Publishing + Co-Founder of the Mid-Century Supper Clubs Potluck, Karen Finlay


Today I’m talking with Karen Finlay who works in publishing at travel media company Lonely Planet, who also runs the Mid-Century Supper Clubs Potlucks with her pal Jennye Garibaldi.

Their 9th annual Holiday Extravaganza Potluck is coming up this weekend in my hometown of Alameda, CA. It was an absolute pleasure to talk with Karen about how she and Jennye became inspired to host the first potluck and the joy she gets in bringing this event to life year over year.


Find the Mid-Century Supper Club on Facebook

Get tickets for the Holiday Extravaganza Potluck (if they’re not already sold out!)

  • Works at travel media company Lonely Planet; Karen loves publishing.
  • Karen talks about her early love for all things mid-century, including the Betty Crocker. cookbooks she loved in the 70’s and the discovery of a mid-century supper club Flickr group that scanned photos from old cookbooks and then re-created the recipes.
  • Her friend Jennye Garibaldi first suggested that the two of them host their own Mid-Century Supper Club potluck; started with 10 people at Karen’s house.
  • Has since evolved and taken on something of a life of it’s own. Their 9th and biggest event yet coming up on December 10. It no longer fits in anyone’s house, there’s a DJ and band, and it’s at the Eagles Club in Alameda Mid-Century Holiday Potluck Extravaganza.
  • To make this all happen — Jennye and Karen split up all the duties, from organizing, to decorating to producing the entire event. This year, they took on volunteers.
  • Karen loves to see all the people come together over the food, and how it has created a sense of community… she recalls, “I love this night never ends. It just felt like magic. And it happens every time!”
  • Karen talks about the recipes and all the efforts people go to in planning the recipes they’ll bring to the event — some bring beloved family recipes, other try and produce the goofiest/craziest old recipes.
My own family's Christmas morning favorite recipe

My own family's Christmas morning favorite recipe

  • We talk about my own favorite family recipe, the Swedish Tea Log!
  • Karen and Jennye encourage everyone to host their own potluck and would love to write a book about how to throw one and get people together.
  • From the very beginning, they’ve also required that every guest bring a food item for donation to the local Alameda Food Bank.