ensure accuracy and integrity of HR data and records.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, or related field; Master's degree preferred.
  • 8+ years of progressive HR experience, with at least 3 years in a leadership role.
  • Proven track record of developing and implementing HR strategies and initiatives that drive business results.
  • Previous experience working with a union a plus
  • Strong knowledge of employment laws and regulations.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to build strong relationships and influence stakeholders at all levels.
  • Strategic thinker with a hands-on approach to problem-solving.
  • SHRM-SCP preferred


This is an exempt role. The target pay range for this role is between $160,000 - $200,000, commensurate with experience.


Food52 is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace, providing equal employment and advancement opportunities to all team members. To achieve our mission of teaching the world to grow, we are building an environment where every employee can thrive, feel a sense of belonging, and do the best work of their careers. We value diversity and recruit, hire, and promote individuals solely based on talent, qualifications, competence, and merit. We evaluate candidates without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other protected characteristics as required by law and as a matter of our company values.


Food52 is committed to providing our team with a competitive benefits package. Some of our benefits for 2024 include:

  • Food52 funded health benefits (medical, dental, and vision), starting at zero cost to employees
  • Unlimited paid time off
  • Monthly fitness reimbursement
  • Citibike (NYC) or BikeTown (PDX) company-sponsored annual membership
  • Generous employee discount across our brand portfolio
  • 401K
  • FSA / HSA


We save everyone a seat.

  • We forge connections with our community through kindness, empathy, and personal touch.
  • We view everyone as a whole person, and we celebrate what makes us unique.
  • We aspire to leave things better than we found them.

We reset the table.

  • We actively create opportunities for change and believe in challenging industry norms.
  • We clearly communicate our DEI vision and welcome discussion.
  • We make room for new and existing members of our community and commit to supporting their needs.

We go off recipe.

  • We don’t follow the pack, we lead it.
  • We strive to build a great company that continues to grow and develop, with original ideas and unique implementation.

We light the fire.

  • Instead of waiting for work to be identified or assigned, we take the initiative and seek it out, embracing action and accountability.
  • Put simply: we get stuff done.

We pass the butter.

  • We engage in respectful interactions under all circumstances, operating with a “we” not an “I” mentality.
  • We lead with positive intent and charitable assumption, and we understand that we are all working towards the same goals.
  • We lift each other up by generously bringing what we have to offer to the table.