Vendors gather at Smorgasburg

Cici Chen for WSN

Brooklyn’s popular outdoor food market Smorgasburg has reopened for the summer season. Located in Williamsburg, Smorgasburg is a smorgasbord of unique and interesting foods, highlighting the best that New York City has to offer.

“[Smorgasburg] is always looking for uniqueness, something that’s homemade,” said John Chadwell, co-owner of Bee Hive Oven. “I think they’re looking for authenticity in the food so that it’s well made.”

Bee Hive Oven, one of the vendors at Smorgasburg, specializes in homemade and authentic food. The company sells old fashioned, heritage buttermilk biscuits, which are sold alone as well as in biscuit sandwiches, stuffed with ham and brie or fried chicken.

Jesse Goldman, a partner at Alchemy Creamery, said the best thing about Smorgaburg is the variety.

“Smorgasburg has this ‘no competition clause’ as part of their contracts, so everybody that’s here makes their own unique thing,” Goldman said.

Alchemy Creamery makes natural, dairy-free ice cream using hazelnut, almond and coconut milk blends. Alchemy’s push-pop magic wands with their signature ice creams and cookie crumbs make for a delicious treat on a hot day.

There is a strict selection process for vendors. Adriana Troli, the executive pastry chef of Vendôme Macaron, said Smorgasburg organizers will do a thorough review of food vendors before they are invited to the market.

“[That way] it’s the best products you can find,” Troli said.

Vendôme Macaron sells sweet macarons in a variety of bright colors and unique flavors, including strawberries and champagne, Tahitian vanilla and Sorrento lemon.

Part of the intrigue for many of these food stands comes from offering delicacies that have not been heard of before. Matt Swanston, founder of Gooey & Co., said it is all in the name of the product.

“I just thought, what New Yorker wouldn’t want to try [something] called gooey butter cake?” Swanston said.

Gooey butter cake, a classic dessert from St. Louis, is a delicious butter cake with a sweet, gooey topping. Gooey & Co. offers a classic original recipe as well as chocolate, maple carrot cake and banana cake.

The event creates a community for vendors to share their food and ideas with one another.

“We’ve done partnerships with other companies here because of [Smorgasburg],” Goldman said. “They’re really supportive of the people that they take in, and they really encourage you to come up with new things.”

Smorgasburg attendees have over 125 vendors to choose from.

Gallatin freshman Morgan Noll said the amount of options can be overwhelming.

“There’s so many new things to try,” Noll said as she dove into an Alchemy treat. “A lot of these products, you won’t find anywhere else.”

However, with the large number of vendors and the high quality of the food being sold, a day at Smorgasburg can easily burn a hole in your wallet, as incoming freshman Saaniya Ali said.

“I just wish it weren’t so expensive,” Ali said. “I have to keep a strict budget whenever I come here.”

Smorgaburg is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at East River State Park and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 14 print edition. Kari Sonde is a staff writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

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