Despite community support and an eleventh-hour panel discussion to address food permitting and licensing, the Greenpoint Food Market has called it a day.
The market’s founder, Joann Kim, posted a letter on the GFM site yesterday announcing the market’s “sad and unfortunate death.” The cause of death was too much success: Following a glowing Times article in June, city officials took an unsavory interest in the market’s many unlicensed food vendors, causing Kim to shut the market before the health department could do it for her.
In her letter, Kim explains why she probably won’t be reopening the market any time soon (although the Times says it may reopen in September):
The most pressing challenge is for all the homemakers to find and pay for a certified kitchen to produce their food. There are two available rental kitchens in the area and both are none the cheap. Under new participating requirements vendors are not only required to produce from a certified kitchen but would need to be incorporated and insuranced to use the facility. This on top of permits and certificates from the city health dept makes it one knotty intimidating venture, especially considering vendors rarely break even at GFM.
In the meantime, Kim plans to look for an incubator kitchen for her vendors to use while gastronauts mourn the loss of Korean-Argentinian empanadas, boiled peanuts, and artisanal jerky. May they one day be resurrected.