Bacchanal Pepper Sauce creator Sonya Samuel and Brooklyn Delhi owner Chitra Agrawal are part of Brooklyn’s makers community, the DIY-tinged artisan packaged food movement that’s been integral to the borough’s food culture over the past several years. And as the ranks of the craft industry continue to swell the pair wanted to bring together players and spotlight them in one place. They’ve organized a pop-up market, Batchery, which makes its inaugural run Bat Haus (279 Starr Street, Brooklyn).
“The idea for the market is twofold,” Samuel explains. “We wanted to create a community for makers to sell throughout the year. But also, it’s so cold. We wanted to bring people together and give them a reason to come out and taste local food.” So Batchery, she says, is going to be a shop, but the vendors will have plenty of samples for patrons — including free hot chocolate.
The duo has brought on innovative vendors like Mike’s Hot Honey, The Jam Stand, Cocktail Crate, and Plate and Pencil, which specializes in kitchen wares like aprons. The event should highlight, too, developments in the industry and “more things that speak to the melting pot that is New York City,” says Samuel. “”Bacchanal Pepper Sauce speaks to the Caribbean community here in Brooklyn. I’m a full-fledged Brooklynite, but I have Caribbean roots.” Brooklyn Delhi, she points out, draws from Indian roots.
Bringing vendors together like this also helps the community tackle challenges as a united front, and one that threatens the industry right now is space. “The industry is growing,” says Samuel. “People are trying to find more ways to be out there. But if you’re growing bigger, what does that mean to New York City and Brooklyn? It’s difficult to find a commercial kitchen space, and if you keep growing, it’s challenging to stay here within the city limits.”
Samuel hopes this is the first of many events. “The idea is to see if we can do more of these throughout the year,” she says. “We’re trying to find the ideal space and bring a curated group of people together. With this event, we’ll see what people want to see more of.”
She and Agrawal have a tentative location lined up for March, too, though she’s not ready to divulge where just yet. “This is an opportunity to get more people to know more about our products,” she says. “We all have our own individual followings; here, we can bring them together.”
The market runs from noon until 6 p.m.; see the event flyer on the next page.