Celebrate National Manufacturing Day with events across the country on Friday, Oct. 5, including two events hosted by Turnstile Tours and our manufacturing partners. At 9:30am, join us at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for a tour of Ferra Designs, a shop that designs and fabricates architectural metalwork and furniture. The tour will include an explanation of their methodology from founder Rob Ferraroni, as well as a walk through the shop floor to see the work of their skilled craftspeople and advanced manufacturing equipment.
At 10am, we will be exploring food manufacturing by visiting the factory of Wafels and Dinges, a purveyor of authentic Belgian wafels. At their Gowanus facility, they produce more than 7,000 wafels daily for their network of food trucks, carts, kiosks, and restaurants, and it also serves as their commissary garage, where they store and service their fleet for mobile food vending.
This post is part of our eight-part series profiling immigrants to the United States who made significant contributions to the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the eighteenth century to the present day.
Baldev Duggal (1937–2016)
So far in this series, all of the individuals we have profiled worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard when it was still a naval shipyard. But Baldev Duggal was an individual who played an instrumental role in the long process of transforming the Yard from a dilapidated naval facility into a thriving industrial business center.>> Continue reading
An Essex Street Market “Talk & Taste” event about food-based social enterprise
Many organizations are recognizing the value of entrepreneurship and culinary arts to inspire young people, build their skills, and equip them for challenges ahead. At this Talk & Taste event, offered in partnership with the Essex Street Market Vendors Association, we brought together three organizations that see the incredible value of food. The panel discussion included Lyn Pentecost, executive director of the Lower East Side Girls Club, and one of their longtime participants, Jocelyn. The Girls Club not only offers programs and facilities for young women to learn about cooking, but their La Tiendita stall in the Essex Street Market offers them the opportunity to learn the retail side as well, selling baked goods, aprons, potholders, and other textiles made by their participants. Jordyn Lexton is the founder Drive Change, a nonprofit that works with young people who have had contact with the criminal justice system, and operates for-profit enterprises run by their participant, including the Vendy Award-winning Snow Day food truck. Reconnect works with a similar population, helping young men in Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, and Williamsburg who have become “disconnected” to gain skills and confidence by running businesses, including the Reconnect Graphics print shop, Reconnect Café, and the Reconnect Bakery in the Moore Street Market. We were joined by Reconnect’s founder, Father Jim O’Shea, bakery manager Daytoine Shaw, and one of his bakers, Rayvon.
[UPDATE 7/10/17: We are deeply saddened to have to share the news that Daytoine Shaw of Reconnect Bakery passed away suddenly last week. Daytoine was an incredible baker, mentor, and friend, and we will miss him terribly.]
If you missed the event, you can watch the whole discussion below or on our Facebook page.
>> Continue reading
An Essex Street Market “Talk & Taste” event about the baking industry in New York City
Baking is literally our bread and butter in New York City making up the majority of food manufacturing businesses within the five boroughs. On December 8th, 2016 at the Essex Street Market, members of the public joined us for a taste of bagels and fresh bread and a behind-the-scenes look at the baking industry. Guest speakers included Lee Wellington, Executive Director of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, Gene Davidovich, CEO of Davidovich Bakery, Uliks Fehmiu, Co-Founder & President of Pain D’Avignon, and the general manager from the new bread-themed Eataly NYC Downtown location. Moderator Cindy VandenBosch of Turnstile Tours interviewed panelists about what it takes to operate a food production and distribution business in New York City and the unique role public markets – like Essex Street Market – play in supporting the baking industry. This event was organized by Cindy VandenBosch and Lauren Margolis of the Essex Street Market Vendors Association.
If you missed the event, you can watch the whole discussion on below or on our Facebook page.
>> Continue reading
Masaki and Yukimi Momose have been making their Japanese-style salad dressings for more than three years, but now, they are finally making it in a space they can call their own. Their company, MOMO Dressing, is the first tenant in the Brooklyn Army Terminal’s Annex, a former administration building for the military complex that is now being reinvented as a center of food manufacturing.
MOMO held their grand opening on August 10 with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which spent $15 million renovating the 55,000-square-foot building. Also in attendance was another food manufacturer who calls the Terminal home – chocolatier Jacques Torres.>> Continue reading
We recently had the opportunity to visit a unique business in the Brooklyn Navy Yard that will be a featured tenant on our Inside Industry Tour series, Bien Hecho, a woodworking outfit that specializes in making furniture, millwork, cabinetry, and other custom carpentry from reclaimed and sustainably-sourced wood. Founder John Randall sat down with us to talk about their business making beautiful work, and the Bien Hecho Academy.
Bien Hecho was founded by John nine years ago. Inspired by his travels to Spanish-speaking countries, and his efforts to master the language as an adult, John strives to live up to both meanings of his company’s name – create well-made (hecho bien) projects, and do a job well done (bien hecho). Located inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Building 3, their workshop is filled with wood and machinery that you won’t find in most of the other shops clustered in this part of the building. With a small team of just two full-time staff and a few part-timers, the company has nevertheless taken on some big and beautiful projects.>> Continue reading
In this two-part blog series, we’ll be highlighting the stories behind baking businesses – wholesale and retail, profit and nonprofit – that are located inside New York’s public markets and how each contributes to the culinary and manufacturing landscapes of the city. We begin by featuring the stories behind Davidovich Bakery and Pain D’Avignon, two businesses with established track records in wholesale, selling and distributing to grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and specialty shops, and that branched out into retail through opening flagship locations at the Essex Street Market on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. But before we dig in, let’s first take a look at the role baking plays in New York City’s manufacturing sector.
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The Brooklyn Navy Yard has a long tradition of exploration. For 165 years, the Yard built, outfitted, and repaired ships that traveled millions of miles around the world, including building the first US Navy ship to circumnavigate the globe (USS Vincennes, 1826-30), dispatching the groundbreaking US Exploring Expedition (1838-42), and receiving the Navy’s first nuclear submarine USS Nautilus after it passed underneath the ice of the North Pole (1958). But none of these ships went as far or as deep into uncharted territory as systems developed by Brooklyn Navy Yard tenant Honeybee Robotics.>> Continue reading
Woodside Press is one of our featured Brooklyn Navy Yard tenants on our Making It In NYC: Inside Industry at the Brooklyn Navy Yard tour series. This past winter, we visited the letterpress printshop to learn about their company and the unique services they offer. Woodside was founded back in 1993 by Andy Birsh in Woodside, Queens (hence the name), and in 1998 moved into their space in Building 3 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We were shown around the print shop by Davin Kuntze, who has been with the company for more than 10 years.>> Continue reading
One of the hallmarks of the companies that we feature on our Making It In NYC tour series at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is that they wed traditional crafts with advanced technology to create unique, innovative, and competitive products. Scott Jordan Furniture is a perfect example of this union.
Founded in 1980, the company has had its home at the Brooklyn Navy Yard since 1988, back when there were fewer neighbors and fewer amenities than you find around the Yard today. Since the company’s inception, the eponymous Scott Jordan and his team have made solid wood beds, tables, chairs and other home furnishings by hand with original designs.>> Continue reading