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Press Release

NYCEDC Announces Additional Vendors Coming to New Essex Street Market

Dec 12 2017

City welcomes Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Essex Shambles and Zerza to the New Essex Street Market

New market set to open next fall

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced three new vendors coming to the New Essex Street Market next year. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Essex Shambles, and Zerza will be joining 27 current vendors at the new location in fall 2018.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (CICF) has been creating delicious ice cream for 4 decades on Bayard Street in Chinatown, and is often referred to as an "unofficial NYC landmark.” CICF has a deep tradition of being a family-run operation, now with a second generation at the helm. The origins of ice cream are both mythical and abstract, including legends attributing the invention of ice cream to the Chinese during the Tang Dynasty. Despite its unclear beginnings, CICF has made ice cream a tangible and an undeniably delicious reality with unique flavors like black sesame, durian, and green tea.

Essex Shambles is the expansion of popular neighborhood butcher, Harlem Shambles. In 2011, Harlem Shambles opened and quickly became a destination and favorite among locals. Like Harlem Shambles, Essex Shambles will be an old-fashioned butcher shop serving locally sourced beef, lamb, pork and poultry. They will continue to maintain their commitment to establishing the shop as a valued part of the community, and work with a handful of New York farms to bring customers all-natural meat they can feel good about. Essex Shambles will embrace the whole-animal philosophy, and their customer-friendly butchers will provide the freshest cuts, cut to order with minimal waste.

Zerza is a vibrant new fast-causal concept from Radouane Eljaouhari, the creator of a beloved Lower East Side Moroccan spot by the same name. An avid marathoner, Eljaouhari’s new menu is inspired by integrating traditional Moroccan recipes with his passion for health, resulting in delicious and tasty dishes. Zerza will feature whole-food, plant based ingredients and organically sourced meats with Moroccan spices and Mediterranean extra virgin olive oils. To further promote healthy living, Eljaouhari plans to allocate part of his proceeds to support community programs and kids races organized by local running clubs.

Over the years, Essex Street Market has provided a unique home for vendors priced out of their previous locations, as well as new food business looking for an affordable place to start out. Along with La Marqueta, Moore Street Market, and Arthur Avenue Market, Essex Street Market is part of the City’s network of public markets, which provide quality, affordable space for a diverse mix of local vendors that reflect the history and culture of their neighborhoods. Vendors receive an affordable rent structure to help alleviate the immense rent pressures local food businesses often face.

“Since 1940, Essex Street Market has been both a hub for the City’s food economy and a cultural center for Lower East Siders,” said NYCEDC President James Patchett. “We are thrilled to welcome Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Essex Shambles, and Zerza to our vibrant mix of community-oriented vendors. We look forward to opening the new space next year and providing the neighborhood with an even better shopping and dining experience.”

“Essex Market made perfect sense to us because our family has had a long history in the downtown Chinatown/Lower East Side/Little Italy area,” said Christina Seid, owner of the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. “We are third generation New Yorkers, so we have seen all the changes over the years. We hope to tell the story of the Lower East Side’s rich history through our ice cream flavors. Essex Market has the small local, family feel that we were looking for. It found us and it was natural to say "yes" to the opportunity.”

“We plan to bring the same community spirit, as well as the same well-raised, highest quality meats, that we’ve fostered at Harlem Shambles for years down to the new Essex Street Market,” said Tim Forrester, Harlem and Essex Shambles Co-founder. “We are excited to be a part of the Essex Street Market and look forward to becoming a part of this vibrant, energetic and diverse downtown neighborhood. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to offer our products to a whole new community.”

“For years, the Lower East Side community was home to my first restaurant, Zerza,” said Radouane Eljaouhari, founder of Zerza. “So when thinking about where to build my next concept, the neighborhood was a natural first choice. I was thrilled to find such a welcoming group of vendors and affordable, state-of-the-art space at the New Essex Street Market, and can’t wait to open to the public next year.”

“The Essex Street Market is a vibrant destination for foodies from across the city because its vendors are authentic, local, and creative,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I look forward to trying something from each member of this diverse group of new vendors, and thank the Economic Development Corporation for their continued work to keep this market thriving.”

“A living relic from LES’s origins as a culinary destination shaped by the immigrant communities who have called our City home, Essex Street Market continues its tradition as an anchor for local vendors and the community-at-large,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “Congratulations to the local businesses joining New Essex Street Market next fall, and thanks to NYCEDC for their efforts to preserve the community-centered spirit that has defined, and will continue to define, our Lower Manhattan neighborhoods for generations to come.”

“I am thrilled that three new vendors will be joining the existing lineup of amazing shops at our New Essex Street Market,” said Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou. “From ice cream and cheese to everyday food staples, the Essex Street Market has something for all. I look forward to welcoming these new vendors to the neighborhood and supporting them as they transition into business at Essex Crossing.”

"Community Board 3 is very excited to welcome the three new vendors to the Essex Street Market. We are very proud of the Market, which brings the immigrant history of pushcarts on the Lower East Side to today's market that serves the diverse needs of current Lower East Side residents,” saidJamie Rogers, Community Board 3 Chair. “The new vendors will replace a very missed butcher and add to the diversity of prepared food and the unique offerings of Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. The whole community is eagerly waiting for the move to the new market next year which will provide a whole new expansion of market products and hours as well as programming.”

“Ensuring a successful, vibrant, and authentic Essex Street Market has been and continues to be a top priority for Community Board 3 and this taskforce,” said Gigi Li, CB3 Essex Crossing Task Force Chair. “We are pleased that NYCEDC has chosen three vendors that represent the diversity and spirit of entrepreneurship that reflects the history of the Lower East Side. Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Essex Shambles, and Zerza are three new vendors that will make the New Essex Street Market a jewel for our community.”

"We are excited to welcome these new and exciting vendors to the Essex Market family," said Tim Laughlin, President of the Lower East Side Partnership. "The addition of new vendors and the construction of a state-of-the-art market facility will ensure lasting community benefits and maintain critical access to fresh and affordable grocery goods for Lower East Side residents through the diverse offerings of market merchants."

“I am thrilled to see this first announcement of new vendors for New Essex Market! All of the businesses are unique New York originals that will add depth, character, and deliciousness to the market,” said Anne Saxelby, Chair of the Essex Street Market Vendors Association.

In fall 2018, all current Essex Street Market vendors will move to its new home across Delancey Street. In order to ensure continuity, the current market will continue operations until the new location opens to the public. This new facility will triple the size of current market offerings and will occupy approximately 36,000 square feet between the ground and second-floors of the 115 Delancey Streetbuilding within Essex Crossing. The new market will offer extended hours for late night shopping, a demonstration kitchen for events, programming that will cater to all market visitors, and will continue to provide affordable food products for the Lower East Side’s diverse communities.

The current Essex Street Market was created along with several other indoor retail markets around the city by Mayor Fiorella H. LaGuardia in 1940 in an effort to provide street merchants and pushcart vendors with a new place to do businesses. After a period of decline in the 1970s, NYCEDC began to manage the Market in 1992, renovating the facilities and helping to catalyze the Market’s resurgence. Currently, the market boasts 27 unique and diverse vendors, including produce, meat, fish, cheese, bread, specialty goods, and prepared food vendors.

Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, the overall Essex Crossing project is an unprecedented 1.9 million square foot urban renewal development with residential, commercial, and community space. In addition to the new Essex Street Market, the 24-story 115 Delancey Street building will also house 195 rental apartments (97 market rate and 98 affordable), and a 14-screen Regal Cinema Theater. The project is being developed by Delancey Street Associates, a joint venture between BFC Partners, L+M Development Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.