Hester Street Fair Celebrates Home Grown Businesses on Saturday

Kareem Hamady, Julian Plyter at the Hester Street Fair in 2011.

Kareem Hamady, Julian Plyter at the Hester Street Fair in 2011.

You might recognize these guys — Kareem Hamady and Julian Plyter of Melt Bakery. This photo was taken in 2011 at the Hester Street Fair, where the business got its start before opening an Orchard Street production facility and retail store. Over the years, the organization has helped launch numerous entrepreneurial ventures. This coming weekend the Hester Street Fair will be celebrating home grown businesses such as Melt. Saturday’s special event has been dubbed, “We Started Here.”

Among the vendors making a return: Don Don, Rudy’s Deli, Hunt and Gather Shop, Crepe Refinery, Sak Pase, Tuson Sate, Matzah brei, Dandy Farmer, CMY Look, Two Good Traders (the Fat Radish), Macaron Parlour, Melt Bakery, Gordo’s Cantina, Osaka Grub, Peetie’s Pie, La New Yorkina, Arancini Bros and Cheeky Sandwiches.

They will also have a beer garden, sponsored by Tiger Beer, live music and games. The Hester Street Fair is located at Hester and Essex streets. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Hester Street Fair Test Kitchen: In Search of the Next Great Idea

hester street fair

The Hester Street Fair has always served as an incubator for new ideas. Now its organizers are hosting an event designed specifically to discover “the next best thing in NYC street food.” Here’s more on the Hester Street Test Kitchen, coming up this weekend:

Since its inception seven years ago the Hester Street Fair has been recognized for starting many businesses, including several amazing restaurants on the Lower East Side and around NYC. Keeping true to its roots and fueling the spirit of entrepreneurship, Hester Street Fair is having their first annual “Test Kitchen” for all first time creations, including first time food vendors and established businesses and restaurants, who want to pilot test a new item on their menu, new product, flavor, etc. There will be a panel of judges and three winners who will get a free booth to be a vendor at their 7th annual Grub Street Food Festival, happening on Saturday, October 1st and other prizes. This event will take place on Saturday September 3rd – 11am to 6pm. Judges will be present from 2pm – 3pm with winners announced at 4pm. Winners will be judged on originality, presentation including branding and of course taste!

More info here.

Jamaican Independence Day, Sunday Night Party at the Hester Street Fair

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It’s a double-header at the Hester Street Fair this weekend.

On Saturday, they’re throwing a party for Jamaican Independence Day. Sean John of Orchard Street restaurant, Spur Tree, will be cooking up traditional Jamaican fare ($10/per plate) and you can purchase Guinness bottles for $3. There will be DJ’s, including Rockers NYC, Jonny Go Figure, Deadly Dragon, Queen Majesty and Damon Degraff.

Then on Sunday, there will be a special nighttime version of the Hester Street Fair. Starting at 5 p.m., the guys at Black Tree (another Orchard Street mainstay) will be serving up blue fish tacos, Oysters Rockefeller and sweet corn with miso butter and hot honey (plates are $10).  Performances kick off at 6 p.m. with Miho Hatori (best known as the vocalist from Cibo Mato) and avante garde composer and performer Patrick Higgins. As the dun goes down, there will be a “visual and musical experience” with the collaborative project of Portland, Oregon based group MSHR.  Their live performances utilize a “unique system of light-audio feedback that employs hand made analog synthesizers and sculptural light interfaces.”

See the flyers for more info.


Hester Street Fair Hosts an Ice Cream Social on Saturday


If you’ve looked ahead to the weekend weather forecast, you already know we’re going to see 90 degrees on Saturday. This means the timing could not be more perfect for the Hester Street Fair’s Ice Cream Social.

This year’s participating vendors include Ice & Vice, J-Rock’s Excellent Ice Cream, Il Buco Alimentari, Mikey Likes It, Noona’s and Tipsy Scoop. There will be a friendly/fierce competition. You can become a judge by purchasing a $10 “sampling ticket.” More info here.

Also on Saturday, there will be a sorbet-making workshop. The Hester Street Fair is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m.


Here’s What’s Happening at This Weekend’s Hester Street Fair

hester street fair

Coming up tomorrow, the Hester Street Fair is back in full swing. Here’s a look at the abbreviated lineup:

  • Scarrs Pizza will be churning out wood oven pizzas.
  • ComingSoonNY will be hawking a collection of contemporary art and design objects by emerging brands.
  • The Java Project, a contemporary art gallery in Greenpoint, will be having a flea style Art Supply Sale.
  • Artist Lizzie Bougatsos will be offering a Tag Sale of found objects, furniture, clothing.
  • Breezy Hill Orchard will be featuring their Cider Donuts and Hard Cider.
  • Workshops Essayer is doing two fun workshops adults and kids (including custom nail polish making).

The fair takes place Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. More info here.

Hester Street Fair Launches 2016 Season on Saturday

Hester Street Fair, 2015.

Hester Street Fair, 2015.

This coming Saturday, the Hester Street Fair will kick off its seventh season on the Lower East Side. The 2016 season will bring some new twists, but also a return to the local market’s roots as an entrepreneurial incubator.

As in the past, the fair will offer a mix of design, art, fashion and food. There will also be a new focus on workshops this year, and several special events on Sundays.

On the food front, you’ll be seeing newcomers such as EN Brasserie, the popular Japanese spot in the West Village; Scarr’s Pizza, the new retro slice joint on Orchard Street and Gordo’s Cantina of Brooklyn. Special theme days will include a tomato canning day, an ice cream social and “Watermelon Day.”  Plus, the crew is planning a Kosher cook-out, a Vegan Food Festival and a Jamaican Independence Day event.

We mentioned workshops. They’ll include Jaquard Products, offering hands-on marbling and tie-dyeing from artist Daniele Fraizer, shoe-making by Chickpea Kids and a fermenting class with chef Laila Gohar.

There’s a new team behind the scenes at the Hester Street Fair, joining co-founder Ron Castellano. They include Christina Yugai, Elise McMahon and David Komerek. We checked in with them a few days ago to talk about the relaunch of the market for 2016. They told us the goal is to celebrate local businesses (some of which the fair has helped launch over the years), while adding new vendors and programming from throughout the city. There will even be a global bent to some of the new programs. Throughout the season, they hope to celebrate some HSF vets who now have brick-and-mortar locations in the community. A new website will be launching soon.

The 2016 season will run from May 14th to October 29th, with Saturday markets from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and special events on select Sundays. The fair is located at the intersection of Essex and Hester streets.

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Ssam BBQ Debuts at Hester Street Fair

One of the many things we love about the Hester Street Fair, which launches for the season this weekend, is its function as birthplace for new food businesses.