New Amsterdam Market Stretches Out

Shandakan Bake's Craig Thompson offered heart-shaped cookies in two flavors, as well as "trail bars" of shortbread, caramel and coconut.

The proprietors of Brooklyn’s Liddabit Sweets were thrilled to have a cool-weather market to sell chocolates and candies made from local ingredients.

A strange thing happened yesterday at the New Amsterdam Market. The artisan food fair that’s slowly but steadily gained momentum as a premier destination shopping spot for sustainable, seasonal, local goods near the seaport in three years of Sundays saw some unusual customers: Wall Streeters showed up in suits to peruse the wares.

On its first weekday market in its fledgling history, the special Valentine’s Day event–held indoors on Front Street very close to its usual waterfront warm-weather spot–drew plenty of last-minute patrons looking for treats to take home to their sweeties.

There was plenty to choose from at the three-day event that began Saturday morning and ended just in time for Monday night’s dinner reservations: handmade chocolates and heart-shaped jellies in flavors like Meyer lemon from Brooklyn’s Liddabit Sweets; heart-shaped shortbreads with nutmeg and homemade graham crackers from the Catskills’ Shandaken Bake; Princeton’s Bent Spoon ice cream. Events such as a wine and chocolate pairing rounded out the schedule, the first time the market has tackled a Valentine’s Day project. Overall, organizers were very pleased with the turnout, said Julie Yeung, who was staffing the market table at lunchtime on Monday.

Shandaken Bake's Craig Thompson offered heart-shaped cookies in two flavors, as well as "trail bars" of shortbread, caramel and coconut.

Driven by the vision of founder Robert LaValva, the New Amsterdam Market has gradually flourished from quarterly occurrence into a weekly Sunday market during the warmer months. The 2011 regular market begins May 1.