The Bridge: The Brooklyn Tour Guides Who Know All the Secrets

Tower of Brooklyn Bridge graphic

The Bridge, July 12, 2017

by Emily Nonko

As Brooklyn’s tourism industry heats up, double-decker buses have crossed the river in herds, whirling visitors around Grand Army Plaza and other dramatic sights. But to paraphrase the song from Hamilton, what’d they miss? Lots, according to Brooklyn-based Turnstile Tours, which has made a name for itself with a completely different approach: depth. On a Turnstile Tour of the cavernous Brooklyn Army Terminal, for example, you’ll find out that the massive base was once used as a storage warehouse for alcohol seized during Prohibition. Millions of gallons of booze were dumped into the harbor!

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DNAinfo: How Young New York City Businesses Mix Philanthropy and Profit

DNAinfo New York, September 4, 2014

by Serena Solomon

Turnstile’s philanthropic efforts may appear to be an extra burden to add to the usual hardships of starting a small business — about 50 percent of businesses survive only five years, according to the Small Business Administration — but VandenBosch said “we factored it in from the beginning” and “that money is not ours.”

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Thompson Reuters: Benefit Corporations: Organizing for Multiple Stakeholders

Thompson Reuters Sustainability, May 30, 2014

by Shari Helaine Littan

In the last couple of years, the phrase “sustainability” seems to have touched every aspect of business. With the adoption of “benefit corporation” statutes, even traditional corporate law is evolving to respond to corporate responsibility expectations of an expanding group of stakeholders, such as customers, employees, and taxpayers.

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EcoLogic Solutions Brings Green Cleaning to the Brooklyn Navy Yard

When it comes to so-called “green” products, we usually expect to pay more for something that doesn’t do the job quite as well as its mainstream counterpart. EcoLogic Solutions proves that this kind of thinking is hogwash.

A commercial cleaning products manufacturer based in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, they make a full line of commercial-grade, plant-based, wholly biodegradable cleaning products. They simply sweep the floor (and clean and disinfect the surface) with the toxic competition.

CEO Anselm Doering founded EcoLogic after reading a poster in a New York Thruway rest stop restroom stating, “Proud to be cleaned by Lysol.”>> Continue reading

Discover Uncommon Gifts on Our Brooklyn Army Terminal Tour Nov. 24

Looking for unique, memorable gifts for the holiday season?  Well, this Sunday, our walking tour of the Brooklyn Army Terminal will feature a special visit to one of the facility’s largest tenants, online retailer UncommonGoods, which develops, sells, and ships fantastically creative, one-of-a-kind items from their headquarters in Sunset Park.

While most of our tours of the Terminal explore the waterfront and common areas of the facility, like the iconic atrium, this tour will give visitors a behind-the-scenes look inside one of the working spaces.  Not only will we see how the stark warehouse spaces have been built out into modern offices and production lines, we will also learn about some of the products UncommonGoods sells, and how the company greatly expands during the busy holiday season, ramping up their workforce five-fold during the fourth quarter.>> Continue reading

Brooklyn “B-Corps” Offer New Models for Business Success

Today, many of the products we buy are slapped with a dizzying array of certification labels.  You’ve probably seen the USDA certification attached to organic food products, or the Fair Trade label on coffee.  Sustainably-harvested wood has the Forest Stewardship Council’s FSC certification system, and Cradle to Cradle certification covers everything from  raw materials and industrial products to consumer goods and personal care products.  And if you’ve been on a tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, you know about the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) rating system and seen beautiful examples of LEED buildings in the Yard, including Building 92, the Perry Building, and even the NYPD Brooklyn tow pound, among others.  Many industries across the world are waking up to the need for stronger ecological and social standards, and third-party certification programs help consumers to navigate the claims of the product, building, or manufacturer in question.>> Continue reading

Turnstile Tours Releases First Annual Benefit Report

You may have seen on our website or promotional materials that Turnstile Tours is a “New York State-registered Benefit Corporation” and wondered, what on earth does that mean?  To answer that question, we have released our first annual Benefit Report, which we are excited to share with our partners, customers, stakeholders, and the general public.

So, what is a Benefit Corporation?  Well, it’s a relatively new class of company in New York State – legislation creating them was enacted in December 2011, making New York the seventh state in the union to pass such a law.  When Turnstile Tours was incorporated in May 2012, we became one of the first companies in the state to be organized under this new statute.  Under the law, we must show our company provides a “positive material impact on society and the environment.”  Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it – we are required to base our evaluation on a recognized third-party standard and publish the results in an annual report, which you can now read here.>> Continue reading

Navy Yard Manufacturer IceStone Uses Crowdsourcing to Recover from Sandy

We all know that glass is made of sand, but Hurricane Sandy was no friend to recycled glass countertop manufacturer IceStone. The Brooklyn Navy Yard tenant was hit hard by the storm, with their manufacturing and warehouse floor submerged by almost four feet of water, causing damage to their facility and materials. The East River water that washed through the yard stained valuable slabs of finished countertop, contaminated high-grade raw materials, wreaked havoc with floor-level electrical systems, and disabled the conveying and fabrication machinery. In addition, the heart of the company’s marketing campaign – hundreds of beautiful sample pieces and 2000 purpose-built sample boxes and intricately designed binder displays – were completely destroyed.

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