Mercury News:

A husband and wife team with the serendipitous surname of “Sugar” may have found the recipe for successfully combining content, e-commerce and social networking on a site that attracts a most attractive demographic: women ages 18 to 44.

Brian and Lisa Sugar are the founders of San Francisco-based sugarinc.com, an online media company with a network of channels focused on specific topics that draw women.

The enterprise started as a hobby in 2005 with PopSugar, a blog devoted to celebrity news and gossip. The hobby became a business, which then spawned FabSugar for fashionistas, YumSugar for foodies, BellaSugar for beauty addicts, GeekSugar for techies and CasaSugar for home decor devotees.

In three years, the brand built on a sweetly clever name play that has grown to encompass 17 live sites employing about 80 people, most of them content producers who write in a breezy, chatty style that’s become the hallmark of blogging.

As of this week, the company said its various Sugar sites have 8.5 million unique visitors as measured by Quantcast, and more than 60 million page views, according to Google Analytics. Ninety-six percent of the visitors are female and the median age of visitors is 26 years old, Brian said.

TechCrunch, the popular valley blog that profiles and reviews new Internet products and companies, estimates that Sugar has ad sales of $10 million a year.

Photo by Sugar Publishing.

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