New York City’s Public Markets, Past and Present

This weekend marks the end of an era, as the Essex Street Market will be moving from the building it has occupied since 1940 into a new facility across Delancey St in the Essex Crossing development. The new Essex Market will have nearly all the same vendors as the old market, plus 15 additions, in a larger space that will be more convenient for shoppers and vendors.

The old market building had its own charms, and it represented an important period in New York City’s history, when Mayor Fiorello La Guardia fought to keep food affordable for New Yorkers and to provide indoor space for the city’s growing population of street vendors in the midst of the Great Depression. As we say goodbye to the old market, we are looking back at the history of the city’s public markets, and what happened to the rest of them. >> Continue reading

Finding a World Cup Squad to Root for through Street Food

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off yesterday, and we’re struggling to find a team to support. So we decided to turn to some of the street food and market vendors that we work with to find a substitute for the disappointing USMNT. Of the 32 squads playing in Russia, we’ve whittled it down to these 10 – notice none of them are favorites or powerhouses, just respectable teams with sizable NYC diasporas and delicious food.

Belgium

One of the highlights of the 2014 World Cup was US goalkeeper Tim Howard’s performance in the first knockout game against Belgium, when he made a World Cup-record 15 saves. The US still lost, and this staggering achievement overshadowed just how spectacularly the Belgians outplayed the Americans. They are a very, very good team in a weak group that seem to have an easy path to at least the quarterfinals (sorry, England). Kevin de Bruyne absolutely smoked the US as a 22-year-old, and now he’s developed into one of the world’s best midfielders.>> Continue reading

Curbed: Saying goodbye to the old Essex Street Market

Curbed New York, June 14, 2018

by Nathan Kensinger

One of the best ways to savor the final days of the old Essex Street Market is on the weekly walking tour offered by Turnstile Tours, which will be held until mid-September. During one of these recent walks, the diverse culinary offerings of the market were on full display, with participants sampling rare cheeses from Saxelby Cheesemongers and Formaggio Essex, hot bagels from Davidovich Bakery, fresh croissants from Pain D’Avignon, and savory quiche from Nordic Preserves, Fish & Wildlife Company. It was all washed down with a cup of coffee from the Porto Rico Importing Company, whose NYC roots go back to 1907.

>> Read more

Food for Good: How Non-Profits Are Creating Change Through Food

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

The Lo-Down: Essex Street Market Debuts Historical Mural

The Lo-Down, January 30, 2017

by Ed Litvak

If you visited the Essex Street Market this past weekend, you probably noticed this new historical mural celebrating the legacy of the 77-year-old public facility.

The 20-foot display presents a timeline from 1900 through the opening of the market by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia in 1940, up to the present day. It was a collaboration among the Lower East Side Partnership, the Essex Street Market Vendor Association and Turnstile Tours, which provided research for the project. It was made possible through a grant from Avenue NYC, a program of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. The mural was installed in partnership with the Economic Development Corp., which operates the market.

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Market Value: How Public Markets Drive the Baking Industry Forward

several roles being sprinkled with powder

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

Guide to Open House New York 2016

The inside of a metal fabrication shop, a fork lift drives down the center of the space

Open House New York Weekend is always one of our favorite times of year, when hundreds of sites open their doors to the public on October 15 and 16. We don’t get to see as much as we’d like, however, as we’re almost always working – many of our partner sites are also very active participants in OHNY. This year, both the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal will be open, with more to see than ever before. Here’s a quick guide to visiting during OHNY.>> Continue reading

Press Release: Turnstile Tours Launches New Weekly Tour of Essex Street Market Sept. 25

The outside of a market that's painted colorfully with designs that include painted vegetables, fruit, and geometric shapes

Turnstile Tours & Essex Street Market Vendors Association launch weekly 90-minute tasting tours of the market, every Sunday beginning September 25

Tours include 5–7 tastings and opportunities to meet the community of vendors and learn about the rich history of this Lower East Side institution

September 15, 2016, New York, NY — Weekly guided tours are coming to the Lower East Side’s Essex Street Market later this month. New York City-based tour company Turnstile Tours is working with the Essex Street Market Vendors Association (ESMVA) to offer 90-minute market tours every Sunday at 11:30am. While many neighborhood walking tours around the Lower East Side make brief stops at the market, this tour gives visitors an in-depth look at this neighborhood institution. >> Continue reading

Bakeries at New York’s Public Markets: A Bread and Butter Industry for the City

several roles being sprinkled with powder

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.

>> Continue reading

Chocolate & Cheese: Launching Businesses at the Essex Street Market

Co-owners - a man and a woman - of Saxelby Cheesemongers, both in striped shirts, stand behind a counter that is filled with cheeses on display. There is a chalkboard in the background that lists out a variety of cheeses.

Owned and operated by the city, the Essex Street Market provides a diverse array of fresh, high-quality, and affordable food options to local residents, as well as opportunities for new food entrepreneurs to set up shop with more reasonable rents than are usually found in New York City. In this week’s post, we profile two women who grew their businesses grew out of stalls measuring just 100 square feet – Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers and Rhonda Kave of Roni-Sue’s Chocolates.>> Continue reading