July signaled the opening of several new farmer’s markets, including Washington Heights, World Financial Center, and the Andaz Wall Street Farmers’ Market. This weekend, I subwayed over to the Andaz-the latest addition to the market scene-to check out the vibe, crowd, and vendors.
The Andaz Farmers’ Market is currently the only farmers’ market in New York City created and operated by a hotel. Owned by the Hyatt, the Andaz hotel chain currently runs a handful of hotels around the world, including locations in London, San Diego, and Hollywood. The Andaz brand aims to cater to a specific kind of traveler. A recent stay at London’s Andaz Liverpool felt unlike any other hotel experience I’ve had: stand out features included a free-flowing check in, bold art, stellar restaurants, and a sophisticated clientele.
There are two Andaz hotels in NYC, the Wall Street location and 5th Avenue. The 5th Avenue Andaz appears to be in tune with the local appetite for artisanal, small batch products, selling Blue Bottle coffee and Mast Brothers Chocolate in the their store.
The Andaz Wall Street straddles an interesting position. During the week, Wall Street is alive with traders, bankers, and market movers. It’s quite easy to imagine the Andaz as a gathering spot for business travelers. During the weekend, Wall Street empties its streets of locals and becomes clogged with tourists. Despite the growth of residential developments and the assignment of a neighborhood acronym, the “FiDi” is rarely a pleasant place to visit during the weekend as a local.
The Andaz Hotel and its subsequent Farmers’ Market aim to bridge Wall’s Street’s gap between tourist destination, high-end business establishment, and local residence. According to the New York Times In Transit blog, the original idea for the farmers’ market was generated by Maximo Lopez May, the hotel’s executive chef, and Joel Patraker, the hotel’s purchasing manager.
The participating vendors supply Wall & Water, the hotel’s restaurant, with their products. As added incentive, the Andaz doesn’t charge the vendors for their booths.
Opening day’s vibe was one of tentative excitement. A three-piece folk band played, surrounded by produce stacked and arranged to perfection. Migliorelli’s tent couldn’t have looked more appealing, piled high with gnarly carrots and crates of juicy peaches. The market is located in a picturesque courtyard beside the hotel. The trees and shade created a pleasant browsing experience. Though small, one could easily leave the market with nearly everything they need—jam, eggs, cheese, bread, fish, and a wide selection of fruits and vegetables.
In addition, Wall & Water set up a tent serving melon soup and offering restaurant coupons. In the future, according to Food and Wine, Chef May will conduct cooking classes, presumably at the same tent. According to Shainna Ziegler, Public Relations Manager for New York’s Andaz Hotels, a great deal of interest has been generated among vendors and farmers, but at this stage they have yet to determine who else might be joining the market in the future.
The Andaz Wall Street Farmers’ Market is open each Saturday from 8:00-3:00, through November 20th. I encourage you to go down, shop and chat with the vendors, and help to merge the gap between Wall Street’s tourists and locals.
Check out our Summer Market Flickr set, to view more images from the Andaz Market and other New York farmers markets.