Food manufacturing continues to grow in Sunset.
Brooklyn Army Terminal’s (BAT) growing food manufacturing hub at 80 58th Street, housing several manufacturers, including City Saucery, Salty Road and MOMO Dressing was on display during a tour hosted by the New York City Economic Development Corporation on Friday, June 2.
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca and EDC President and CEO James Patchett were among those who toured the facility with members of the press.
Michael Marino, co-founder of City Saucery, a family-owned business that creates fresh sauces and condiments, explained how the move to BAT has helped his growing company. “We moved to the annex building in February and it’s been great as we’ve taken on a whole new business model. We were working out of an entrepreneur space in Long Island City for five years. We graduated and decided to get our own dedicated facility.”
The company is the brainchild of Marino and co-founder and life partner Jorge Moret. “We had a design background and with our careers going nowhere, we decided to start a food producing company with my mom,” he recalled. “She’s from Calabria, Italy and has been cooking since she was a child,” most recently, “cooking professionally at a Staten Island restaurant.”
Marino began documenting her journey and started doing classes around town. “Everyone fell in love with the pastas that we were cooking,’ he said. “We’re bringing homemade flavors from the kitchen to the grocery store.”
Marisa Wu of Salty Road also explained the benefits of operating in BAT. “This is the only salt water taffy factory in New York City,” she said. “We are six years old. We moved to BAT in February and we’ve expanded. Here, we were able to have the facility built for us so you can see everything is brand spanking new.
“I always wanted to be a business owner and work in food,” Wu added. “I interned with six different food companies as a candy maker, baker and butcher and I learned a lot. I realized there weren’t a lot of people making salt water taffy here in the city and using great ingredients. It’s fresh taffy and it’s very different from what people think of as regular taffy. People don’t think about fresh candy, but it’s just a special thing.”
Owners of MOMO Dressing Masaki and Yukimi Momose, which is celebrating nearly a year of being in the space, discussed the company’s progress, noting that production had tripled. “We produce about 3,000 items including dressing weekly,” said Masaki. “We are targeting our market within 15 miles because we still do our own distribution. We want to stick to this market but [grow with] more products.”
Attendees were impressed with BAT’s food hub growth.
“I think what’s great is they show their passion for their product,” said Julie Stein, executive director of Sunset Park for EDC, “and we’re happy that they’re growing and bringing more jobs here.”
“We heard directly from some of the businesses that just moved in here and are seeing the growth in their business,” added Menchaca. “They’re all dedicated to hiring locally. They see the value of not just the product but really being embedded into the community and that’s happening at BAT. These are beautiful stories. They love what they do. They’re families working together and that’s the future.”