After more than three years of reporting on Houston’s food scene, the independent dining publication Houston Food Finder will officially cease publication in the coming weeks.
Publisher Phaedra Cook announced the news in a post to the Houston Food Finder on Friday morning, stating that the Houston Food Finder will be down for the next two weeks without a large inflow of funds. Cook tells Eater that the release will be suspended in the coming days after some more stories and podcast episodes were released.
“Since its inception in November 2016, Houston Food Finder hasn’t found enough support in the business world to be profitable,” said Cook. “The biggest ongoing problem is that I can’t even afford to pay me to do my full-time job. I have run into a lot of debt over the past three years and it is unfortunately not a situation that can last forever. ”
Cook has long been open about Houston Food Finder’s financial troubles and was almost forced to close the publication in 2019. A fan of the publication started a GoFundMe that raised more than $ 5,000 to pay writers and turn on the lights at Houston Food Finder. According to Cook, the crowdfunding platform declined a number of submissions to the fundraiser, some of which had to be repaid from publication. Patreon and a virtual “tip jar” on Facebook also raised some donations, but it wasn’t enough in the end.
According to Cook, the Houston Food Finder could make a comeback if it can find the financial assistance it needs. “While I leave the door open to one good circumstance, Houston Food Finder will likely be releasing its final stories and podcast episodes for the next two weeks and then closing,” Cook said.