STATEN ISLAND, NY – A new market in Tompkinsville is definitely one for the senses. The patrons of the new Staten Island Food and Art Market can indulge in the colors, scents, conversations and tastes presented by the artisans and chefs of the district.
The market is open at 20 Cebra Ave., between Victory Boulevard and Castleton Avenue, from 11am to 6pm Tuesday through Sunday.
Organized by photographer Marcie Delapaz and Stapleton café owner Amira Cintron, the collaboration began last weekend. The background music included songs by Kelvin Wallace aka DJ K. Wah! as the crowd filtered through all day.
In this inaugural presentation, vendors sold cosmetics, resin artwork, bath products, candles and scented oils. Maria Guzman of SHW Shego’s House of Wax showed handmade crystal jewelry and soy wax figures. Her endeavor began with candles and moved on to bath salts and soy candles, a distinct handiwork with bright colors and intricate details.
Gladys Rose Exquisite Botanicals by Liz Baretto offered artfully molded soap puffs squeezed with dried organic flowers.
Barbara Longobardi tried long-lasting creams and makeup as well as magnetic lashes, the latter a hit with visitors this Saturday afternoon.
Adina Roman sported custom checkered candles with photos and resin crafts, the cornerstone of her business, Roman’s Resins.
Gift ideas and scented treats came from Eviie’s Knickknacks and Jolees Lil Bit of Everything.
Conversations with vendors such as Michelle Swiney McCombs have led to insights into how much COVID-19 has been a source of inspiration for budding entrepreneurs. The New Brighton resident now consults on hairstyles and makeup on an individual basis. He cuts and styles all types of hair in his studio and sells old school brushes, unique oils and a variety of skin care products at the market.
And you could eat for the market. Edibles are only offered on weekends. There are a few places to grab a meal. Otherwise food is available to go.
Co-organizer Amira Cintron sold cookies from her Van Duzer Street brick and mortar shop, Amira’s Cafe ‘n’ Bistro. She offered cups of sorrel, a drink similar to cranberry juice sweetened with her simple vanilla bean syrup.
Mixed between crafts and a local Beezy Beez honey stand were Lullo’s Sugar Rush cupcakes, custom creations by Amanda and January Lullo.
HOPE FOR BIGGER COMMITMENTS
Restaurateur Dorothy Nelson hopes to one day sell from a food truck. For now, catering is testing the waters with pop-up restaurants under the Momma D’s Catering brand. Raves among the tasters included mac ‘n’ cheese, rice with spicy peas, saucy meatballs, and crispy fried wings.
“Let’s pray it takes off,” a smiling Delapaz said in the sunlight outside the window.
“They are small steps. We will have an open market. We want to support these suppliers, “Delapaz said. This effort will be called” Small Business Saturdays “and will begin on April 2 at 117 Wright Pl., Stapleton, across from First Central Baptist Church in the parking lot.
Cintron explained how both concepts are based on a food collection known as the Smorgasboard founded in Brooklyn. He hopes a new genre of foodie tourists will come to Staten Island to try its varied cuisines. And this budding neighborhood market is a start to attracting new audiences from the ferry and beyond.
“We have good restaurants. Sometimes it’s a little hard to get the word out about them, “said Cintron who explained that this is a good medium through which fans can be cultivated.
The Staten Island Food and Art Market is located at 20 Cebra Ave. in the heart of Tompkinsville, also known as “Little Lanka,” a nod to Sri Lankan concentration of shops and restaurants. Parking is located along Victory Boulevard. Vendors can contact Delapaz directly at 347-422-4056. The website with updated suppliers is SIFoodAndArtMkt.com.
Here are the images of the market on its inaugural weekend.