'smorgasburg' on Serious Eats

Eric Demby on Smorgasburg's Expansion and What it Means for Vendors

In just three years, Smorgasburg has far outgrown its modest origins in the East River State Park. After planting roots in Dumbo, co-founders Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler secured a partnership with Whole Foods, launched Smorasburg in the South Street Seaport, expanded to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia (where they opened a satellite of sister market Brooklyn Flea), and inked a deal to become part of the new Essex Crossing development. What's next for the market? Organizer Eric Demby tells us. More

Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop Up: A New York State of Ramen

Don't let the frenzy created by Keizo Shimamoto's ramen burger distract you from Sun Noodle Lab's core mission of spreading the gospel of ramen at Smorgasburg. The stand, as we explored in a previous column, functions as an incubator for aspiring ramen-yas looking to open up their own shop. But in their push to introduce Americans to a greater variety of ramen styles, they're exploring what regional ramen identity means here in New York. More

Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop Up: Eric Demby on Smorgasburg

In this column we've written about the experiences and perspectives of a diverse set of Smorgasburg vendors, some established and others nascent, from a purveyor of new school American-Jewish food to a ramen incubator and an Israeli couple looking to bring real couscous to New York. We've shared their struggles, evolution, and thoughts on why they're participating in the sometimes grueling market. But what about the other side? In July, we spoke with market co-founder Eric Demby about the origins of Smorgasburg and what he looks for in potential vendors. More

Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop Up: Introducing Bombay Sandwich Co.

A sophomore stand peddling homespun, vegetarian Indian fare, Bombay Sandwich Co. was born out of love and frustration. Founded by Shikha Jain, a native of Delhi, and Shiv Puri, who grew up in Parsippany, New Jersey, the mom-and-pop business was inspired by their mutual love for the sandwich that it is named for. But frustration was no less essential. The team has taken both of these impulses to build a successful stand at Smorgasburg with their own following. More

Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop Up: How to Pay for Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg is by no means a cheap venture, nor a cash cow, and for even the most popular and critically acclaimed new vendors, breaking even is the best you can hope for most weeks. That means you'll need another way to pay for the market, which seldom pays for itself. A dependable income outside of the market is a necessary evil, but also a path to other opportunities. More

Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop Up: Changing the Menu, Expanding Beyond the Market

Summer is in session at Smorgasburg, and with the increased crowds come a new set of obstacles to overcome. Chiefly, adjusting the menu to accommodate the heat, something that Noah immediately realized he'd need to do. Beginning vendors need to consider how their menu items will be received over the course of a season, not just the first few weeks of spring. More

Anatomy of a Smorgasburg Pop Up: The Physical & Psychological Toll, Part 1

Thus far in this miniseries, we've kept the focus strictly on Noah's experience fine tuning his menu, figuring out his identity in the marketplace, and other logistical issues. What we've spent less time exploring are the psychological and physical tolls of running a stand at Smorgasburg; something that Noah—as the sole proprietor of Scharf & Zoyer—experiences acutely. More

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