All weekend long we were discussing the return to our roots through local businesses, social responsibility and the generosity of each community. How entrepreneurs are being funded and yet many of them will become singular lifestyle businesses while others could be $50 million dollars businesses and others might have a billion dollar market cap. Entrepreneurs are alive and well.
I wandered down for breakfast (sleeping in as long as possible on Sunday morning is so key) Fred pulled out the Sunday Review of the NYTimes and said, this article is exactly what you have been talking about. William Deresiewicz calls it Generation Sell. His article is worth the read. His theory to how we got here is interesting. Regardless, I love where we are. I like what this generation is about from the people who are creating the tools that allow us to live in a virtual global world to the community businesses that make us feel grounded and part of something.
We couldn't have wrapped up this weekend more perfectly than by going to the Peck Slip Pickle Festival at the New Amsterdam Market with Josh. This market place that now takes place almost every Sunday completely defines what is happening in the world of small businesses around food. Everyone is hip, everyone is nice and supportive of each other and the feeling of community is everywhere.
We basically tasted a bunch of things and I tried to support as many local vendors as possible. Many people just love to taste and never buy a damn thing. I didn't buy one of these Brooklyn Butcher Blocks but I have the card and I am going to buy one online after I post.
We began with the Mighty Quinns slow smoked brisket sandwich with pickles and red onions. Can't seem to find the website to link too but they make the rounds from the Brooklyn Smorgasburg and Flea to other events.
Next stop was La NewYorkina. Dried orange peels with cayenne pepper, pumpkin seed brittle and a gruyere cheese empanada with strawberry jelly. The empanada totally worked and the crust was killer. Their tag line is "handmade with love". No question about that.
Gotta love Porchetta. There is nothing like the slow roasted pork chopped in a sandwich mixed with the crispy skin.
Hot Bread Kitchen that is near and dear to my heart was selling bialys today. Jessamyn, the brilliant founder, got together with Mimi Sheraton before the market at an event to discuss bialys. Wish I caught that. Mimi Sheraton is one of the mavens of the food industry, wrote a book about bialys and was the food critic for the New York TImes.
When did everyone become a pickler? Here are all the entries for the pickle challenge. There were easily a dozen pickle makers there today. Ricks Picks is still the leader in this space. Look for some new products as well as bigger and less expensive products coming to you sometime in the spring from Rick.
The musicians. Sorry the picture is so blurry. These guys were singing and crooning like they had just come out of the Appalachians. You have to see and hear that and immediately think about what is going on in our culture. We have Occupy Wall street happening only blocks away and this group of hipsters making pickles and crooning. You can't help but take pause.
This was great. P & H Soda. The guy who was doing this was not a young pup. He had syrup bottles to sell from ginger to sasparilla. He was making these amazing soda drinks. We had a ginger lime which was one of the most refreshing clean drinks I have ever had.
Lamb sausage sandwiches at 18NY. Brilliant idea of using a blow torch to melt the cheese. Excellent spicy hot sauce.
Blue Bottle Coffee with sweets to sell and a clever drip system.
First Field was selling their two wares. New Jersey tomatoes turned into homemade ketchup and a local Jersey cranberries turned into cranberry sauce. I bought them both. The cranberry sauce is delicious although they would need some serious capital to stock up on that product to sell all year.
Peanut Butter & Co is a place we have gone to on Sullivan since they opened. They were certainly pioneers in the artisinal food space. Now selling jars of peanut butter from regular to crunchy to honey to chocolate to cinnamon raisin. Really good.
I did not get a chance to taste these but they look so beautiful. The Dumpling Dutch Diva making profittjeres. I love the pan she is using. Sweet and savory.
I did pick up some greens, apples and such from the farm stands but our last taste was a grilled gouda sandwich with pieces of pancetta from Morris Truck who you can follow on Twitter because they don't have a website. Just the browning of the bread alone makes your mouth water.
The market was packed, we bumped into more than a handful of friends taking it all in and making their purchases too. The New Amsterdam Market which was packed more today than others because of the pickle theme defines the times we live in. Smart people creating businesses that they love. There is a knee jerk reaction to working in structured businesses like banking and people are embracing their lives and what turns them on by becoming entrepreneurs. They want to enjoy their lives. I like these times.