July 29, 2013 By Bill Parry
Several hundred foodies were drawn to Skillman Ave. on Saturday as the Queens County Market set up shop at Quaint.
Ten vendors sold gourmet food items– from oysters to chili-chocolate cake—from noon through 4 pm.
Queens County Market is known as a “pop up” where its organizers find venues throughout the borough–so culinary entrepreneurs can showcase and sell their products each month.
Vendors on Saturday included Queens-based businesses like The Ravioli Revolution, Mel’s Melting Pot (a maker of gourmet condiments) and Bittersweet-New York City (offering a variety of Indian-inspired sweet and spicy foods). Attendees were able to buy food and eat it in Quaint’s back garden.
Quaint, located at 46-10 Skillman Avenue, doesn’t open until 5pm on Saturdays so the Queens County Market’s use of the space didn’t interrupt business.
Tim Chen, the owner of Quaint, said the event brings his restaurant added exposure. “I didn’t ask for money [for them to use the restaurant] although they offered.”
The 10 vendors all have a network of fans—with most having 100s of Twitter followers. Many of these fans/followers turn out for the Market, Chen said, which brings them to Quaint for the first time.
“It could mean plenty of new customers down the line not just for Quaint, but for the other businesses in Sunnyside,” Chen said.
Crudo Sea and Land, a traveling raw bar, sold 200 oysters in just two hours. Mel’s Melting Pot, makers of gourmet condiments, sold all of its 4 oz. bottles of Garlic Scape Pesto.
Mel’s co-owner Darrin Duford said that scape is a green onion that’s in season for only a couple of weeks a year. He said his company makes its goods at the Entrepreneur Space, a business incubator run by the Queens Economic Development Corporation.
Duford said Mel’s Melting Pot has sold its goods at the Queens County Market “pop ups” for nearly two years.
The baking company Bittersweet-New York City has participated in the Queens County Market for three years. The popularity of its lemon cake truffles, samosas (containing vegetables or chicken), and its chili-chocolate cakes has owner Surbhi Sahni searching for a brick and mortar space to start a traditional business.
“We’re looking in Sunnyside and Astoria,” Sahni said. “It won’t be a bakery but a lounge-bistro with an Indian influence.”