Greenpoint Food Market Shutters in the Face of Looming Health Department Visitation

Well, so much for the can-do DIY spirit of homemade empanadas and pastel-hued cake balls: Weeks after it received a glowing write-up in the Times, the 10-month-old Greenpoint Food Market is closing in the face of threats from the health department. According to The Brooklyn Paper, the market's organizer, Joann Kim, decided to close the June 26 market, and announced that vendors at any future markets would need to obtain food-handling certificates and temporary food establishment permits, and make all of their wares in commercial kitchen spaces.

Given the time and money involved with navigating the red-tape jungle (the food handler's certificate alone costs $105, and requires about 15 hours of course work), the Greenpoint Food Market may face a hiatus as lengthy as that of the Red Hook Ball Fields vendors, who in 2007 endured an arduous battle with the city before being allowed to reopen the following summer. In the meantime, Kim is planning to organize a summit on the neighborhood's grassroots food industry. Perhaps a health department representative will be on hand to distribute permitting instructions.

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