Photo by Matt Jacobs
We're three weeks into being vendors at New Amsterdam Market but we won't be there this Sunday, July 22nd. We'll be in Bend, OR watching my big sis get married.
If we had the privilege to serve you in the past three weeks, we want you to know that we thank you for your kind patronage and patience while we figure out how to do this thing that is such a logistical and strategic challenge. We long held off on doing a market as we were bound and determined to open a storefront first. After a few unsuccessful real estate negotiations and never really finding the right landlord and financial situation to launch the restaurant, we said screw it, let's just get out there and *do* something.
Our good friend Peter Endriss, Owner and Head Baker of Runner and Stone, mentioned that New Amsterdam Market was looking for food vendors and that we could be a good fit. We had been to New Amsterdam Market in the past and knew its reputation for tight curation and dedication to local producers, so we thought, why not? A few weeks later we set up our mis en place in front of Robert, Matt and Julie (the backbone of New Amsterdam Market) and plated up a few of the items from our core menu.
We sat down and chatted with them and told them all about our idea, our influences, work history, etc. and generally hit it off. We felt good about it. A few hours later, we got an email. We were in. It felt great, but we had one week to secure everything to sell on our first day. For those of you who have no idea what that means, here is a glimpse of what it takes to ensure you can sell food safely and legally in NYC at a market like this.
- We had to find and secure a legal commercial kitchen to prepare and store our mis en place (our menu ingredients, our stuff).
- We had to expand our insurance to cover the venue.
- We had to get a vendor permit from the NYC Department of Health.
- We had to get Worker's Comp. Coverage for any person that helps us or gets paid to work with us, including us.
- We had to find enough chicken, pork, eggs, cheese, black beans, flour, jalapeno chili peppers, serrano chili peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, various dried chiles, milk, butter, masa, onions, garlic, vinegar, sugar, salt, cumin, coriander, cilantro, epazote, oregano, thyme, etc. to cook our core menu on that first Sunday.
- We had to prep and cook everything that wouldn't be cooked a minute a day or two ahead.
- We needed a generator for our flour tortilla press.
- We needed to make our propane grill work like a station at a restaurant.
- We needed ice.
- We needed money.
- We needed volunteers/staff.
- We needed a POS system updated with our menu.
- We needed to move fast. We had 7 days.
We made it happen. That would not have happened without the help of everyone and many more not listed below. By our second week, we were getting press. We have no idea how it all happened. We are thankful, lucky and still a bit surprised by the all the momentum we have now. We could not do it without you.
We are here to make you happy. Tacos make people happy. They are a simple joy in a day and we hope ours will be some of the best. We aim for that.
Without the folks below, we could not have sold nearly 300 tacos on our first weekend over five hours. Nearly a taco a minute with making every tortilla fresh within minutes of the order.
For all that came out and stood in line, thanks so much for your patience.
Y'all can come visit us next Sunday, July 29th and enjoy more tacos and perhaps share a tasty beverage. We'll miss you this weekend, but there are other things we love besides you and cooking. :) We love our family and we have to celebrate their success too.
We stand on the shoulders of these giants, without whose direct support we would not have been able to do what we do today.
New Amsterdam Market: Robert La Valva, Matt Heffernan, Julie Yeung, Farmers: Nick Westervelt and Becky Mumaw, Jo Jandai and Peggy Reents, Lejen Shan Chef & Restaurant Friends, and Mentors: Kathy Ba, Jonathan Benno, Sylvan Brackett, Richard Capizzi, Ruth Cimarolli, Raj Dagstani, Tim DeTraglia, Peter Endriss, Julie Farias, Christy Gell, Fany Gerson, Xavier James, James McDuffee, Nan Bunyasaranand, Eli Kameh, Joshua Schwartz, Thomas Keller, Zak Pelaccio, Justin Pike, Carlito Paulino, Sean O'Toole, Allison Robicelli, Sebastien Rouxel, Jose Salazar, Suzanne Shearer, Julia Sullivan, Jim Vellano, Jen Vellano, Eric Lilavois, Josie Smith-Malové, Alice Waters, Catherine Breton, Laurent Saillard, Sharon Wang, Melissa Weller, Jon Wu Bed-Stuy Support: Melissa Danielle , Doug Jones, Craig Samuel and Ben Grossman, Clay Williams, Nicole Taylor, all the folks at Bed-Vyne Wine Entrepreneurial Advisors: Alaina Browne, Anil Dash, Jake Dobkin, Meg Hourihan, Alan Khazei and Michael Brown, Adam Kuban, Beth Lewand and Chris Gray, David Jacobs, Matt Jacobs, Chris Wang and Anna Lee, King and Margaret Lai, Natalie Podrazik, Yoshi Takahashi, Jim and Jen Vellano, Joseph Weiner and Trisha Becker Weiner. Operations Support: Edna Chan and Jarvis Irving, Jeremiah Clancy, Betty Huang and Greg Noce, Phil Gordon, Square Inc. Friends and Family: All of the folks above, Frances Bates and Bill Bates, Nathan Busse and Sarah Gonzales Busse, Ricky Chang, Kirk Crum, Tim Perzan, Bonnie Stanley, Michael Stanley, George Surber, Jeannie Surber, Joy Swander, Bill Swander, Randy Surber, Matt Harlan, Jennifer Surber (sister), John Stewart, Tony Sepulveda (brother -and all my nephews and niece), Julie Lee, Peter Lee, Patricia Lee, Jessica Lee, Jennifer Terrell, Lauren Thurmond, Stepha Krynytsky, and too many to list here, really.