CSA Local Roots opens Carroll Gardens market and café


Since their first pop-up market in 2011, Local roots Founder Wen-Jay Ying is committed to putting ‘hyper-local’ fresh produce – meaning 90 percent of produce comes from farms within five hours of New York City – into the hands (and diets ) New Yorkers. In the years since its launch, the women-owned and minority-owned CSA grew to have pickup points all over the city, including at Threes Brewing in Greenpoint and Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar in Ridgewood, but Ying’s longtime goal has always been to open up his own physical space.

Prior to starting Local Roots, Ying had a series of odd jobs and worked for AmeriCorps, which allowed him to network with local farmers. A longtime musician of the DIY scene, she also dreamed of opening her own multidisciplinary room. During the pandemic, the team rotated their model to also focus more on delivery, as well as having more time to build Local Roots’ very first brick and mortar. Local Roots Market and Cafe, which Ying has been working towards for nearly a decade, is located in Carroll Gardens at 398 Court Street and is slated to open on July 9.

“How do you build an inclusive, connected and fun space that brings people together? We’ve been working towards this for so long, ”Ying says, adding that she hopes the“ beautiful space ”has the potential to make cooking less of a chore, while also encouraging customers to think more critically about who is cultivating their food. food. .

The market and cafe will also serve as a CSA pickup location
Albert Cheung / Local Roots Market and Café [Official]

Local Roots has hosted many pop-up dinners in the past, but this will be the first time they’ve offered a more comprehensive service experience that showcases their farmers’ generosity in a more consistent way.

The cafe offers a selection of pastries and other small morning bites such as homemade scones and scallion pancakes, black seed bagels, ham and cheese croissants, and more. But the main feature of the menu are more hearty dishes that draw on Ying’s Sino-American background. “I’m delighted to show that farm-to-table isn’t defined by one kitchen,” she says. “People describe Asian Americans as being in a specific way and have certain jobs, but from the menu to the graphic design to the architect, we are a creative team entirely led by Asians.”

The menu also includes Tea Eggs, Taiwanese Fan Tuan (made here from croissants), Local Roots seasonal vegetables with dips (like a sweet potato and Sichuan pepper spread, or green onions and beans) and oats of the day with star anise and cloves, among others. Dishes like veggie tofu mapo and zha jiang can be ordered sloppy-joe-style over a potato bun made by Native Bakery, over sticky rice, or over greens.

On the beverage side, teas, kombucha, and shrubs will be on offer, although the team plans to expand that and sell bottles of wine and other alcoholic beverages in the future.

A plate of mapo tofu

mapo tofu
Lauren Volo / Local Roots Market and Café [Official]

A big part of the Local Roots philosophy is to educate customers on how to cook with their offerings at home. The kitchen will always play a role in the cafe, with a selection of food available to take out in pint and quart containers, as well as frozen versions of the cafe’s scallion pancakes, scones and cookie dough. Likewise, the store will carry bulk products like Sfoglini pasta and sustainable household items. Breads ACQ bread, a nearby bakery focused on food security (which also uses artist raffles for self-help fundraising), will also be available. The Court Street Cafe will operate as a CSA pickup point throughout the year.

You can dine inside the cafe or in a backyard, where selected herbs are grown for use in the cafe. Likewise, there is a test kitchen space that Ying hopes to rent out for food stylists, cookbook writers, as well as to host pop-ups with guest chefs and Farmers.

Local Roots Market and Cafe is open six days a week (except Tuesday for starters), 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., for take-out only.

a Brooklyn cafe and market window

Local Roots Market and Cafe is located in Carroll Gardens
Albert Cheung / Local Roots Market and Café [Official]

inside a market and cafe in Brooklyn

The space is meant to help the kitchen feel less like a chore
Albert Cheung / Local Roots Market and Café [Official]

green onion pancake

Scallion pancakes can also be purchased frozen to take home.
Lauren Volo / Local Roots Market and Café [Official]


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