Friday, July 16, 2010
Greenpoint Food Market Postponed
Photo by Kristin Luce for the New York Times
This week, the New York Times printed an article on the postponement of the Greenpoint Food Market (GFM) with a photo of me and Sabra selling our Masala Loca tacos at the last one. The original article by the Times on GFM stated that some of the vendors were not officially certified, resulting in sharp scrutiny of the market by city officials. The news is quite disheartening because what made this market really great was that it was undiscovered and was operating kind of in a gray zone - half a fundraiser for the church it was held in and half a marketplace for vendors making small batches of homemade foods you really couldn't find in any store or restaurant. It wasn't a surprise that the market got so popular, but the press that followed came at an expense.
Joann Kim, the market organizer, has been amazing about trying to find a solution for vendors to feasibly continue selling at the market. The main issue though is the cost of renting a commercial kitchen, buying insurance, and attaining permits and licenses from the city does not make it possible for many of the vendors to operate profitably as the quantities produced and sold are on such a small scale. For now the market is tentatively planned to reopen in September to give us vendors time to get paperwork in order and decide if we'd like to continue on this path.
In the meantime, Masala Loca will be working on an incubator kitchen project with GFM vendors and continue to sell our food at other small markets and events around the area. Will keep you posted on dates!