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Vendors at Essex Street Market Struggling, Want New Management

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The market will move in 2018, but some are worried about surviving that long.


The 75-year-old Essex Street Market is struggling, reports the Lo-Down in a long feature on the market. Three vendors — Brooklyn Taco, Heritage Meat Market, and Essex Flowers — have recently closed or are on their way out. The market is slated to move into a much more modern space across the street in 2018 as part of the the Essex Crossing development, but many of the current vendors worry that they won't be able to hold out that long if things stay as they are. Patrick Martins, who opened Heritage Meat in 2011, and several other vendors, blame the Economic Development Corporation, which manages the market. Martins told the Lo-Down: "The market is continually empty...I have never worked with a group less responsive to adjusting to the requests of its constituents than the EDC."

Next month, the market's vendor association will meet with Community Board with a plea for a new management team. CB3 doesn't have authority over the market, but there is hope that the Community Board's response could draw attention to the market and impact the actions City Council members who are monitoring the situation.

For its part, EDC says it is committed to making the market work issuing a statement saying:

It is our goal at Essex Street Market to cultivate a vibrant, inclusive and balanced market environment for every member of the market community. The Market has been a cornerstone of the Lower East Side for decades, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the local community and all the vendors to help them grow and thrive.

However, they declined to comment on the vendor association's bid for new management. Stay tuned.