The Vendy Awards were an annual celebration of the best street vendors in New York City hosted by the Street Vendor Project, a project of the Urban Justice Center. It was by far our favorite day of the year, full of food, friends, and a celebration of the vibrant vendor community. After 15 years, the Vendy Awards took its last bow in 2019. To look back on the previous ten years, our resident foodie Brian Hoffman will reminisce with Matt Shapiro, the Legal Director at the Street Vendor Project, about the winners, the food, and the evolution of the local street food scene during that time.>> Continue reading
For nearly 20 years, Adel El Nagar has been serving food of his native Egypt on the streets of New York. Known for his made-to-order falafel, his cart Adel’s #1 Halal was recognized as one of the best in the city when it won the 2017 People’s Choice Vendy Award. Join this conversation with one of the city’s most beloved halal street vendors as he discusses his journey, his food, and his successful street vending business.
Ariel Barbouth was born and raised in Argentina and came to New York City with his wife Leni in 2009 with a dream: to bring traditional Argentine empanadas and make them mainstream in the US. Since then, their company Nuchas has opened kiosks, launched Vendy Award-winning food trucks and carts, opened an empanada factory, and soon they will be shipping direct to consumers nationwide. Ariel will discuss his exciting journey in the food industry, from formulating recipes to scaling manufacturing, being a street vendor to pitching on Shark Tank.
- Order Nuchas online
- Read about Nuchas on Shark Tank
- Skip ahead to 10:20 in video below to watch the full interview
We are thrilled to sit down with Sean Basinski, the founder and former director of the Street Vendor Project. Sean will walk us through his journey from law student to running a food cart in New York City to being an advocate and organizer of street vendors throughout the city. We’ll learn about the early days of the Street Vendor Project, some of their successes, and how Sean grew the organization into a strong member based advocacy group with over 2,000 members.
- Watch our interview with current SVP Director Mohamed Attia
- Read about the Lower the Fines and Lift the Caps campaigns on our blog
- Watch a video about the 2019 Vendy Awards finalists
- Support the Street Vendor Project
Get a snapshot of the life of a food photographer. Brooklynite Clay Williams will join us to discuss his experience working on cookbooks, at the James Beard Foundation, on projects for the New York Times, and being the official food photographer of the Vendy Awards. In addition to sharing his stories and mouth-watering photos, he’ll give us some tips on how to get great food photos from our phones for Instagram or just your own personal memories.
Design of logo and marketing materials for the Vendy Awards // 2018–2019
The Vendy Awards were an annual food festival and fundraiser held to support the Street Vendor Project, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of New York City’s street vendor community. Turnstile’s design team, led by Andrew Gustafson, created the visual identity for the last two Vendys, in 2018 and 2019, and designed related printed and digital collateral, including promotional postcards, posters, online ad banners, and the event program.
Celebrate National Manufacturing Day on Friday, Oct. 4 on a guided tour at the Brooklyn Navy Yard focused on interior design and fabrication The tour will begin with an introduction to the Yard’s story, with an emphasis on the diverse array of products, goods, and objects designed and manufactured on-site over the last two centuries. Next, visitors will walk the 30,000-square-foot factory floor of Ferra Designs, a company that specializes in custom-built architectural metalwork, and visit the studio of textile maker AVO, and speak directly to some of the craftspeople redefining manufacturing and making at the Yard today. This tour is great for anyone interested in art, design, craft, and manufacturing as well as those interested in history and the continued social and economic impact of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Metalworking and woodworking is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in New York City, but it is eclipsed by food production, processing, and packaging, which employs more than 17,000 New Yorkers. On Oct. 4 we will also be hosting a tour of de Royal Dinges Factory, a commercial kitchen and food truck commissary that produces more than 7,000 waffles daily for Wafels & Dinges, one of the most successful street food businesses in the city (and finalist at this year’s Vendy Awards). Visitors will learn how commissaries work to support the thousands of food carts and trucks around the city, walk through the production line, and even get to put their hands in some dough to make their own authentic Liège wafel.
The best day of the year is fast approaching: Saturday, September 21, 2019, the day of the 15th – and final – New York City Vendy Awards. For 15 years, the Street Vendor Project has been convening carts, trucks, and pop-ups to serve up the best street food New York City has to offer, in order to raise awareness about the plight of vendors and raise money for their vital mission. Started in 2005 with just four vendors gathered in commissary garage in the East Village, and attended by just 250 guests, the Vendys have grown into one of the city’s premiere food events, featuring two dozen vendors and 2,000+ attendees flocking to Governors Island.
This year’s competition will feature three categories instead of the usual five: Best Dessert, Best Freshman (for first-time Vendy competitors), and the All-Star Vendy Cup, featuring 15 vendors that have collectively earned 25 nominations, nine Vendy Awards, and three Vendy Cup championships, including two finalists from the first Vendys in 2005, Tony Dragon’s and NY Dosas (see the full list of 2019 nominees). The event is all-you-can-eat-and-drink, and all of the proceeds benefit the Street Vendor Project. This may be the final Vendys, but SVP will continue to support and celebrate the vendor community, so stay connected, and you can prepare for the Vendys by joining one of our Food Cart Tours.
15th Annual Vendy Awards
For more than a decade, the Vendy Awards have been celebrating the unique – and delicious – contributions that street vendors make to this great city. The event takes place on Governors Island, where 25 of the best vendors gather for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink extravaganza. The lineup of vendors will be announced later this summer, and every year it is a great cross-section of the diverse vendor community, with categories including Best Dessert, Best Market Vendor (to acknowledge all the amazing pop-up vendors), Rookie of the Year, and the coveted Vendy Cup. All proceeds from the event benefit the Street Vendor Project, a non-profit organization that supports and advocates for vendors, a project of the Urban Justice Center.