Anne Saxelby may be spending a lot of time in Brooklyn these days, but she hasn’t forgotten her roots. The cheesemonger, who recently opened a cheese-aging facility in Red Hook, has lent her voice to the chorus of those wanting to save the Essex Street Market from demolition.
Saxelby, who opened her eponymous stall in the Essex Street Market four years ago, has used her website to issue a long and eloquent plea to save the market, which may be demolished and moved according to new SPURA guidelines recently approved by Community Board 3. Those guidelines propose relocating the 71-year-old market to an ominous-sounding “superior location.”
“If the Essex Street Market were to move,” Saxelby writes, “it would not only lose its historic context, it would lose the soul and spirit of the place, an intangible but real thing created by merchants and customers over the past seven decades.”
Over the past decade, she continues, “the Essex Market has undergone yet another change, with new vendors moving in alongside the old, proving again that the market evolves with the neighborhood. The vendors may change, but the market is still a bastion of community, full of vibrant unique small businesses serving the needs of a diverse clientele … just as Mayor LaGuardia intended it to be.”
Supporters of the market can sign a petition to save it, and also attend the next community board meeting on May 25.
And speaking of Saxelby’s new Red Hook facility, The Brooklyn Paper visited it recently, and reports that in addition to having doubled their distribution to Brooklyn restaurants over the past few months, Saxelby and her business partner, Benoit Breal, hope to “eventually” branch out to retail. When they finally get around to it, one hopes that customers will still be able to visit their stall in the original Essex Street Market.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 26, 2011