Made in Brooklyn: How NYC’s Second City is Changing America’s Food and Beverage Scene.

McClures Pickels Brooklyn NYC Food Incubator

From microbreweries and distilleries to food startups, artisan coffee and chocolate factories, BK is becoming one of America’s top food and beverage epicenter. Fostered by food incubators, a powerful ecosystem and an obsessive focus on quality, this epicurean revolution is a reality, propelling such iconic and new artisan brands at the forefront, like Mast Brothers, Monsieur Singh and Brooklyn Spice Company.

Space is limited in Brooklyn, but as always necessity is the mother of all inventions. Since 2012, artisans have been operating from 630 Flushing Ave, a building colloquially known as the Pfizer factory due its legacy as a former pharmaceuticals processing plant that now serves as a food incubator.

This building, located at the Williamsburg and Bedford Stuyvesant border, has become a hub of food and beverage production and houses some of BK’s top artisans, including McClure’s Pickles, Mama O’s Kimchi, Brooklyn Soda Works and Kelvin Soda Slush, which makes adult sodas (https://crushbrew.com/artisan-sodas-for-adults-how-american-artisans-are-changing-the-way-you-think-about-sodas).

While the old Pfizer incubator is still in its transition stage, the 8-storeies, 600,000 sq foot building will soon host a farmers’ market, a rooftop farm and more artisans. Built like a tech startup incubator and co-working space, the 630 Flushing offers nascent food and beverage companies the opportunity grow and perfect their craft and grow at an affordable cost.

 Local companies each have access to an individual kitchen space, modern equipment, conference rooms, the Chamber of Commerce’s network and become part of the incubator’s vibrant and innovative community of artisans.

Their common passion for food and beverage and their desire to create quality products and is helping strengthen the creative process. It is not uncommon for them to exchange tips about how to best navigate the distribution system, discuss product ideas and even taste their neighbor’s latest creations, which are left for passersby to sample and enjoy.

Being at the center of the food and beverage revolution, empowered artisans in Brooklyn are able to take the best ideas and focus on other issues, like branding, marketing, legal and sales support – matters that small producers often find challenging when left to their own devices.

This new approach to artisanal creation is contributing to putting Brooklyn and its artisans on the map. Similar concepts have been developed with success all over the country to offer support to culinary and drink producers. From virtually none to over 200 culinary incubators today, complexes such as KitchenCru in Portland and La Cocina in San Francisco have enabled the artisan craftsmanship in America.

In Brooklyn, local vendors are strongly supported by the Chamber of Commerce as well. Aside from creating a ‘Made in Brooklyn’ certification, the institution leverages its business network to support members and even gives local manufacturers the opportunity to connect with customers and trade professionals.

Every year, curious people and industry buyers, distributors and hospitality experts celebrate the vibrant artisan food and beverage culture during Brooklyn Eats, Brooklyn’s leading fancy food and beverage tasting expo and trade show at the old Pfizer factory. Over 100 food and beverage local artisans participate to the festival each year, which attracts three to four thousand visitors on average.

There, one can have a comprehensive and direct understanding of what’s happening in Brooklyn. With so many talented and passionate artisans, it’s always good to see that there really is a helping hand.

For more information on Brooklyn Eats, visit: http://www.brooklyneats.com

 

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Eva du Monteil is a culinary trained food and wine critic living in NYC. When she is not exploring the country in search for the next hidden gem, she enjoys eating, drinking and cooking in the company of her friends, chefs and fine purveyors of epicurean experiences. While she loves NYC, she believes some of the most exciting food and drink scenes at the moment include Portland, Los Angeles, Austin, Miami, and Philadelphia.

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